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Eating in Thailand - 28 dishes that you absolutely have to try

Thailand Street Food Guide - 28 Thai Dishes You Must Try

In no country in the world does the street smell better of delicious food than in Thailand. Everywhere you look you will find small cookshops and stalls with sweet delicacies. For me Thailand is simply the epitome of good street food. Of course there are also many good restaurants in Thailand, but in my opinion you only eat authentically at the cookshops and learn more about the people and the culture of the country. In addition, the food at the mobile food stands is much cheaper than in the restaurant.

Depending on the region, you can get a wide variety of specialties at the cookshops. From fine spring rolls to delicious curries, pasta, fish dishes, soups and delicious desserts, everything is offered on the mobile food trolleys. The brave ones also try the insects. I confess at this point that I'm out, I don't have to try it. I can warmly recommend the following 28 dishes:

1.Eating in Thailand: Spring Rolls - Thai spring rolls

One of the best-known snacks for in between are delicious small spring rolls. A plate or a bag of deep-fried rolls can be bought at the cookshops for less than one euro. Whether vegetarian or filled with meat, spring rolls are delicious and filling. I ate the best spring rolls at the Krabi Town Night Market.

2. Food in Thailand: Som Tam - papaya salad

Som Tam is not originally a Thai dish at all. Immigrants once brought the dish with them from their native Laos to northern Thailand. Today, the crisp, fresh papaya salad is available at countless mobile food stalls across the country. All that is important for the preparation is a mortar and a wooden pestle. Because the green papaya, the dried fermented fish and the other ingredients have to be pounded in the mortar so that the salad can develop its very special aroma.

3. Food in Thailand: Tod Mun Pla Krai - Thai Fish Cakes

Thai fish cakes are arguably one of the most common snacks found at countless food stalls across the country. However, I have the best of them with a magical Thai woman straight from her boat Klong Lad Mayom Floating Market bought off. They were an absolute poem. What makes the little fish cakes so tasty? Fish, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste and chilli give the fish cakes an aromatic, spicy taste. On request, you can get sticky rice with the fish cakes. Not to be missed, however, are lemon wedges, chilli sauce and cucumber pieces. Because this is how the fish cakes become a real taste explosion.

4.Eating in Thailand: Look Chin Pla - Thai Fish Balls

I admit to Fish Balls and I won't become friends in this life. I love fish and seafood, but fish balls just won't warm me up. I don't like the smell or the taste. Nevertheless, I think you should definitely try the small fish balls. They are one of the most popular snacks in Thailand, but also in China, Hong Kong and across Southeast Asia.

The fish balls are made from a fish paste. The thousand dollar fish is mainly used for this. The food fish can be found in the major rivers of Southeast Asia, such as the Mekong, Tonle Sap or Chao Phraya, but also in the lakes of Southeast Asian countries. Most of the time, the fish balls are simply fried. In Bangkok's Chinatown you can also find the fish balls cooked in noodle soups. Green Thai curry with fish balls is also very popular with Thais.

5.Eating in Thailand: Larb Moo - Thai Minced Pork Salad

Larb, or Laap or Larp, is the Laotian national dish. But it is also an absolute classic in Thailand, especially in the north of the country. Larb is prepared with pork, but also with chicken or prawns. All variants have one thing in common: lots of chilli! The dish is always hot and very spicy!

You can find a recipe for Larb Moo here

6.Eating in Thailand: Tom Yam Gung -sour-spicy Thai soup

Tom Yam is a sour and spicy Thai soup. In which Tom By the way, the Thai word for soup is and Yam mixed means. Gung means shrimp, although the soup is also available with chicken, then it's called Tom Yam Gai. In both variants, mushrooms, dark-striped peelings, are one of the main ingredients. These form a wonderfully harmonious combination with meat or prawns. In addition, there is spicy fish sauce, shallots, a little lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves in the broth. Tom Yam soup was first mentioned in a guidebook by the Siamese poet Sunthon Phu in the first half of the 19th century. Today the sweet and spicy soup is considered the national dish of Thailand.

7.Eating in Thailand: Kuai Tiao - Thai noodle soup

Kuai Tiao is the classic Thai noodle soup that you can get at countless mobile food stands. It is available in different versions, i.e. with thin, thick or yellow rice noodles and different types of meat such as chicken, meatballs or crispy pork.

8.Eating in Thailand: Pad Thai - Fried Noodles

A trip to Thailand without tasting Pad Thai, fried noodles, is not really possible. Pad Thai is now an absolute classic in Thai cuisine, although it only gained fame at the beginning of World War II. At that time, rice consumption should be reduced because many grains of rice could not be used as rice because they were broken. As explained Prime Minister Luang Phibul Songkhram Pad Thai to the national dish. Flat rice noodles are used for this dish and the rice flour required for the noodles can also be made from broken rice grains.

Today you can get the national dish Pad Thai on every street corner and in every restaurant. However, there are also different variants here. You can order Pad Thai with chicken or pork, but also with shrimp or tofu. I ate the best Pad Thai at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok.

9.Eating in Thailand: Khao Pad - Fried Rice

But of course, rice is still an indispensable part of Thai cuisine. Rice is a staple food in Thailand and is not only served as a side dish, but also as a whole dish. One of the most popular and cheapest rice dishes is Khao Pad, fried rice with vegetables, chicken or shrimp. The best Khao Pad can be found at the market in Bophut on Koh Samui.

10.Eating in Thailand: Pineapple Fried Rice - Fried pineapple rice

Another very popular rice dish is Pineapple Fried Rice, which is very similar to the Khao Pad. The only difference is that you add pineapple, raisins and cashew nuts to the rice and serve the fried rice beautifully in half a pineapple. I have a very good Pineapple Fried Rice on Neon Night Market in Bangkok eaten. But many other restaurants in Bangkok, as well as on the islands in the south, have the traditional rice dish on the menu.

11.Eating in Thailand: Khao man kai - Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a delicious poached chicken and seasoned rice dish that was once brought to Thailand by Chinese immigrants from Hainan Province. The whole thing is usually served with chili sauce and various other side dishes. Today the dish is considered the national dish of Singapore, but it is available across Southeast Asia. This is also the case in Thailand as Khao man kai on many maps. In Thailand, Hainanese Chicken Rice is traditionally served with cucumber slices, the chicken broth with daikon and sometimes a kind of blood pudding.

You can get the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Bangkok in the restaurants in Pratunam, but also in Yaowarat, or around the Bang Wa BTS station.

12.Eating in Thailand: Pad Krapao - minced meat with holy basil

Pad Krapao is another classic and is also considered the national dish of Thailand. The meat dish with Krapao, Holy basil, you can get it everywhere. The slightly peppery Krapao basil gives the dish its typical taste. As far as the meat is concerned, you have a free choice. The dish is often served with minced pork, but also with minced beef or with more or less coarsely minced chicken. Pad Krapao is not for the faint of heart, the dish comes with a lot of chili. The icing on the cake is the fried egg, which takes a little of the heat.

You can find a recipe for Pad Krapao here

13.Eating in Thailand: Pad Pak Bung - Fried water spinach

You won't find Pad Pak Bung on very few cards in Thai food stalls, most of the time the menu says Fried Morning Glory: water spinach that is fried with chillies and garlic. Sounds banal, but it's super delicious and one of my favorite vegetable dishes in Thailand. You can eat water spinach as a single dish or as a side dish.

You can get very tasty Fried Morning Glory at, for example T&K Seafood on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok's Chinatown.

14.Eating in Thailand: Pad See Ew - Fried noodles with meat

Pad See Ew is a noodle dish similar to Pad Thai. However, you can feel the Chinese influence in the noodle dish. The seasoning sauce is made exclusively from soy sauce. It is no wonder that the dish literally also means fried in soy sauce. Thick rice noodles are fried in a wok with garlic, egg, Chinese cabbage and meat of your choice in soy sauce. A simple but delicious pasta dish!

15.Eating in Thailand: Hor Mok Pla - Thai Curry Fish Pudding

Hor Mok Pla is a kind of fish pudding, which is cooked in a banana leaf and served on top with a little coconut cream, red chillies and kaffir lime leaves. You can find delicious Hor Mok Pla at the Maeklong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram.

16.Eating in Thailand: Pla Pao - grilled fish in a salt crust

For me, the Thai way of preparing fish is one of the most delicious ever. Whole fish, often tilapia or red snapper, are filled with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and then coated with a thick layer of salt. This keeps the fish nice and juicy while grilling, and the aromas inside the fish. In Thailand, a garlic-chili sauce is always used with grilled fish Nam Jim that goes perfectly with the fish. Delicious pla pao is available at the Krabi Weekend Night Market.

17.Eating in Thailand: Gaeng Kiaw Wan - Green Curry

The green Thai curry is certainly one of the most famous and popular curries from Thailand.

You can choose to cook chicken, pork or beef in the green curry coconut soup. There are also vegetables and Thai basil and the dish is served with rice. In contrast, seafood is rarely found in green curries. I have the best green curry ever in My café eaten in Koh Samui.

18.Eating in Thailand: Pad Prik Gaeng - red curry

Pad Prik Gaeng is a spicy red curry in which the meat is seared in the curry paste. The curry is usually refined with snake beans and kaffir lime leaves. Rice is of course also served with this curry. The red curry is a simple dish that you will find on the menu of almost every cookery stall. Here you can find the recipe to cook the Thai dish at home.

19.Eating in Thailand: Gaeng Panaeng - Panang Curry

Gaeng Panaeng is an absolute classic in Thai cuisine. Pork, chicken, beef or prawns can be added to the rich aromatic hot Panaeng curry sauce for this dish. Add a little vegetables and kaffir lime leaves and the curry is ready. Compared to the other Thai curries, the Panang Curry comes with very little sauce and it is rather creamy.

I have excellent panang curry in the cooking class from Mon on Koh Lanta and in Klapa Klum eaten on Koh Lanta.

20.Eating in Thailand: Gaeng Massaman - Massaman Curry

Gaeng Massaman, Massaman Curry, is traditionally mainly eaten in southern Thailand. Although central Thailand claims that the court originated there. Either way, Indian influences can be clearly seen in this dish. In Thailand, in contrast to India, they do not cook with ground spices, but use curry pastes and the production of this paste is really an art in itself. The paste is also not fried in fat, but rather boiled in coconut milk. In any case, Rama II loved the dish so much that he wrote a poem about it, or about the cook of the dish. Every child in Thailand knows this today.

You can find a recipe for a delicious Massaman Curry from Koh Samui here

21.Eating in Thailand: Jae Aun Bua Loy Nam Khing - ginger soup with sesame dumplings

For more than 20 years, Jae Aun and her colleagues have been cooking dumplings, one of the most typical desserts in China, in Bangkok's Chinatown. The small dumplings made from sticky rice have a delicious black sesame filling and are traditionally served in a hot, spicy ginger broth. Sometimes you can order the dumplings with sweet condensed milk instead of broth, which is too sweet for me personally.

22.Eating in Thailand: Khanom Krok - rice and coconut cakes

Khanom Krok, sweet little cakes made from coconut cream and rice flour are traditionally baked on charcoal in a special pan, similar to a poffertjes pan. Often spring onions, sweet corn or taro are added as a topping, which gives the sweet cakes a somewhat hearty note. Khanom Krok are also available without topping. With or without a topping, Khanom Krok should always be eaten hot and fresh, then they are best.

Traditionally, Thai people often eat Khanom Krok for breakfast. I think you can actually eat the sweet snacks all day long. In any case, Khanom Krok are my absolutely favorite dessert in Thailand.

23.Eating in Thailand: Khao Niau Ma Muang - Sticky Rice with Mango

Mango Sticky Rice is by far the most delicious and well-known dessert from Thailand. You can find it in almost every restaurant, cookshop and night market in the country. The Mango Sticky Rice is made from sticky rice with coconut milk and lots of sugar. The sticky rice is served with half a mango and coconut milk.

You can find a recipe for Mango Sticky Rice here

24.Eating in Thailand: Itim Kati - Thai coconut ice cream

Thai ice cream (itim) is much lighter and less creamy than Italian gelato, but a lot sweeter. You can find ice cream in countless exotic flavors such as jackfruit, Thai tea, mango or coconut ice cream, which is my personal favorite. The coconut ice cream is usually served in half a coconut. As a topping, you can choose between sweet corn, peanuts, pumpkin or black beans. The best Itim Kati is on Chatuchak Market in Bangkok.

25.Eating in Thailand: Kanom Babin - Coconut Pancakes

Kanom Babin are delicious little coconut pancakes made from (of course!) Desiccated coconut, maranta starch (arrowroot flour) and sticky rice flour. The pancakes are baked on the charcoal grill until they are lightly crispy on both sides. They taste best fresh and hot as a snack in between meals or as a dessert. You can find some Kanom Babin food stalls on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok's Chinatown.

26.Eating in Thailand: Khanom Buang - Crispy pancakes with coconut cream and egg yolk

Khanom Buang were made in Thailand as early as 600 years ago. Production is still an absolute art today. The recipe is passed on from generation to generation and every family has its own secret recipe. Basically, a crispy pancake is first made from rice flour, which acts as a "container" for the coconut cream and the candied duck egg yolk (Foy Thong) serves. Often there are also dried persimmons on top. Sounds a bit strange, but it tastes super delicious! Incredibly delicious Khanom Buang can be found at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

27.Eating in Thailand: Sang Kaya Fug Tong - Pumpkin Coconut Pudding

Sang Kaya Fug Tong is a steamed pumpkin that is filled with a delicious, not too sweet coconut pudding. As soon as the pudding cream is set, the pumpkin is cut open and the pumpkin pudding sachets are served. A delicious and not too sweet dessert compared to other Thai desserts.

28.Eating in Thailand: Kanom Fak Thong - Thai Pumpkin Dessert

Kanom Fak Thong is also a typical Thai pumpkin dessert. The sticky and really sweet cream is made from a ripe fak thong pumpkin, coconut milk, tapioca flour, rice flour and of course a lot of sugar. The cream is filled into small dessert bowls called Thuai Talai and these are then placed in the pressure cooker, where the pumpkin cream is steamed.

Do you love Thai street food as much as I do? What is your favorite dish? I'm looking forward to your commentary!