Thai food, as exotic as it is, needs little to no introduction. Nowadays, you can find at least one Thai restaurant in most western towns. But, Thai food in Thailand itself is a whole new experience.
Of course, there are so many foods to taste in Thailand that you can be easily lost when the moment comes you need to chose and order. That’s why I made this list of my top 5 favorite Thai dishes to help you have the best meal choices when you visit Thailand (or a Thai restaurant):
1. PAD THAI (THAI STYLE FRIED NOODLES)
Pad Thai is definitely one of my favorite dishes in the world. It is a simple stir-fried rice-noodle dish that is probably one of the most well-known and favorite examples of Thai cuisine world-wide.
Prawns, shrimps and firm tofu are among the popular choices to add protein to this rice-noodle dish, adding a subtle savoriness. For me, it’s one of the best dishes on this planet. I can remember eating it in most of my meals throughout my travels in Thailand.
2. TOM YUM (SPICY SOUP)
Tom Yum is both hot and sour, and it’s one of the main signature dishes that defines Thai flavor. It is probably the most famous of Thai soups and is popular not only in Thailand but in Thai restaurants worldwide. It is a clear, sour soup flavored with fragrant lemon grass, fresh galangal root and kaffir lime leaf. It is perfectly complimented with rice on the side.
3. MASSAMAN CURRY
My fiance spoke so highly of Massaman curry during his time in Thailand. So, finally when we were in Bangkok together, he brought me to his favorite food shop and ordered the massaman curry. The moment I tasted it, I instantly fell in love with it. It is a unique type of curry amongst the various Thai curries because it is more like an Indian curry using mainly dried spices for seasoning. Chicken is the most popular meat in this curry in the West but beef, lamb or even mutton is more common in Thailand.
This curry is considered to be rather mild as the heat of the chilies are mellowed with the addition of the dried spices, coconut milk, onions, potatoes and peanuts.
4. MANGO STICKY RICE
Mango and sticky rice is a hot season favorite in Thailand and not to be missed. Mango season coincides with the hot season between April and May.
A bed of sticky rice is infused with sweetened coconut milk and topped with slices of freshly cut mango and sometimes sprinkled with toasted split mung beans (tua tong) to add a crunchy texture. You may also occasionally find a vendor offering other fruits with sticky rice in place of, or together with mango.
It’s slightly sweet and salty with just a hint of spice. The flavors of ginger, garlic, and turmeric are the standout stars of this dish, all of which have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Traditionally richer and creamier than other Thai curries, due to the addition of coconut cream as well as coconut milk, this curry gets its yellow color from the addition of turmeric powder and shrimp paste.
I hope this list gives you a nice start to enjoying some of the best foods on the planet!
Have you tried Thai food? What’s your favorite? What’s your top 5?