Famed for its beautiful beaches and legendary full moon parties Thailand is also a foodie’s dream with a range of exotic flavours, fresh ingredients and street food surprises. Thai food is quick to cook yet has a richness and complexity of taste not found anywhere else. Tourists should seek out street vendors, market stalls and mall shacks where possible for the best and most authentic Thai food, Thailand is the place for amazing street food rather than fancy pants dining.
Thai dishes are often cooked quickly, on an extremely high heat meaning that even those with more sensitive constitutions can afford to be adventurous. Unlike some of its other Asian neighbours, Thai food is eaten with a fork and spoon, so no need to fear having to master chopsticks.
As you roam around Thailand here are a few dishes you should look out for:
A rich yet mild curry combining meat, potatoes and peanuts that has the most amazing aroma, normally served in bite size chunks with hearty portions of rice. Some of the best Massaman curry can be found in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai, a city that is said to have the best food in Thailand. When visiting this foodie paradise you should also try one of their renowned cookery schools to try and master your own curries.
Pad Thai is a stir fried noodle street food staple featuring tofu, eggs, fish sauce and bean sprouts, cooked on an extremely high heat that be served as a vegetarian dish or topped with chicken or prawns. It is a classic Thai dish that is best sampled on Bangkok’s vibrant and eclectic Khoa San Road, a crowed hub of street vendors serving some of the cheapest and tastiest Pad Thai going. Whilst visiting Khoa San Road, you may as well pick up obligatory-yet-hideous tie dye t-shirt from one of the many market stalls that line the streets.
Tom Yum is a fiercely flavourful hot and sour Thai soup that can also be found across Asia. This aromatic broth blends a perfect balance of ingredients including lemongrass, fish sauce, lime, chili, vegetables and is commonly served with shrimp. It’s a dish of bold flavours that feels tangy yet nourishing. The finest Tom Yum can be found in the popular and large island of Phuket, sample this spectacular soup in one of the many restaurants or beach resorts that can be found here.
Described as ‘a sort of Thai salad’ this dish normally combines fresh hers with meat or seafood covered with a spicy dressing. There are many variations on this popular dish including glass noodles paired with beef, yam with fried egg, or yam with minced pork, so there is a yam out there to suit all tastes. The most delicious yam can be yummed up in the bustling night market in the notorious party town of Pattaya, on Thailand’s east coast. This is a place that comes alive at night, with street food, flashing neon lights and party bars all around, so prepare for a full on assault on all your senses whilst you seek out the best foodie spots.
This is the ultimate in Thai comfort food, this dish features tender chicken, stir fried veggies, oyster sauce, sugar and crunchy cashew nuts, this is a tangy and extremely satisfying dish. Popular in Thailand and well known in the western world, this is very much a firm favourite of Thai cuisine and should be accessible to even the fussiest of eaters. Fantastic Cashew Chicken can be found on the white sandy island of Ko Pha Ngan. Known for raucous full moons parties, this island also features quirky beach front restaurants serving the freshest of dishes, with the most pristine of views.
What’s your favourite thai dish? Let me know in the comments below.