10 Best Top Foods You Must Try in Thailand
There are few dishes that encapsulate the flavour of Thailand quite like tom yum, a spicy soup made from kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal ginger, chillies, lime juice and fish sauce. While there are differing variations, the most common is tom yum goong which includes prawns and usually mushrooms. A perfect accompaniment for any Thai meal.
While Thai green curry is the most exported of the county’s dishes, gaeng daeng (or red curry) is perhaps the most fragrant of the two. An aromatic paste made from red chillies, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots and galangal is cooked with coconut milk and meat or rice. Best served with heaps of steamy jasmine rice.
A foreigners’ favourite, the pad Thai is found on almost every street corner across the land. Egg noodles are quickly stir-fried with tamarind sauce, fish sauce, chilli powder, eggs and beansprouts and served with crunchy peanuts and freshly squeezed lime juice. A good pad Thai should have a slightly smoky imparted from a well-used wok. It’s unthinkable not to try this one-dish meal at least once on your travels.
Talk to anyone from Thailand and they’ll give you a different recipe for krapow moo, a stir-fry made from minced pork, garlic, green beans, chillies, oyster sauce, fish sauce and fistfuls of Thai holy basil. Best served with heaps of steamy jasmine rice, a Thai-style crispy fried egg and cooling sliced cucumber. Also look out for krapow gai, a chicken-based variation.
Originating from Isaan and Laos, som tum is now popular across the land. It’s most basic is som tum Thai, a sweet, spicy salad made from grated papaya, green beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, chillies, peanuts and dried shrimps. Other variations include the use of tamarind, crab and even noodles. Eat with pla dok (grilled catfish) and nam tok (sliced beef salad).
A dish synonymous with the North, particularly Chiang Mai, khao soi is a dish flavours hailing from Myanmar and India. Rich egg noodles and topped with a spiced coconut broth, more crispy noodles, shallots, lime wedges and roasted chilli sauce. You’ll find the best is available in the morning and lunch.
Move aside KFC because no one does crispy fried chicken quite like the street vendors in Thailand. Chicken thighs and legs are coasted in a lightly spiced batter and fried until crispy and golden. You’ll often find it served with sticky rice and a spicy cucumber salad.
Kai Geow Moo Sap
If it’s your first time in Thailand and the food is looking a little daunting, try kai geow moo sap, a crispy Thai-style omelette including ground pork, holy basil and a dash or two of soy sauce. It’s typically served with a sweet chilli sauce and makes for a hearty breakfast.
Keep a look out for street barbeques because you’ll often find they are cooking up moo ping, pork skewers marinated in garlic, coriander root, white pepper, sugar and dark soy sauce. Smokey, sticky and best eaten right off the grill with mounds of sticky rice.
Khao Man Gai
This deceivingly simple dish is more complex than first impressions. Chicken is poached in water and presented on steamy rice cooked in the chicken’s fat. A spicy sauce made from ginger, garlic, fish sauce and soy sauce is served alongside a fragrant chicken stock broth. While you can find this dish all day, it’s best in the morning and for lunch.
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