If there is one aspect Thais are proud of, that would be their very own Thai food. Exotic dishes, fresh ingredients, ethnic delicacies, street foods and vegetarian options are all combined to fit your taste buds. And speaking of the price, you wouldn’t regret it for sure. Their hospitality when it comes to serving guests and the quality of dishes they have are absolutely more than just any amount of money.
1) Pad Thai
Pad thai, phat thai or phad thai, “fried Thai style” is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roast peanuts. It may also contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, coriander leaves, pickled radishes or turnips, and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, chicken or another protein. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.
2) Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
Green papaya salad is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. It is of Lao origin but it is also eaten throughout Southeast Asia. Locally known in Cambodia as bok l’hong, in Laos as tam som or the more specific name tam maak hoong, in Thailand as som tam, and in Vietnam as goi du du. Som tam, the Thai variation, was listed at number 46 on World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
3) Tom Yam Goong
Tom yum or tom yam is a Lao and Thai, clear, spicy and sour soup. Tom yum is widely served in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, and has been popularised around the world.
Literally, the words “tom yum” are derived from two Tai words: “tom” and “yam”. “Tom” refers to boiling process, while “yam” refers to a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad. Thus, “tom yum” is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Indeed, tom yum is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers.
In neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore, the name tom yum is used widely for various spicy soups which can differ greatly from true Lao and Thai tom yum soup. As a result, people are often confused by the disparities.
Commercial tom yum paste is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged and sold around the world. Tom yum flavoured with the paste may have different characteristics from that made with fresh herb ingredients. The soup often includes meats such as chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp.
Tom Yam Goong
4) Geng Kheaw Wan (Green Curry)
The name “green” curry derives from the color of the dish, which comes from green chillies. The “sweet” in the Thai name (wan means “sweet”) refers to the particular color green itself and not to the taste of the curry. As this is a Thai curry based on coconut milk and fresh green chillies, the color comes out creamy mild green or, as this color is called in Thai, “sweet green”. Its ingredients are not exactly fixed. The curry is not necessarily sweeter than other Thai curries but, although the spiciness varies, it tends to be more pungent than the milder red curries.
Geng Kheaw Wan
5) Mango Sticky Rice
Mango sticky rice or kao niow mamuang is a Thai dessert made with glutinous rice and fresh mango. It is a traditional Thai food eaten with the hands. It is prepared with glutinous rice, commonly called sticky rice. It is eaten by rolling the rice with the fingers and scooping up mango slices. Contrary with other desserts, Mango Sticky Rice is served warm or at room temperature.
Mango Sticky Rice is a popular dish in the Indochina region of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam
Mango Sticky Rice