Thailand has an abundance of yummy eats. From Southern Thailand’s curries to Northern Thailand’s papaya salads, you can find many different tastes that will cater to any foodie. Having been in Thailand for over a month, I got a good grasp of the cuisine and in this list I will go over my top 5 eats in Thailand!
1. Stir-fried Holy Basil (Pad Krapow)
Not the food that you think of Thai food but this is probably the most popular dish for Thais. You can find so many stalls and restaurants making these filled with locals.
Pad Krapow consists of meat such as pork, chicken, beef, and seafood stir fried with Thai holy basil and garlic. It is served with rice and maybe (should be) topped up with a fried egg. My favourite that I tried was the one with the roasted duck that you can find at Soi 6 Potchana in Bangkok. The dish is a bit more pricey as it came to 100 THB ($3.97 CAD). The more common chicken or pork in other places come around 60 THB ($2.38 CAD). It was worth it however, as the roast duck with the basil was really flavourful and goes so well with the egg. Make sure you add on some fish sauce with chillies if you want more of a kick!
2. Pad Thai
From stalls in the street to high end restaurants, you can count on this popular dish being on their menu. Rice noodles are stir-fried with eggs and tofu, and flavoured with tamarind, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar. A type of meat is usually served with it such as shrimp, crab, squid, or chicken. Condiments can be added such as red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts. These are really cheap eats as they can be found for as low as 25 THB ($0.99 CAD)!
The best one I tried was Pad Thai wrapped in egg which is called Pad Thai Haw Kai Goong Sot wat at Thipsamai Pad Thai in Bangkok. They open at 5 PM and you can expect long lines before they even open. I got there at 5:30 PM and the wait was over an hour long. I decided to get take away, as that was a lot quicker. The noodles were so flavourful, perfectly cooked and were complemented well with the jumbo prawns, egg, and garnishes. The portion size was a bit smaller than what I would like, as I could definitely have eaten two in one sitting. Due to its popularity and quality of this restaurant, they charge 90 THB ($3.57 CAD) for each plate.
3. Papaya Salad (Som tam)
Papaya salads are a type of Isaan food, which comes from the Northeast of Thailand. Som Tam is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. Sour lime, hot chili, salty, fish sauce, and palm sugar are then added. Other ingredients are added depending on the place and the type of salad requested. The ingredients are then mixed and pounded in a mortar. This salad packs a punch of flavours. So many things are going at once, the tanginess of the fish sauce and lime, the spiciness of the chilies, sweetness from the palm sugar, and the fresh crunch from the papayas. It is definitely a salad that you have never had before! Be careful if you can’t handle your spice, this is really spicy!
You can get the salad by itself for 60 THB ($2.38 CAD), but this is commonly eaten with sticky rice and grilled chicken, which I got at Som Tam Jay So in Bangkok. This whole meal which is more than enough for one came to 108 THB ($4.29 CAD)
7/11 are everywhere in Thailand. You can walk a few blocks in Bangkok and pass by dozens of stores. I have seen 7/11 stores right across from each other. Inside these stores, you can find toasties, which are different kinds of frozen cheese sandwiches which are then grilled at the counter. It makes a cheap eat as its only around 25 THB ($0.99 CAD). Being convenient and delicious makes it super popular among backpackers. They get even more popular after midnight as it makes a great snack after a night of drinking!
There are different kinds such as:
- Spinach & ham
- Chicken pizza
Just grab the sandwich of choice from the cold section, hand it to the counter worker, where they will toast it for you, and then enjoy!
You haven’t been to Thailand until you had a toastie!
5. Khao Soi
This soup dish is popular in Northern Thailand. This curry like soup consists of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, with your choice of meat. Garnishes such as pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, ground chillies are added to your liking. The soup is what makes this dish as the the coconut milk makes it delicious and creamy. The deep fried noodles add some crunch to the meal. The meat and noodles absorbs the curry and the pickled greens, lime and shallots bring in a sharp and pungent flavour.
You can find this dish all over Chiang Mai for around 60 THB ($2.38 CAD).
Other Thai eats I tried
- Thai spring rolls
- Spicy glass noodle salad
- Tom yum kun
- Green curry
- Penang curry
- Seafood salad
- Thai fried rice
- Mango sticky rice
- Massaman curry
- Oyster omelet
- Thai crepes
- Pad see ew
- Coconut-rice pancakes (Khanom khrok)
- Deep fried chicken and lemongrass
- Mini Thai Pineapple