Thailand is a small country that forms a part of Southeast Asia along with Burma, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. All these countries are close-knit and are connected to a single peninsula. Like in every country, Thai food also represents the culture, politics, geography, and trade of the country. Thai politics takes a lot of influence from that of China and India and so does its food. However, you will find a distinct identity of Thai food that comes out from their dishes filled with flavor and taste. This article is all about some of the most mind-blowing dishes that you must try when in Thailand.
Best Thai Dishes to try
Check out the top Thai dishes you must taste:
- Guay Teow
Guay Teow is the name of any type of noodle soup that is available in Thailand. This is such a popular dish in the country that you are going to get it wherever you go. The soup is made of any meat such as pork, beef or chicken. Vegetarians have to sacrifice this as it is not available without meat. They add either egg noodles or rice noodles to it. Sellers will add meatballs or wontons to the soup most of the time. The best part about this soup is the topping condiments. They add some sugar, soy sauce, chili peppers, fish sauce, and lime juice. You can enjoy this soup at any time of the day. However, in Thailand, it is more of a late-night savior if you are hungry.
- Tom Yum Goong
This is a shrimp soup and one of the most iconic dishes that you will find in Thailand. This is a steaming delicacy that shouts boldness with its spicy taste. Tom Yum Goong is extremely aromatic and flavorful with so many traditional Thai ingredients. They add quintessential ingredients such as lemongrass, fish sauce, chili, lime juice, galangal, kaffier lime and galangal. Galangal is a species of ginger and the leaves of kaffier give it freshness. You can have Tom Yum Goong in two ways: the plain way or the creamy way with coconut cream. You will also find mushrooms along with fresh prawns in this bowl of deliciousness.
- Tom Kha Gai
This is a milder version of the previous Tom Yum Goong. The spice quotient in this steaming bowl is much lower. It is richer in coconut milk content and it is on the sweeter side. It is mainly for people who cannot tolerate high spice levels. Other than that, Tom Kha Gai has an equally delicious aroma and taste. This can be made with chicken or vegetables and can replace the poultry as per your choice.
- Som Tam
Now this one may seem to you like a jungle of flavors and ingredients. However, this is an extremely popular dish that you will find in Thailand. The origin of this spicy papaya salad goes back to Isaan in the northeastern part of Thailand. You can serve Som Tam in several ways but the most traditional version is one consisting of shredded papaya. They also add peanuts, runner beans, dry shrimp, tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, chilies, and lime juice. Add the peanuts and add more texture to the salads, and the fish sauce adds flavor and cuts through the acidity. A mortar and pestle are used to crush the ingredients coarsely. This releases the flavors and also helps to mix all the condiments.
- Yam Pla Dook Foo
Does that name sound like a tongue twister? Well, the dish is certainly not that complicated. The two words that can perfectly describe the dish are crispy and fluffy. To put it down more simply, Yam Pla Dook Foo is fried catfish served with a green mango salad. The fish cut down is smaller than bite-size pieces and batter-fried. The spicy, sour and sweet mango salad is so salivating that you will not be able to stop yourself. The salad is going to balance the grease and bring acidity and freshness to the dish. You should have it with drinks or as an appetizer.
- Yam Talay
It is a bowl of delicious seafood salad that you can count as a full meal. It is wholesome and also calorie-friendly when compared to the other dishes. There is no specific recipe and you can add to this whatever seafood you have available around you. for example, shrimps, crabmeat, mussels, squid and anything else. Along with the tasty seafood, they add onions and tomatoes to this. To make the salad into a full meal, you must add quite an amount of traditional Thai glass noodles.
Yet again Isaanese creation, Laab is a meat salad. The vegetarian version of this salad is made with mushrooms instead of meat. You can ask for pork, mushroom or chicken as a part of your protein choice. You must know that this is going to be very spicy and is not available in a milder version. The addition of gochujang chili is common in Asian cuisine including Thai dishes. This is one of the spiciest chilies available on earth. So, you can well imagine the spice quotient.
- Pad Thai
You were surely waiting for this one, right? No list of Thai delicacies can be complete without their delicious Pad Thai. It is one of the national dishes of the country and justifies every bite of it! You get Pad Thai in every nook and corner of Thailand and you get several versions of it too. You can try the vegetarian or the non-vegetarian one. It is a fried noodle dish with lots of shrimp and chicken in it. Along with that, there are greens and sauces added to it. It is a perfect example of how aromatic, saucy and yet fresh, Thai food can be.
Asia is a land of diversity. So many countries and so many different people. Several types of languages, clothing and especially the diversity in their cuisine. Thailand stands out as one of the gastronomic wonders of Asia and you must visit the country to know more.