Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world with over 40 million tourists each year. Your Thailand tour won’t be complete without a taste of its well-known dishes and cuisine. Aside from being savory and healthy, Thai food is also an extraordinary blend of different textures and flavors as it mixes around the 5 fundamental flavors: spicy, sour, bitter, sweet and salty! Here, we introduce you to the 5 traditional dishes you should try in Thailand. You’ll be sure to leave the Land of Smiles with a happy tummy and will thrill your taste buds to the extreme when you try these popular dishes.
- Pad Thai (Thai-Style Fried Noodles)
Pad Thai is on the menu of most restaurants in Thailand. It’s a signature dish in Thailand that’s available from the street stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants. It comprises rice noodles, stir-fried with fresh prawns or chicken, egg, tasty tofu cubes, onion, crunchy bean sprouts, green chives and grated peanuts. These ingredients are followed by some other seasonings like fish sauce, sugar and chili. A squeeze of lime juice to perfect the dish and thrill every taste bud in your mouth.
- Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
This tangy and sweet dish is perfect for travelers! If you’re wondering, this Thai food is made of chicken strips, lemongrass, shallots, chili and lime that are cooked in coconut milk for a delicious meal. Adding Chili is optional for this dish. Spices such as kaffir lime leaves set the basic flavor of the Tom Kha Gai. Tender strips of chicken form the soup while creamy coconut milk is added and blends well with everything else. Tom Kha Gai could be the best Thai food for travelers who are not keen on chili dishes and could offer them the same quality taste of Thai food.
- Khow Nuaw Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice)
Mango sticky rice, known in Thai as Khow Nuaw Ma Muang, is one of the most popular Thai desserts. It is a traditional Thai food made with fresh mango, glutinous rice and coconut milk. End your meals on a sweet note with this delicious dessert! Indulge in fresh mango slices and a sticky rice drenched in condensed milk or coconut cream.
- Som Tum (Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad)
This delicious dish originated in northeastern Thailand. Som Tum’s main ingredient is shredded green papaya, which is mixed in the flavors of cherry tomatoes, garlic, green beans and ground chili. Sugar, lime, fish sauce and peanuts are also added for a sour, sweet and spicy flavor. Som Tum is usually eaten with sticky rice to complement the taste of the green papaya. Other versions of this dish include crab (Som Tum Boo), Salted Egg (Som Tum Khai Khem), and fermented fish (Som Tam Plah Lah).
- Gai Pad Med Ma Muang (Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nut and Dried Chili)
Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nut and Dried Chili, known in Thai as Gai Pad Med Ma Muang, is one of the famous stir-fried dishes in Thailand. It’s main ingredients are chicken breast and cashew nuts. Both are deep-fried before being mixed together with onions, shallots, chilies, and garlic. The ingredients work very well together giving a sweet, spicy, crispy and chewy taste.