In 2009, I landed in Thailand with little more than an empty stomach and a passion for food.
It didn’t take long before I became wholly obsessed with Thai gastronomy of all forms, kindled daily by fiery spice, intoxicating aromas, and the Thai culture that revolves around every bite.
This list of 100 delicious Thai dishes sums up what I love to do most – eat and take photos of food. I hope it can be useful and inspirational to anyone visiting Thailand and looking to take advantage of the most exceptional Thai dishes!
This list does NOT include the everlasting selection of Thai snacks and sweets. Check out my other ultimate Thai desserts guide if you are looking for Thai sweets.
Note: Many Thai dishes can be ordered with chicken (gai) or pork (moo) interchanged as well as with all kinds of vegetable variations. Most dishes can be tweaked to personal satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Don’t forget to check out the Eating Thai Food Guide for an all-inclusive guide to ordering amazing Thai meals!
asterixed* dishes are my personal recommendations!
*1. Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Thai Soup w/ Shrimp) ต้มยำกุ้ง
Tom yum goong could be considered the ultimate flavor of Thailand. Shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, onions, and a host of other lively ingredients and herbs are boiled together to create the magical taste of the soup!
The clear version is known as tom yum nam sai (ต้มยำน้ำใส), while the creamy version is known as tom yum nam kon (ต้มยำน้ำข้น).
There are countless different variations and ways to make the sour spicy soup, but I particularly like it with either shrimp or mixed seafood.
If you cook, check out my easy tom yum goong recipe!
*2. Gaeng Som (Sour Soup) แกงส้ม
Gaeng som translates to sour soup – but throughout Thailand there are a number of different variations and styles.
In Bangkok when you order gaeng som, it’s often a reddish sweet and sour soup including shrimp. But in the south of Thailand, gaeng som is a staple soup that’s laced with chillies and seasoned with turmeric and enjoyed with almost every meal.
The soup is made of ground chillies, fresh turmeric root and lots of garlic. The result is a fiery broth that will excite your taste buds with every slurp!
3. Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Galangal Soup) ต้มข่าไก่
Tom Kha Gai is a famous Thai chicken and galangal soup that’s eaten more like a curry than a soup.
A variety of mushrooms, pieces of chicken, sometimes blood jelly, and lots of coconut milk to make the soup extremely rich, are the fundamental ingredients.
The soup is slightly sour from the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves while the sprigs of cilantro add a fantastic freshness and the galangal gives it a lovely earthy spice.
4. Tom Saap (Isaan Soup) ต้มแซบ
While tom yum goong is popular throughout most of Thailand, tom saap is more of the signature soup of Isaan.
The broth is normally a fusion of boiled pork or fish combined with galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Additional ingredients include spring onions, mushrooms and the always present Thai red chili peppers.
Tam saap is the soup that makes any full Isaan meal complete!
5. Soup Neua (Beef Soup) ซุปเนื้อ
Beef isn’t all that common in Thailand unless you’re in the south of the country where there’s a higher percentage of Muslims who eat beef rather than pork (like the majority of the country).
Soup neua is a southern soup that consists of beef boiled until tender and combined with loads of chillies, lime juice and garnished with onions. The broth is extremely beefy and absolutely comforting!
6. Tom Jap Chai (Boiled Vegetable Soup) ต้มจับฉ่าย
Tom jap chai is a Chinese based vegetable soup prepared by slow boiling cabbage and mustard greens (or any other leafy greens of choice) for hours until the vegetables become very soft and nearly disintegrate into the soup.
As common in many Thai dishes, the usage of pork in the broth (or chicken) gives the soup its ultimate meaty flavor. Tam jap chai is not at all spicy, but offers great flavor from the long cooking mingle of vegetables and meat.
*7. Gaeng Tai Pla (Fish Kidney Curry) แกงไตปลา
One of the most comforting dishes of southern Thai cuisine is known as gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา).
The Thai stew is composed of grilled fish and fish kidney to create a marvelously salty and fiery hot blend. Chunks of bamboo shoots, carrots and long beans are also added to make the stew hearty.
It may be an acquired taste, but I absolutely love this dish!
*8. Khanom Jeen Nam Ya Kati (Coconut Milk Curry w/ Rice Noodles) ขนมจีนน้ำยากะทิ
Coconut milk is a prized ingredient in Thai cooking and there’s no better way to enjoy it than within a curry.
Khanom jeen is the name for soft rice noodles that are ever so slightly fermented. They can be compared to really soft spaghetti noodles, but made from rice.
Nam ya is coconut curry often made with fish, served over the soft rice noodes, and topped with a variety of fresh raw veggies. It’s a miraculous combination.
Check out my video of eating (and serving) khanom jeen!
9. Geang Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken) แกงเขียวหวานไก่
Thai green curry is one of the most well known Thai dishes throughout the world. The rich coconut milk base paired with chunks of chicken, round Thai eggplant, and chillies, is a recipe for ultimate culinary comfort!
Grab a plate of freshly steamed rice and green curry will surely be satisfying.
10. Gaeng Hanglay (Thai Hanglay Curry) แกงฮังเล
Gaeng Hanglay is one of the most well known Thai dishes that originates from northern Thailand. The chili paste base includes garlic, chillies, shallots, and shrimp paste.
Pork is then simmered in the curry paste until it becomes fall apart tender and bursting with flavor. Gaeng Hanglay sometimes includes pickled garlic and roasted peanuts.
11. Hor Mok Ma Prow Awn* (Seafood Curry in Coconut) ห่อหมกมะพร้าวอ่อน
Hor mok is an assortment of mixed seafood cooked with coconut cream and pieces of coconut flesh before being loaded into a young coconut to be served. The dish is slightly sweet fromt the coconut but absolutely scrumptious.
A far as Thai dishes go, hor mok ma plow awn is at the top of the list, something you shouldn’t miss when eating in Thailand!
*12. Panang Curry (Panang Curry) แพนง
Thai Panang Curry is a red brown colored dish that’s lightly sweet and flavored with coconut milk. The curry also has a nice nutty flavor. It’s not a soupy curry like Thai green curry, but just includes a little sauce to supplement your plate of rice.
The thing I enjoy most about a typical panang curry is the freshly sliced kaffir lime leaves thrown of top that give the dish a wonderful aroma and zesty touch.
*13. Pad Sataw (Stink Beans) ผัดสะตอ
Nearly all Thai dishes get me excited, but there’s nothing that makes my mouth drool like a plate of southern style pad sataw (also known as stink bean or bitter bean).
Despite “stink” being in the name, these little beans that grow like peas in a pod, are miraculously flavorful and their texture is just as pleasing.
Normally pad sataw is made with either shrimp or pork, but I’d be willing to eat stink beans in any shape, form, or style!
14. Massaman Gai (Chicken Peanut Curry) มัสมั่นไก่
Massaman chicken curry is especially famous for being a Thai Muslim dish that has flavor influences from Persia. A few of the familiar Arab flavors mixed with the coconut milk of Thailand and you’ve got what is an internationally acclaimed favorite!
Chicken and potatoes are the large ingredients in Thai massaman curry while the liquid is flavored with a wonderful nuttiness.
*15. Gai Pad Pongali (Thai Yellow Egg Curry w/ Chicken) ไก่ผัดผงกะหรี่
Rich and comforting is an understatement when you’re talking about Thai pongali curry.
The main flavoring spice is common yellow curry powder which is cooked with a meat of choice. The unique secret of the recipe is an egg that’s added to the dish to make it a thick eggy curry that tastes outstanding. A few chopped onions, chillies and celery make it complete.
Boo pad pongali, or crab pongali curry, is another highly prized version of this dish, available at all seafood restaurants throughout Bangkok.
16. Gaeng Neua (Beef Curry) แกงเนื้อ
Thai curries are fantastic, but something you don’t see to often is beef. And if you like beef, you’ll be excited to try this wonderful Thai style curry made with beef (instead of pork or chicken all the time).
Gaeng neua is more of a southern Thai dish due to more of a population that eats beef, however it is available selectively throughout Bangkok as well.
Along with strips of beef, tiny little pea eggplants are also commonly used in the dish.
17. Gaeng Jued (Vegetable Soup) แกงจืด
If you’re looking for more of a heathy Thai food, gaeng jued would be a good option. It’s basically a vegetable soup of carrots, cabbage, onions, pork, usually tofu, and glass noodles that is normally flavored with pork (but you can also order it as a vegetarian Thai food if you would like).
Gang Jued translated to English really means “plain soup,” and it’s one of the Thai dishes to eat in order to sooth the stomach or take a break from the highly flavorful repertoire of other Thai dishes.
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18. Gaeng Taypo (Fish Morning Glory Curry) แกงเทโพ
Dry salted fish, morning glory, and coconut milk, are the fundamental ingredients in a bowl of gaeng taypo.
The unique flavor is salted by the fish and the morning glory is cooked until withered and fall apart tender. The coconut milk brings all the flavors together into a harmonious Thai concoction that’s splendid with a plate of rice.
*19. Gaeng Kee Lek (Kassod Leaf Curry) แกงขี้เหล็ก
Thailand is a country known for its colors and variety of curry – green, red, yellow. Buy another popular Thai curry is made from the leaves of the Kassod Tree (thanks to Eating Asia figuring out the English name), known as gaeng kee lek.
The cooking process is quite extensive as the leaves themselves are bitter and tough, but after being cooked to death and conjoined with thick coconut milk, the curry develops a spectacular flavor – and I hear the kee lek leaves are pretty healthy too!
*20. Gaeng Om (Herbal Curry) แกงอ่อม
Gaeng om is a northern Thai herbaceous vegetable soup.
The complex flavor is a result of boiling either chicken or pork along with cabbage, long beans, toasted rice (khao klua), and a magnificent array of flavorful herbs, dill being the flavor that really dominates.
A bowl of geang om is fresh, soothing and delicious!
21. Joke (Rice Porridge) โจ๊ก
There’s not a huge selection of specific Thai breakfast dishes, but Joke is probably the most common.
Widely available in the morning, joke is the congee of Thailand, a rice soup cooked with pork broth to give it flavor. Many choose to eat joke with an egg in the middle and garnished with slices of ginger, spring onions and a dash of pepper.
22. Jim Jum (Soup Hot Pot) จิ้มจุ่ม
Jim jum is a classic hot pot relaxation meal. Similar to a ma la tang street cart, you get your own fresh vegetables and cook them in a clay pot full of broth placed right in the middle of your table.
Pork, eggs and mung bean noodles are also commonly ordered to supplement the vegetable soup and make it even tastier.
Eating jim jum is a great Bangkok street food dish to eat with friends, drink a couple beers and enjoy a leisure street side meal.
23. Moogata (Thai Barbecue) หมูกะทะ
Cheap street meat, and all-you-can-eat of it, is the only way to describe a Thai moogata feast. It’s similar to a Korean barbecue, yet on a less glamourous scale.
Though there are countless little moogata restaurants scattered throughout Bangkok, the official restaurants can be huge – often with hundreds of tables that accommodate thousands of eaters.
Quality is not always taken into much consideration, but quantity is! Nevertheless, eating moogata is a great experience and you get to grill as much meat and boil as many vegetables on your own personal grill as you can handle!
Price in Bangkok should be 100 – 150 THB per person.
24. Cha Om Kai (Thai Acacia Omelet) ชะอมไข่
Cha om is the name of tender acacia tree sprouts, and combined with eggs, they are the most important ingredient in this specialty omelet.
The acacia leaves give the omelet a very unique flavor and the crispiness on the outside makes it all the more tempting! Cha om kai is most frequently eaten inside gaeng som soup (sweet and sour soup) or just dipped into nam prik kaphi (shrimp paste chili sauce).
25. Hoy Tod (Oyster Omelet) หอยทอด
There are hardly any Thai dishes that will make you want to lick your plate (and fingers) clean more than a sizzling plate of street side hoy tod.
In Thai it’s called deep fried oysters, but in reality it’s more like a huge crunchy omelet filled with oysters.
The omelet is often placed on a bed of bean sprouts and topped with cilantro and pepper. Just like other Thai omelets, hoy tod tastes best with a little tomato sauce (sauce prik).
The fancier version of hoy tod known as aor suan, is served sizzling on a hot place and can be ordered at most seafood sit down restaurants throughout Bangkok. Check out Kuang Seafood restaurant or T & K Seafood in Yaowarat.
26. Hoy Kraeng (Blood Cockles) หอยแครง
Wildly popular on the streets of Bangkok, despite their reputation for causing the runs, are the shellfish hoy kraeng, also known as blood cockles.
As Bangkok Glutton explains, the red brown colored liquid that comes out after the cockles are cooked is reminiscent of blood, hence their name!
It’s not a Thai dish recommended for the weaker stomaches, but if you’re looking to jump right in to the heart of Bangkok street food, order up plate of hoy kraeng.
*27. Kai Jeow Moo Saap (Thai Pork Omelet) ไข่เจียวหมูสับ
It may be easy to prepare and not overly elaborate, but hold those thoughts until you taste a Thai style minced pork omelet! When I had my first one, I couldn’t believe it was so flavorful… and then I realized the magical powers of a little bit of pig flavoring!
Thai omelets are fried in lots of oil, so they aren’t the healthiest dish choice, but over a plate of rice and topped with a squeeze of tomato sauce (sauce prik), it’s one of the ultimate Thai comforts!
28. Kai Yad Sai (Stuffed Omelet) ไข่ยัดใส่
Stuffed omelets are not widely available in Thai cuisine, but you can find them at a selection of local street food restaurants.
The process begins with an egg that is fried thinly and stuffed with minced pork and a few random vegetables in a tangy sauce that reminds me of Sloppy Joe’s.
Tearing into the egg and sopping up the porky juices with a plate of rice is a great way to enjoy a super comfort dish.
29. Yam Kai Dao (Fried Egg Salad) ยำไข่ดาว
Yam kai dao is a Thai style fried egg salad. The eggs, which are in actually more deep fried than pan fried, are then sliced into bite sized pieces, mixed with wedges of tomato, onions and celery leaves and finally doused in lime juice and chillies.
The end result is a fresh salad mishmash that gets its flavor from the lime and takes on the richness of the egg yolks.
30. Khao Neow Moo Ping (Grilled Pork with Sticky Rice) ข้าวเหนียวหมูปิ้ง
Walking down the street in Thailand and need a little snack – khao neow moo ping will come to the rescue!
One cannot underestimate the powerful satisfaction of a few skewers of grilled pork alternated by bites of sticky rice from a plastic bag. Snacking is one of the best things to do in Bangkok, and there’s not a more iconic treat than grilled pork and sticky rice.
Thais enjoy the combo for breakfast, snack, lunch, or even dinner. The flavor of grilled meat and sticky rice just never gets old or boring!
*31. Sai Ooah (Northern Thai Sausage) ใส้อั่ว
Thai sausage is truly a marvelous thing and one of the top versions is Thai northern style sausage known as sai ooah. The minced pork is combined with a variety of distinct ingredients like garlic and lemongrass to give it a spicy lemony flavor.
Few things are more tantalizing than passing a This street food cart that’s grilling up a few coils of the luscious sausage. If you’re a pork lover, you’re absolutely going to love sai ooah.
32. Moo Satay (Pork Satay) หมูสเต๊ะ
Satay is a widely popular meaty snack throughout all of Southeast Asia. Though you can find chicken, pork is the dominant protein source in Thailand, and it’s generally more widely available.
The Thai version of moo satay consists of pork marinated in turmeric and coconut milk before being grilled with more coconut milk and served along with a side dipping peanut sauce and a few pickled cucumbers and red onions.
Moo satay is a snackers’ (and beer drinkers’) best friend!
*33. Kua Kling (Dry Curry) คั่วกลิ้ง
Curry is often thought of as a saucy spice filled dish – which most of the time would be correct. However, for kua kling, spice filled would be correct but it is the un-saucy definition of all curries.
A product of the genius of southern Thai cooking, kua kling is prepared with minced meat (normally pork or beef) that’s combined with a host of powerful spices and topped with diced chillies and fresh peppercorns.
The result of kua kling is a dish that boasts explosive flavor and extreme deliciousness.
34. Yam Kaw Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Neck Salad) ยำคอหมูย่าง
What could be better than tender grilled pork neck? The answer is no other than tender grilled pork neck mixed with a few other vibrant ingredients like chillies, onions, and lime juice.
This Isaan style meat salad goes wonderfully with sticky rice and som tam (green papaya salad).
35. Moo Dat Diew (Dried and Fried Pork) หมูแดดเดียว
The process of making moo dat diew first begins with drying and salting strips of pork in natural sun light. After the drying process is complete, the thin strips are normally deep fried to give the meat a final cook and pleasant crunch.
Moo dat diew is often available on menus at Thai restaurants, but it is far more common as a beer treat.
On the streets of Bangkok you can find moo dat diew strung on carts and it is normally served on sticks, already deep fried. Don’t forget to eat some sticky rice with it too!
36. Gai Tod (Fried Chicken) ไก่ทอด
There’s no secret about fried chicken, in Thailand people love it just as much as any other country in the world.
Fried chicken is available at anywhere from sit down restaurants to street stalls that offer fried chicken to go. To give fried chicken a little more of a unique Thai flavor, it’s often served with a sweet and sour, slightly spicy dipping sauce.
37. Gai Yang (Grilled Chicken) ไก่ย่าง
Just like fried chicken, grilled chicken is prevalent throughout all of Thailand. Forget about a hamburger and French fries combo meal and instead opt for the masterful pairing of sticky rice, papaya salad and grilled chicken – you won’t be disappointed!
You’ll find there are all parts of the chicken and a few different marinades on grilled chicken available in Thailand. A light soy sauce and sugary marinade is most common, but I especially enjoy the turmeric marinade.
38. Khao Ka Moo (Soy Sauce Pork) ข้าวขาหมู
If you’re a meat lover in Thailand, ka moo is a little gem that will surly make your mouth water.
Pork knuckles are boiled in an aromatic blend of soy sauce, sugar, and cinnamon five-spice, for hours and hours until the meat is fall apart tender and begging to be eaten.
Khao ka moo is served over rice and drizzled in pork broth.
*39. Khao Mok Gai (Rice and Chicken Biryani) ข้าวหมกไก่
Chicken biryani is a dish with fascinating history. It’s popular in places as far away as Iran and Zanzibar, and also common in Thailand where it’s known as khao mok gai.
The yellow curried rice is cooked with chicken broth so it’s oily and extremely flavorful. Khao mok gai in Thailand is served alongside a killer green sauce that’s sweet and sour.
If you’re in Bangkok, you shouldn’t miss the khao mok gai at Areesa Lote Dee where they also make a tasty version with beef or goat.
40. Khao Moo Daeng (Red Pork w/ Red Sauce) ข้าวหมูแดง
Red barbecued pork, originally from China (see Hong Kong street food), is also very popular in Thailand. One of the most common everyday dishes is khao moo daeng, a plate of rice topped with red barbecued pork, a few slices of Chinese sausage, and covered in the quintessential sweet red sauce.
Khao moo daeng is literally available on every street and at countless Bangkok street food stalls throughout the city. Though it’s way far out and hard to get to, I think this khao moo daeng restaurant is the best in Bangkok.
41. Khao Man Gai (Chicken and Rice) ข้าวมันไก่
I’ll be honest, a plate of khao man gai is not on my list of top Thai dishes, but despite my opinion, it is one of most popular neutral dishes in Thailand.
Originating from Hainan, the combination of boiled chicken over rice cooked with chicken fat has become famous throughout Asia. The trick lies within the sauce which holds the power to make or break the dish.
Also watch this khao man gai video, shot at a typical restaurant in bustling Bangkok.
42. Khao Pad Goong (Fried Rice) ข้าวผัดกุ้ง
Thai fried rice can be made with a variety of ingredients – whatever happens to be on hand. I particularly enjoy shrimp in my fried rice, but feel free to order it however you want.
The thing that elevates the flavor of Thai fried rice to culinary comforting levels is a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of Thai chillies in fish sauce.
Khao pad in Thailand is often considered one of the staple dishes that any local may order out of laziness, not having to pick different dish to eat!
*43. Nam Tok Moo (Grilled Pork w/ Dressing) น้ำตกหมู
As far as I’m concerned, any Thai food menu from Isaan is incomplete without a plate of nam tok.
Grilled pork is sliced up and cooked with crushed toasted rice, onions, and chillies. It’s then bathed in fish sauce and lime juice, making it one of the essential Thai dishes to be eaten with sticky rice.
*44. Larb Moo (Minced Pork Salad) ลาบหมู
Along with nam tok moo, larb moo is equally delightful and one of the more popular Thai dishes.
Minced pork is combined with lime juice, toasted rice (for crunch), onions and a selection of herbs. The sprigs of fresh mint on top of the dish give it a wonderful final touch. Larb is another favorite that should be eaten with all Isaan meals.
45. Khao Moo Tod Gratiem (Deep Fried Pork) ข้าวหมูทอดกระเทียม
Sometimes a dose of deep fried protein is a craving that needs to be fulfilled – and when the craving comes in Thailand, deep fried pork with garlic is never far away.
Often the fried pork in Thailand is cut in bite sized pieces and is nicely garlicky. The plate pictured above is a meal deal including fried pork and a fried egg over the top of a bed of rice.
46. Khao Pad Tom Yum (Tom Yum Fried Rice) ข้าวผัดต้มยำ
What could be more genius than taking Thailand’s most beloved hot and sour soup and frying the same flavors with rice?
Khao pad tom yum is a trendy Thai dish, popular with students and the younger generation, not so much at traditional restaurants or stalls.
Flavored with roasted prik pao chili sauce, kaffir lime leaves, thin slices of galangal and lemongrass, this is a glorious version of fried rice!
47. Khao Na Bpet ข้าวหน้าเป็ด
Duck is very commonly eaten in Thai cuisine and there are two main ways of cooking it. The first is known as bpet yang (roasted duck) and the second method is bpet paloe (boiled in soy sauce and Chinese five spice).
Different restaurants around Bangkok specialize in either type of duck, but normally not both kinds at the same restaurant. A few slice of duck and its precious skin served over a plate of rice and drizzled in duck juice is known as khao na bpet.
For a plate of boiled duck check out Goliang 2 restaurant and for roasted duck head to Ratchawat’s roasted duck restaurant. Also, just keep an eye out for ducks hanging in the window of any restaurant – you can’t miss them!
*48. Kkao Kluk Kaphi (Shrimp Paste Rice Salad) ข้าวคลุกกะปิ
Khao kluk kaphi is a Thai style mixed fragrant rice dish. Day old rice is stir fried with Thai shrimp paste to give it a subtle, not overpowering flavor.
The dish is then topped by a diverse range of exciting fresh ingredients like shredded green mango, sweet fried pork, red onions, a fried egg and a squeeze of sour lime.
I love khao kluk kaphi and think it is one of the Thai street food greatest hits.
*49. Pad Gra Pao Gai Kai Dao (Thai Basil Chicken and Fried Egg) ผัดกะเพราไก่ไข่ดาว
Pad gra pao didn’t become one of Thailand’s most significant day-to-day dishes for nothing – it’s a flavor you’ll surely cherish with your first bite!
Really, you can order stir fried Thai basil with just about any kind of meat your heart desires – shrimp, squid, chicken, pork, or tofu. Common practice is to order a fried egg on the side and sprinkle chili laced fish sauce on top.
The peppery taste of the seared basil, the salty chicken, and the runny egg yolk, make pad gra pao among the list of local Thai favorites.
Of all the things to do in Bangkok, a visit would not be complete without an order of pad gra pao!
50. Pad Phet Pla Duk Tod (Spicy Fried Catfish) ผัดเผ็ดปลาดุกทอด
Catfish and all the tasty Thai dishes that are made from it, make it one of the most commonly beloved fish in Thai cooking.
Though pad phet pla duk tod is swimming in a layer of oily grease, the tempting flavor makes it a crowd pleaser. The catfish is cut into small pieces before being deep fried through and through – not just to cook it, but to turn the entire piece of fish into almost a catfish potato chip.
The fish is finally stir fried in sweet chili sauce and garnished with slivers of kaffir lime leaves before being ready to dish up.
51. Pla Too Chuchee (Mackerel Curry) ปลาทูฉู่ฉี่
There are two main styles of cooking Thai chuchee curry, one includes coconut milk while the other doesn’t. The onc in the picture obviously includes coconut milk in the sauce, but both ways are delicious.
The curry is flavored with garlic, turmeric root and simmer kaffir lime leaves. Normally chuchee curry is made with mackerel fish and it’s common to be eaten as a khao rad gaeng (rice topped with a choice of different dishes) dish.
*52. Hoy Lai Prik Pao (Chili Fried Clams) หอยลายพริกเผา
Whenever I’m walking through a Bangkok market and get a whiff of sweet basil, I immediately think of hoy lai prik pao.
The dish consists of clams that are stir fried with an abundance of Thai roasted chili shallot paste (prik pao) and at the final moment of being cooked, a generous handful of sweet basil is tossed on top. The result is easily some of the tastiest clams you’ll ever eat!
53. Pla Duk Yang (Grilled Catfish) ปลาดุกย่าง
Roasted catfish are not pretty to look at, but thankfully they taste really good!
Slow smoked over a bed of charcoal, these gnarly creatures manage to soak up the flavor of smoke like a sponge.
Each bite of the catfish is almost like meat, flaky and extremely smoky. The chili dipping sauce provided makes a pla duk yang a welcomed addition to any Isaan meal!
*54. Larb Pla Duk (Catfish Salad) ลาบปลาดุก
I sometimes go through periods of Thai food addiction to certain dishes and my heart was on larb pla duk for at least a couple of months – and I would still rate it as one of my favorite Thai dishes.
Remember the smoked out catfish above? Well take one of those guys, debone it, and mix up the flesh with red onions, toasted rice, galangal, dried chillies and throw on some sprigs of mint and you’ve got a seriously mouthwatering dish.
You can find larb pla duk at this fantastic restaurant in Bangkok, but it’s widely available at nearly all som tam restaurants.
55. Pla Tod Rad Prik (Deep Fried Chili Fish) ปลาทอดราดพริก
One of the most beloved things to eat in Thailand is a fried fish smothered in signature sweet chili filled sauce.
The fish is crunchy on the outside and the sauce almost reminds me of a honey glaze on a roasted ham, it’s sweet and spicy. The contrast of the crunchy fish and the sauce is simply a marvelous thing as so many local eaters can testify to!
56. Pad Pla Keun Chai (Fish w/ Celery) ผัดปลาคึ่นฉ่าย
Sometimes the fish is deep fried before being stir fried and other times straight raw fish pieces are stir fried and combined to make the dish – whatever method the chef deems appropriate, it will be good! I love it either way.
Oyster sauce and young celery stalks are the fundamental ingredients of pad pla keun chai, giving it a Chinese food flavor and making it one of my ultimate comfort dishes.
*57. Pla Kapung Neung Manao (Steamed Lime Fish) ปลากะพงนึ่งมะนาว
One of the giants of Thai seafood dishes is pla kahpung neung manao, a steamed Asian seabass (barramundi) in sour lime sauce.
The steamed fish remains moist and fall apart tender while the sauce is sharply limey and pungently alive with sliced chillies and raw garlic. Healthy and massively flavorful, this is surely a dish to impress!
At seafood restaurants, this dish will even be brought to your table in a metal fish shaped dish with a candle lit on the bottom to keep it hot while you enjoy your meal!
58. Goong Pao (Grilled Shrimp) กุ้งเผา
Shrimp in my opinion is one of the great edible things on the planet. Living in Bangkok, I’m able to eat shrimp regularly without breaking the budget!
While shrimp are fantastic in a variety of Thai dishes, sometimes it’s nice just to eat them straight roasted over hot coals. Peel the shrimp, dip them in the garlicky sauce, and you’ve got a sensational bite!
59. Gaeng Som Pla Chon (Snake Head Fish with Sweet and Sour Soup) แกงส้มปลาช่อน
Take a snake head fish, deep fry the entire thing, and then plop it into a piping hot metal fish shaped bowl of sweet sour soup and you’ve got the making of gaeng som pla chon.
It’s often served with probably my favorite vegetable to eat in Thailand, pak grachet (water mimosa).
The crunchy fried fish paired with the hot and sour soup is another wonderful display of the essential tastes of sweet, sour, spicy and salty all married into a single Thai dish.
*60. Pla Chon Lui Suan (Snake Head Fish with Vegetables) ปลาช่อนลุยสวน
Snakehead fish is one of the most typical fish to eat in Bangkok and throughout Thailand. With its sharp teeth and ugly head, it’s not the most attractive of fish in the water, but it sure tastes wonderful.
In pla chon lui suan, the snakehead fish is steamed along with a bunch of different vegetables and then covered in a zesty sour massively garlicky sauce that bursts with flavor. The combination of fish and vegetables is hard to beat!
They make it really well at Som Tam Khun Gan in Bangkok.
*62. Pla Pao (Grilled Fish) ปลาเผา
Oh the joys of whole roasted fish over flaming embers served with dipping sauce – it’s heavenly!
It was prior to backpacking Southeast Asia that I had experimented a number of times grilling fish, only to have half of my fish end up stuck to the grill. It was hopeless.
But there’s a solution in Thailand , and that’s salt. Lots of it.
The fish is first stuffed full of lemongrass and then plastered in salt before being place on the grill. On low heat the salt protects the skin leaving the flesh moist and flaky.
*61. Pla Too Tod Cumin (Fried Mackerel with Turmeric) ปลาทูทอดขมิ้น
One of the favorite dishes of any khao gaeng (rice and curry) stand is little fried fish. I particularly drool at the thought of mackerel marinated in shredded turmeric root that’s then deep fried.
Pla too tad cumin is especially common in southern Thailand, a flavor that’s reminiscent of magnificent Malaysian street food. Extra toasted pieces of turmeric are sprinkled on top to really bring out the flavor.
*63. Yam Pla Duk Foo (Deep Fried Cat Fish Fluff) ยำปลาดุกฟู
I won’t lie to you, when I first had this dish, I was unimpressed. I understand eating deep fried things as snacks, but what could be so good about deep fried fluffiness as a dish during a meal?
Well the answer, like so many other Thai dishes, lies within the sauce.
The deep fried catfish essence is good, but it’s the sauce made with sour shreds of green mango, chillies, garlic and peanuts that really makes yam pla duk foo such a hit.
*64. Som Tam (Thai Green Papaya Salad) ส้มตำ
Along with a handful of curries and a few other select Thai dishes, green papaya salad has become ubiquitous with Thai cuisine across the world.
Shredded green papaya, tomatoes, and long beans form the bulk of the salad while dried shrimp, toasted peanuts and lots of red chillies add their own unique component.
The ingredients, rather than being mixed up, are pounded using a wooden mortar and pestle so the flavors truly blend together.
There are many different kinds of som tam eaten throughout Bangkok. Here are a few of the most common types:
- Som Tam Thai ส้มตำไทย – Normal green papaya salad dressed with lime juice and fish sauce.
- Som Tam Boo ส้มตำปู – Includes small fermented crabs
- Som Tam Pla Raa ส้มตำปลาร้า – Included Thailand’s famous fermented fish
- Som Tam Hoy Dong ส้มตำหอยดอง – Included fermented oysters
65. Yam Mamuang (Green Mango Salad) ยำมะม่วง
For a twist on Thai green papaya salad, it can be nice to order green mango salad, prepared in a very similar way.
Sharply sour green mangoes are shredded up and mingled with toasted peanuts and a dressing of fish sauce and lime juice to create a wonderfully refreshing healthy salad.
66. Som Tam Ponlamai (Spicy Fruit Salad) ส้มตำผลไม้
It may sound weird or even unappetizing, but wait until you give som tam ponlamai a taste before you come to any conclusions!
It’s the Thai version of fruit salad, an assortment of tropical fruit diced into cubes, pounded with fiery chillies and dressed in limey sweet dressing. The diverse mixture of flavors is an absolute thrill for the tongue!
What could be better than apples and guavas laced with chili?
67. Yam Het Kemthong (Needle Mushroom Salad) ยำเห็ดเข็มทอง
The chewiness of needle mushrooms is what makes this salad so delightful. Needle mushrooms are kind of like chewing on pieces of pork fat, except much much healthier!
Needle mushrooms are included in a few different kinds of Thai dishes, but I really enjoy them mixed into a salad along with fresh tomatoes, onions and celery.
68. Yam Takrai Goong Sot (Shrimp Lemongrass Salad) ยำตะไคร้กุ้งสด
Lemongrass is a common ingredient in Thai cooking, but most of the time the woody stalks are boiled to extract the lemony fragrance and discarded. However, if sliced very finely, lemongrass can be eaten without tearing your throat.
Yam takrai goong sot includes boiled shrimp, red onions, toasted cashew nuts and the all important slices of lemongrass. The variety of textures and sweet lemon aroma of the stalks create a marvelous mixture.
Eating lemongrass is also used in Gaeng Run Juan, a traditional Thai dish.
69. Fuktong Pad Kai (Pumpkin with Egg) ฟักทองผัดไข่
Before coming to Thailand I wasn’t all that fond of pumpkin. Apart from an annual slice of pumpkin pie on American Thanksgiving, pumpkin to me was useless.
But in Thailand, pumpkin is not only used in sweet Thai desserts, but it’s also the principal ingredient in a few salty dishes to be eaten with rice.
Pumpkin coconut curry is wonderful, but I really like pumpkin stir fried with egg. The pumpkin is cooked soft and the accompanying egg adds a subtle richness.
70. Tao Hoo Song Kreung (Mixed Vegetable Tofu) เต้าหู้ ทรงเครื่อง
Tofu is not nearly as common as it was where I visited in China, but there are some Thai dishes that use tofu as a secondary ingredient.
Tao hoo song kreung is a mixed tofu dish that included pieces of egg tofu, minced pork, and whatever bits of vegetables the chef decided to throw in.
Sometimes, like in the photo, the tofu is fried in oil separately before joining the other ingredients so it has that perfect crispiness on the outside, but is silky soft on the inside.
*71. Galam Blee Pad Kai Sai Moo Saap (Cabbage with Pork and Egg) กะหล่ำปลีผัดไข่ใส่หมูสับ
I didn’t believe it until a Thai friend of mine ordered this dish, saying it was something she enjoyed eating at her home as a child. I’m not one to argue about the dishes children take comfort in, so I was happy to sample it for the first time.
That very first plate has since turned into hundreds, if not thousands of devoured plates of cabbage fried with minced pork and egg. Cooked on high flame with lava hot oil, the cabbage remains crisp and not watery.
72. Gai Pad King (Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger) ไก่ผัดขิง
Chicken is stir fried in many variations and along with many different strong flavoring ingredients in Thailand. If you love the earthy spiciness of ginger, gai pad king is a Thai dish you need to eat.
Sometimes large quantities of ginger can be bitter, but in this dish, young ginger that’s been soaked in water is used. This allows the ginger to be a dominant ingredient yet remain almost sweet with just a hint of bitterness.
73. Pad Pak Ruam Mit (Stir Fried Vegetables) ผัดผักรวมมิตร
While Thai cuisine is often characterized by an abundance of ingredients flavored by the wonderful pig, one of the great things about Thai food is that it’s often not cooked until you order it!
This means that if you want plain stir fried vegetables, you can order it exactly the way you want, to your own personal specification.
Be sure to check out a copy of the Thai food guide.
*74. Gai Pad Prik Gaeng (Chicken Fried w/ Chili Paste) ไก่ผัดพริกแกง
To me this is one of the standard Thai dishes – something I keep coming back to lunch after lunch.
A few vegetables and some chicken fried up with red chili paste and flavored with basil and you’ve got a killer Bangkok $1 meal that will light your mouth on fire and make you yearn for more!
75. Pad Mala (Stir Fried Bitter Melon) ผักมะระ
Bitter melon (or bitter gourd) is something I grew up not overly fond of as it reminded me of choking on those dreaded chloroquine profilaxis pills when I lived in DR Congo.
But everything is “likeable” by getting yourself to eat it over and over until it finally just tastes good, and that’s how I began my love affair with bitter melon.
Now I find that bitterness is such a wonderful flavor that’s so neglected in much of Western cooking. Bitter melon stir fried with shrimp or stir fried with egg are both wonderful Thai dishes!
76. Pad Pak Bung Fai Daeng (Morning Glory) ผัดผักบุ้งไฟแดง
Vegetables are commonly eaten and widely available throughout all of Thailand, but no stir fried veggie dish is as popular as pad pak bung fai daeng.
The morning glory (also known as water spinach) makes the perfect accompanying dish to any well rounded Thai meal. The vegetable is scorched on high heat with oil at just the right temperature so it remains freshly crispy and salty with oyster sauce.
*77. Pad Yord Mala (Melon Leaves) ผัดยอดมะระ
Melon leaves happen to be one of my favorite vegetables to eat in Thailand.
The leaves and shoots are stir fried with oyster sauce and garlic so the dish is massively flavorful and the texture is slightly tough but tender at the same time.
78. Yam Makua Yao (Roasted Eggplant Salad) ยำมะเขือยาว
Eggplant is a very special thing.
From baba ghanoush to Sri Lankan brinjal, there are so many recipes from around the world that highlight the goodness of the gourd plant. One of my favorite ways to eat eggplant in Thailand is roasted and then mixed into a salad.
The salad also includes diced Thai red chillies, red onions and is doused in a fish sauce and lime juice dressing.
*79. Miang Pla Too (Vegetables, Noodles and Fried Mackerel) เมี่ยงปลาทู
A fried Mackerel, some khanom jeen fermented rice noodles, a selection of lettuce leaves and herbs, and a flaming hot bowl of special chili sauce makes miang pla too one of the most spectacular Thai dishes.
It’s a leisure meal in Thailand, something that should be eaten at a slow pace, not scarfed down in a hurry. The basic procedure is similar to making a taco – start with a piece of lettuce, fill it with rice noodles, herbs, a piece of fish, and finally smother it in sauce.
*80. Pad Pak Grachet (Water Mimosa) ผัดผักกระเฉด
Water mimosa is a vegetable I had never heard of or seen before living in Bangkok. Nowadays it’s on my menu as a dish I can’t resist eating at least a number of times per week.
The vegetable is stalky and quite chewy tough, but in my opinion the texture is what really makes it so delicious. Stir fried with chillies and garlic, pad pak gachet is lively and appetizing.
81. Khao Yam (Rice Salad) ข้าวยำ
Khao yam is sort of like fried rice, without the fried part.
The rice itself is mixed with a few spices and then topped with toasted coconut flakes, sliced long beans, bean sprouts, dried shrimp, chili powder and fragrant kaffir lime leaves.
As a southern Thai speciality, I really enjoy buying khao yam from the Krabi morning market.
82. Nam Prik Kaphi (Shrimp Paste Sauce w/ Vegetables) น้ำพริกกะปิ
Nam prik, translated as chili sauce, is a huge part of traditional Thai food (that often gets forgotten by the outside world). There are probably hundred of version of pounded chili sauces, each region of the country having their own speciality.
Nam prik kaphi is one type of chili sauce that’s commonly popular throughout all of Thailand. Fermented shrimp sauce pounded with lots of chillies and mixed with lime juice is the basic composure of the sauce.
Nam prik is normally eaten with fresh steamed vegetables of just on top of rice.
*83. Nam Prik Goong Sot (Shrimp Sauce) น้ำพริกกุ้งสด
Another variation of Thai chili dipping sauce is nam prik goong sot, a delicious mixture of shrimp paste, boiled shrimp, chillies and lime juice.
Get it from Nong Joke restaurant in Krabi, Thailand.
84. Pad Kee Mao Sen Yai (Drunken Noodles) ผัดขี้เมาเส้นใหญ่
Literally translated into English as “drunken noodles,” Thai pad kee mao is exactly what you want after a long night out. It’s greasy, it’s salty, it’s rich and above everything else, it’s extremely tasty!
Wide rice noodles are fried with a mixture of meat and assorted vegetables, salted generously, and delivered as a scrumptious mess of food ecstasy.
85. Pad See Ew (Wide Rice Noodles w/ Soy Sauce) ผัดซีอิ๊ว
Very similar to pad kee mao, pad see ew is yet another Thai fried rice noodles dishe. This version however, is a little more ingredient specific, often only including pork and a few pieces of Chinese broccoli or cabbage.
Pad see ew is darkened by dark soy sauce and it’s best enjoyed with a spoon full of chili flakes and vinegar.
*86. Kuay Teow Kua Gai (Rice Noodles w/ Chicken and Eggs) ก๋วยเตี๋ยวคั่วไก่
There are a few different kinds of Thai wide rice noodle dishes, but reigning superior in my opinion is kuay teow kua gai – wide rice noodles stir fried on low heat with pieces of chicken (or sometimes squid) and egg. The slightly crisp noodles and the scorched egg are a result of the slow cooking process.
There are plenty of local neighborhood spots to grab a plate of tasty kua gai, but an award winning plate is cooked by an old man down an alley in Yaowarat.
87. Pad Thai (Thai Fried Noodles) ผัดไทย
Pad Thai has taken the world by storm, a dish that has become synonymous with any discussion on Thai cuisine. Sweet, salty and nutty are a few of the recognizable flavors that make it such a hit.
I particularly enjoy a plate of pad thai that includes shrimp, but it can also be ordered plain, just sprinkled with bits of tofu and ground peanuts.
Pad Thai is available throughout Bangkok, served at both high end restaurants and falling apart street carts.
*88. Kuay Teow Lui Suan (Thai Spring Rolls with Herbs) ก๋วยเตี๋ยวลุยสวน
Rather than using rice paper as the wrapper, kuay teow lui suan actually uses wide rice noodles – making it more of a noodle roll than a spring roll. Nevertheless, it’s delicious!
Wide flat rice noodles are filled with a combination of lettuce leaves and herbs and either sausage, shrimp of even just tofu, and served alongside a bowl of green sweet chili sauce.
If you are in Bangkok, check out Baan Suan Pai for a delicious kuay teow lui suan… and it’s even vegetarian!
89. Goong Ob Woon Sen (Glass Noodles cooked with Shrimp and Soy Sauce) กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น
Goong ob woon sen is the agglomeration of clear mungbean noodles cooked in ginger with prawns. Hints of coriander and white pepper give it its signature taste.
90. Yam Woon Sen (Mungbean Noodle Salad) ยำวุ้นเส้น
Mungbean noodle salad is a highly popular dish for local Thais.
The foundation of the salad is clear mung bean noodles, but from there it can really include a variety of different ingredients like random bits of seafood, minced pork, immitation crab, tomatoes, celery, onions, and often it will even included Thai hot dogs.
The dressing is lime juice and sugar to give it a zesty bite!
91. Kuay Teow Gai (Chicken Noodles) ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่
Chicken noodles is one of the standard day to day dishes to eat in Thailand. The secret is in the soup, a cauldron of chicken and onions boiled until soft creating an aromatic chickeny broth.
Noodles are prepared in the same way as any other noodle stall, thrown in a little basket and flash dunked in boiling water for a few seconds until cooked through. Combine the noodles and soup, add a few scoops of chili flakes and toasted garlic, and you’ve got a fantastic light meal or afternoon snack.
92. Khao Soi (Northern Curry Noodles) ข้าวซอย
Khao soi is a northern Thai dish, with influences from Burmese flavors, that consists of flat egg noodles topped in rich coconut creamy curry.
The curry is a combination of coconut milk and masala, and is most commonly made with chicken or beef, though pork is also available at certain restaurants.
A good bowl of Khao Soi, like at Krua Kon Dee’s, includes sliced pickled mustard greens, red onions and a squeeze of lime!
93. Ba Mee Bpet (Egg Noodles w/ Duck) บะหมี่เป็ด
Fresh egg noodles topped with duck is equally as popular as rice topped with duck – both can be wonderful!
You can either order soup within the noodles or you can order it dry with soup on the side (ba mee bpet haeng).
Most restaurants that serve duck throughout Bangkok will likely served egg noodles as well.
*94. Suki Haeng (Dry Sukiyaki) สุกี้แห้ง
There are two distinguishable variation of sukiyaki (known as suki for short) in Thai cuisine: suki nam (soup) or suki haeng (dry style).
Suki nam may be better referred to as a Thai style hotpot – a pot of boiling soup where you add your own vegetables, mungbean noodles and meat, and cook it all in front of you.
Suki haeng, which I consider the tastier of the two versions, is the same mixture of vegetables and meat (or seafood) but instead of boiling it, the ingredients are stir fried.
95. Radna (Noodles with Gravy) ราดหน้า
Imagine a classic brown gravy, but instead of placing it over mashed potatoes, ladle it over noodles, and you’ve got Thai radna. The porky brown gravy is thick, sticky, and is normally supplemented with a scoop of vinegar and a spoon full of chili flakes.
Radna can be ordered with either wide rice noodles (sen yai radna เส้นใหญ่ราดหน้า) or thin angel hair rice noodles (sen mee radna เส้นหมี่ราดหน้า). I prefer the former version, though the photo is of angel hair noodles.
*96. Kuay Teow Reua (Thai Boat Noodles) ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ
Named “boat noodles” for their history of being served from vendors directly from boats, these specialty bowls of Thai noodles are a treasured culinary masterpiece cherished by nearly all Thais.
It’s the kind of dish that a mere mention of will spark a mouthwatering conversation with a Thai that will surely end up in a meal of boat noodles.
The goodness is in the broth, and the secret, a dab of pig blood. The hot soup mixed with pig blood creates a truly unique richness that’s so powerfully porky that it will have you addicted from your first bite!
97. Pad Mama (Fried Instant Noodles) ผัดมาม่า
Despite Thailand’s magnificent supply of street food, MSG-laden instant ramen noodles are just as popular as anywhere else in this world.
Mama is the brand that has the monopoly on instant noodles in Thailand and kids and adults alike crave these addictive salty noodles.
One of the favorite ways to eat Mama in Thailand is to stir fry them up with a few assorted veggies, assorted meat, and some extra salty seasoning.
98. Kuay Teow Tom Yum (Thai Sweet and Sour Soup Noodles) ก๋วยเตี๋ยวต้มยำ
Thai cuisine would not be complete without the mention of one of the most mainstream street side dishes, kuay teow tom yum. It’s available on nearly every corner of Bangkok, served from permanent restaurants, the back of motorcycles or makeshift stalls.
The soup is a sweet and sour, meaty medley that’s cooked somewhat plain so you can add as much chili flakes, vinegar or ground peanuts as you need in order to create a taste that’s balanced to perfection. Many Thais also enjoy a spoon of sugar on top of their noodles to sweeten things up.
99. Kuay Jab (Rice Noodle Rolls in Soup) ก๋วยจั๊บ
For kuay jab, the dry rice noodles are cut in trapezoid shaped pieces so they curl into rolls as soon as they are bathed in boiling water.
A standard bowl of kuay jab, which is especially famous at a few stalls in Yaowarat, is served with soup made from the tasty innards of the pig. Moo krob (crispy pork belly), slices of lungs, intestines, and blood jelly, are a few of the prized finds in any bowl of kuay jab!
100. Yen Ta Fo (Noodles in Pink Broth) เย็นตาโฟ
Yen ta fo, originally a Chinese style dish, is yet another popular form of noodles on the everlasting repertoire of Thai noodle dishes. The dish typically includes wide rice noodles, though you can order thinner rice noodles if you so desire.
Once again, the coveted flavor lies within the broth of the soup, which in yen ta fo’s case, happens to be bright pink!
The color of the soup is a result of fermented bean curd paste that gives the dish a sweet flavor and its explicitly pink color.
Thank you very much for taking a look at this list of 100 delicious Thai dishes and I truly hope it will give you ideas about exactly what to eat when you visit Thailand!
If you enjoyed this guide and would like more Thai food information and tips please consider getting a copy of the Eating Thai Food Guide – an eBook filled with over 3 years of Thai food information and photos on how to take advantage of the best Thai food!
– Mark Wiens
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