tajskie jedzenie które warto spróbować w Tajlandii

What Thai Food to eat in Thailand

When you hear of Thai Food, do you think only of Phad Thai. Check out what's really best to eat in Thailand. I've put together a list of many classic and lesser-known dishes for tourists to help you choose and to explain what to expect from the foreign-sounding names.

Or are you travelling with a baby and you are worried that there won't be anything to feed him? I prepared a comprehensive post about baby food in Thailand too.

Railay in Thailand with kids
Food for kids in Thailand

See what you can give your child to eat in Thailand

How to eat Thai Food

When ordering Thai Food in Thailand, you will be given a spoon and a fork. The spoon is used to cut larger pieces and to scoop the food, held in the right hand. The fork, on the other hand, is used as an accompanying tool to put the food on the spoon. You can quickly get used to this. Chopsticks are mostly used to eat noodles in soups.

Dishes may already be put on top of rice, but very often rice is ordered separately, especially if it's a curry. Don't be surprised if you get rice with a fried egg. Such a combination is often seen at Pad Ga Prao, for example.

What to eat in Thailand. A list of Thai Food dishes worth trying

What to eat in Thailand? Pad Thai, of course

phad thai tajskie jedzenie

You will probably read everywhere that you have to try Pad Thai. Of course, you have to try the flagship dish that Thailand is famous for.

My experience with Pad Thai, however, is that only twice while eating this dish I understood what all the fuss was about. On the other occasions it was just, hmm, tasty but correct. Therefore, don't be discouraged if you don't get the best of it. Pad Thai that is done well is delicious.

Phad Thai is a rather safe option, as long as you don't season it yourself, the dish will be mild. The main ingredient is rice noodles (Sen Lek) stir-fried with tamarind sauce, tofu and, as standard, prawns. Separate side dishes include sprouts, chilli flakes, sugar (yes, that's no mistake), lime and peanuts

Allergy sufferers beware!

The dish is served with peanuts

Pad Ga Prao (Stir fried basil)

smazona tajska bazylia pad ga prao

This dish name is translated as fried Thai basil. And in reality, it's fried meat (minced or in chunks) with basil and, of course, lots of chilli peppers. The dish is served with rice and often with a fried egg. It is normally made in a spicy version, but rest assured, you can ask for a mild version, or no chilli at all. If you get your hands on a well-made Pad Ga Prao, you'll love this dish.

It is possible to come across the notation Ga Prow, Ga Praw or even Gra Paw. There are as many versions as menus :)))

Whole fried/grilled/steamed fish

ryba po tajsku

Versions of this dish are plentiful, the fish is served with different sauces and seasonings, and can be prepared whole or in pieces. The common thing is that the fish is perfectly cooked. I really recommend giving it a try.

Thai galangal soup Tom Khaa Gai

tajskie jedzenie tajska zupa tom kha
Tom Khaa Gai - homemade version

Tom Khaa soup is a galangal soup based on coconut milk. It is very often served with chicken. Can be creamy and mild, but can be very spicy too. 

I love this soup and I cook it often, just as our Thai nanny taught me. It can be eaten with rice, but at home I eat it most preferably with rice noodles (Sen Mii). The recipe for Tom Khaa Gai will appear one day on the blog , but you can already find it on my Instagram.

tajska zupa przepis
The best Tom Khaa Gai - the original recipe

Visit my instagram account to see how I cook Tom Khaa Gai

Thai Tom Yum Gung soup

tajska zupa tom yum kung
Tom Yum - homemade version

In Thai, Tom Yum means spicy soup and Gung means prawns. So Tom Yum is a spicy soup with prawns. The soup can be clear, or it can be creamed, but not with coconut milk, but with condensed unsweetened milk.

The dish is spicy (even hot), aromatic and slightly sour. It is eaten with rice. Tom Yum and Tom Khaa are often confused, which is not surprising as they use almost the same ingredients, except that there is no coconut milk in Tom Yum. They are also cooked a little differently.

Laab Muu Salad

tajska sałatka laab muu

A salad made of cooked (or fried) minced meat. Bizarre? Maybe a little. However, it is one of the more interesting Thai dishes originating from the Isaan region. An extremely aromatic and spicy dish. Yummy

Laab Muu is served with rice, fresh raw vegetables such as Thai aubergines, cabbage, cucumbers, long beans and herbs. 

Laab Muu Tod

laab muu tod

The name Laab Muu Tod refers to the spicy deep-fried meatballs. They are made with practically the same ingredients as Lab Muu Salad, except that shredded roasted sticky rice is added to the meat.

I love this dish, and most of all the homemade versions as taught to me by my native Isaan nanny. It is eaten just like Laab Muu Salad, with raw and fresh vegetables.

Spicy Salads: Som-O and Som Tam Salad

tajskie jedzenie sałatka z pomelo
Pomelo Salad

Som-O Salad is a full-flavoured pomelo salad that is delicious. It is sweet and sour and spicy. The pomelo gives it an unusual flavour. My favourite. I often make it at home.

Papaya Salad (Som Tam) is also a dish that originated in Isaan. The salad is very spicy, but it is worth trying because it is simply delicious. 

Allergy sufferers beware!

The dish is served with peanuts

Thai Khaaw Tom rice soup

tajskie jedzenie które trzeba spróbować

This is a typical breakfast dish, often served in hotels. Khaaw Tom is a mild soup with rice in chicken stock, served with tender, meaty meatballs and a variety of toppings to choose from: fried, browned garlic, chopped ginger, chilli powder, chilli in brine, coriander and chives. You can season according to your taste. The basic version is very good for children.

Other soups can also be found at breakfast time.

Glass Noodle Soup / Clear Chicken Soup

zupa z tofu

A mild and flavoursome soup with meatballs and egg tofu. Comes with or without noodles. Great for children.

Thai Omelet

tajski omlet street food

The Thai omelette is fluffy and flavourful and is served with rice. It was one of my staple breakfasts in Bangkok when I was running to work and bought a freshly made omelette on the way. It's filling for a long time and costs really little.

The mild version (you can ask for no chilli) is good for children. 

Juicy Khaaw Man Gai Chicken

A very simple yet tasty dish. Mild. Cooked but very moist chicken meat served with rice, fresh cucumber and a delicious sauce. Dobre dla dzieci!

What to eat in Thailand? Thai curry is a must

tajskie jedzenie które trzeba spróbować panang curry
Panang Curry

Thai curry is creamy and usually spicy or even hot. The curry can be with any meat, seafood or fish. 

The best Thai curry is considered to be Massaman Curry. It is a very substantial curry with potatoes and peanuts. My favourite curries are:

  • Yellow curry (Gaeng Garii) - contains potatoes, onions and sometimes cherry tomatoes
  • Green Curry (Gaeng Khiaw Waan) - you can find Thai aubergine and Thai basil in it
  • Panang Curry (Gaeng Pa Naeng) - it is intensely orange in colour, with a taste of lemongrass and kafir

 

Allergy sufferers beware!

The dish is served with peanuts

Pad See Ew

tajskie jedzenie pad see ew jak to się czyta

See Ew simply means soy sauce, Pad means fried. Pad See Ew are wide ribbons of rice noodles (Sen Yai) fried firmly with soy sauces. The plural is not accidental, the dish contains different types of soy sauce. Chopped Chinese Broccoli is always added to the dish.

Unfortunately, the Thai language transcription does not reflect the correct pronunciation of many words. The transcription used in Thailand on restaurant menus is adapted for English speakers. On the blog, I usually use the transcription that my Thai teacher uses, because it speaks to me the most. So it would be Pad Sii Eiw, but on the menu card you will most often encounter the notation Pad See Ew. The easiest way to remember the pronunciation is by associating that it reads like an English "See You".

Drunken Noodles, Pad Kee Mao

tajskie jedzenie drunken noodles
Pad Kee Mao by Jay Fai

It's made with the same noodle base as Pad See Ew, but is nonetheless spicy and has more toppings. I've had the best so far at the famous Jay Fai in Bangkok, with huge and perfectly done prawns.

A visit to Raan Jay Fai restaurant was an unforgettable experience for me. A street food legend, she is the protagonist of the Netflix series 'Street Food: Asia'. Her restaurant has a Michelin star. If you have the opportunity, it's worth going there. It is best to book a table in advance and to be prepared for high prices.

tajskie uliczne jedzenie Jay Fai
A true street food legend, Jay Fai

Chicken Satay (with sticky rice)

Satay is a grilled meat on a stick, in restaurants served with peanut sauce. If you buy satay on the street, you have the chance to eat it the way Thais eat it, with sticky rice (Khaaw Niaw, sticky rice). 

I must add that with satay it's similar to Pad Thai, not every satay knocks you off your feet, but when it's made well, it's hard to stop eating.

What to eat in the north of Thailand?

Khao Soi - a delicacy of the north

Kho Soi is a rich curry soup with noodles and chicken. Served with fried noodles, onions, lime and pickled mustard greens.

What to eat in Thailand - Thai desserts

Thais like to eat spicy, but they are also very passionate about sweet desserts. Below is a list of some of my favourite ones.

Bua Loy

Tajski deser bua loy z kokosem

Meaning a lotus floating on water, in practice it is small and colourful glutinous rice balls floating in sweet coconut milk flavoured with pandan leaves. Sometimes you can find a version served with coconut and egg. I had the best Bua Loy, exactly the version with egg and coconut, at The Beach Village Resport Hotel (Sam Roi Yod). It was excellent.

Mango Sticky Rice

tajskie jedzenie mango sticky rice

Another Thai classic. Fresh, sweet mango served with sticky rice and topped with a coconut sauce. The secret to this dish is the right rice and the way it is prepared. 

Despite the simple ingredients, it's hard to recreate its flavour to taste like Thailand. The recipe on the blog soon, but you can find it on my Instagram right now.

Kanom Tom

tajskie deser kanom tom

Double coconut balls, yum. Colourful glutinous rice flour balls with a sweet and salty coconut filling, topped with coconut shavings.

The balls are often coloured in different colours, with blue butterfly pea tea and pandanus commonly used as dyes.

Roti

Tajskie uliczne jedzenie roti

Roti is a Thai pancake served sweet or savoury with whatever you like. There are usually plenty of options to choose from. Must try, seriously!

Sticky rice in a banana leaf

Tajskie uliczne jedzenie, ryż kleisty z taro

If you see the little green wrappers, it's worth buying one or two to try. Inside the leaf is cooked glutinous rice and inside is a sweet taro filling.

Refreshments in Thailand

In Thailand, there is a wide variety of drinks, shakes, freshly squeezed juices, soda drinks, etc. Thais love cold and sweet drinks. I will only mention a few that are very distinctive.

Sweet and cold Thai Tea

Tajska herbata z lodem

Warning: milk Thai tea is addictive. You will recognise this tea by its colour (orange) and by its intense aroma. The tea is served with ice and tons of sweetened condensed milk. On holiday, they say calories don't count, so it's worth a try.

Butterfly pea tea/soda

Tajska herbata z niebieskich kwiatów
Butterfly pea tea

I can honestly warn you that the taste is not very unique, but if you order the butterfly pea drink you will be pleasantly surprised. This is because you will get a completely blue drink, which turns purple after adding lime juice.

I think the children will like it.

Fresh coconut

Fresh coconut

Coconuts in Thailand are delicious, cheap and easily accessible. They taste best when chilled and eaten in a beautiful setting. They are good for thirst-quenching in hot weather, hydrating and providing relief after a spicy meal.

At the local market you can find coconuts for 20 baht, in the tourist places, the price goes up, but on average it is 30-40 baht. In restaurants, prices range from 70 to 120 baht. 

What to eat in Thailand - tropical fruits

The choice of Thai fruit is very large. You can buy fruit peeled, and you can shop at stands and markets. However, many of the lesser-known fruits are seasonal and appear in specific months. Yet there is always plenty to choose from all year round.

It's best to try different fruits, even those that don't look inviting. I'm sure some can surprise you positively.

Have you had a chance to try any of the dishes? Or do you have a favourite of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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