Thai Popular Dishes are found all over the country in local restaurants. Thai cuisine is a simple yet clever combination hard to describe, of Eastern and Western influences where sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavours work together to make each dish come alive and so unique. Thai food varies depending upon the area or region and involves stewing and baking, or grilling. It is highly recommended to ask for a milder version if anything you request to have is too spicy. Don’t let the spiciness scare you off…in the end, it is all worth it. However, whether it be juicy pieces of grilled pork or a stick or a fiery bowl of ‘Tom Yum’ soup, we all have to start from somewhere. So, here’s a list of Thai popular dishes you will love to taste when visiting this beautiful country.

Tom Yum Gung Soup

A spicy soup that can burn the roof of your mouth off. It has the quintessential Thai aroma. A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chilly, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce shapes this classic soup, giving it its legendary herbal kick. Succulent fresh prawns and straw mushrooms lend it body. It is a versatile dish that can fit into virtually any meal, the distinctive smell reminds you of exotic perfume, while its invigorating sour-spicy-hot taste just screams ‘Thailand’. This soup truly unifies a host of favourite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet, all in one bowl. This is an authentic Thai delicacy that many locals are passionate about and which has spread around the world.

Thai Popular Dishes

Som Tum

It’s hard to miss the som tam carts all over Bangkok. The sweet, salty, and spicy flavours paired with the crisp crunch of the green papaya and sticky rice is utterly luscious. Many variations are available including one made with crab (som tam boo) and one made with fermented fish sauce (som tam plah lah). The green papaya salad is a very popular Northeastern food. The two most popular types of green papaya salad have either dried shrimp or salted crab. The green papaya salad with salted crab is called som tum pooh and is greatly distinctive. Garlic, chillies, green beans, cherry tomatoes and shredded raw papaya get dramatically pulverized in a pestle and mortar, so releasing a rounded sweet-sour-spicy flavour that is not easily forgotten. Regional variations throw peanuts, dry shrimp or slated crab into the mix, the latter having a gut-cleansing talent that catches many newcomers by surprise! It is perhaps Thailand’s most famous salad.

Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)

This silky, aromatic soup is a complete meal in a bowl. It is a sweet, tame twist on tom yam goog and includes coconut milk with lemongrass, galangal ‘ginger’s Asian sister’ and chicken. On a table filled with delectable Thai dishes, this great soup stands out; your spoon will return to this bowl time and again.

Pad Thai Stir-fried rice noodles)

With an infinite number of variations Pad Thai is a diner-participation meal; with finishing touches of fish sauce, sugar, chilli powder and crushed peanuts to suit your taste. Usually, noodles are dressed up with tofu, bean sprouts, onion and the brilliant final touch.

Thai Popular Dishes

Gang Kheaw Wan (Green curry chicken)

Literally means ‘Sweet Green Curry’ is carefully cooked with fine sweet and light tasty spices. One of the most famous and sought after Thai dishes is Thai green curry. What makes this dish have animated colour is the green curry paste which makes it exciting to enjoy. Along with the proof from coconut milk, plenty of curries are added which creates the distinctive Thai food. It is usually prepared quite soupy so a plate of rice is necessary to sop up every intricate drop.

Kao Phad (Fried rice)

On first sight, Kao Phad appears to be little more than a big heap of rice. Augmented with your choice of meat, ‘shrimp and chicken being the most popular’ and egg, onion cilantro, garlic and tomatoes, this is rice with hidden secrets. Spice to taste with chilli sauce and enjoy.

Thai Popular Dishes

Jim Jum

A fantastic way to relax over dinner is to enjoy Jim Jum, served in a small clay pot filled with an outstanding porky aromatic broth sits on a bed of charcoal. The host brings an assortment of raw morning glory, cabbage, meats (usually pork and liver), beat eggs, glass noodles, and basil. The vegetables and meats are thrown into the pot to slowly boil into a nourishing and hearty soup.

Thai Popular Dishes

Pad See Ew

Flat ‘steaky’ noodles snake through the thick sauce, crisp greens and garlic galore – it’s no wonder this dish is a favourite Thai street food as well. It is cooked with eggs, chicken and bok choy. Doodles are darkened with a soy sauce that adds lots of flavour to the otherwise land noodles. As you try to pick them up on your fork, you usually get about half the dish too.

Kao Niew Moo Yang

Grilled pork skewers are to be found everywhere. In Silom near the Sala Daeng BTS station, take a stroll on Soi Convent where a fantastic street stall grills large skewers of juicy pork. Best to head there around lunch hour.

Thai Popular Dishes

Spring Rolls

There was no way not to include Spring Rolls on this list! We all love them and you can find them throughout the streets of main cities. They are ideal for a quick midday or late-night appetizer. Nothing can beat them –draped in sweet chilli sauce for sure! They are often freshly made and are done in a few minutes. Don’t forget about the taste, nothing is better than Thai spring rolls!

Bottom Line

If you want to know how good a Thai restaurant is, don’t look at the menu, the decor or even the prices. Look at the number of people inside. Let this be your quality indicator. Some dishes are world famous, others are more obscure, but they’re all worth trying, at least once. If you’ve got your own favourite that we missed, let us know in the comments box below. Some dishes are spicy while others give that feeling when it seems you are eating lava spicy! In this case, it is better to ask for a milder version and don’t let the spiciness scare you off.  This often heightens other flavours too, and in the long run, you’ll get used to spicier food. It might take you a few days filled with bathroom runs, but you’ll get there trust me, and in the end, it is all worth it…trust us!


Pad Thai is the best favourite of ours. What is yours?



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