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[Thai Foods Guide] Dishes you should know and should try

If you are new to Thailand travel topics, or wondering what you can eat in your Thailand vacation, or maybe you want to try cooking Thai food and aren’t sure where to start. Maybe you’re just visiting a Thai restaurant for the first time and need to know what to order. This guide to Thai food is for you.

It’s a big misunderstanding thing to consider that Thai cuisine is always spicy. In fact, the culinary art of this country focuses on light, healthy, delicately fragrant and full of vegetables. But exactly what are considered as the superstars of Thai dishes? For any Thai food virgins out there stressing over what to eat in this part of the world, guess that we had better to start now:

Thai Soups

Not like the Western style, in which soup is a starter, Thai soups are served as part of the main meal. You can have either them only or with rice/ rice noodle on the side.  The two main soups you’ll find are Tom Ka ( or Tom Kha) and Tom Yam ( or Tom Yum).

Tom Ka/ Tom Kha

Tom Ka is a highly fragrant thin coconut soup. It can be totally spice and chili free, which is really suitable for children. But chilies are not the key factor of Tom Ka, the main ingredients are the galangal and lemon grass. Kafir lime leaves and fresh basil add more fragrance. Tom Ka often features delicious Asian mushrooms. It offers the gentle light flavor with lovely smell, and becomes even better if you are using it with rice. They go perfectly together!

Tom Yum

Tom Yum is a famous Thai dish, which is often referred to in English-language menus as ‘sour Thai soup’. The shrimp version – tom yam kung – is the most lauded, and justifiably so: the combination of fatty prawns and a tart/spicy soup result in an unusual but delicious and distinctly Thai amalgam. Tom yum is hot with chilies and sour with lime. It doesn’t normally contain coconut, the stock is almost clear sometimes.

Thai Fried Noodles

Pad Thai

Every traveler loves Pad Thai! The 1930s invented dish may be most famous food for tourists in Thailand.  With thin rice noodles stir-fried with egg, tofu and shrimp, and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, vinegar and dried chili, Pad Thai has subsequently reigned as the poster boy for Thai cuisine. The most perfect Pad Thai you can find is surprisingly not in any big or fancy restaurant, but stays right at the street vendors. The street is also the heart of Thai culinary art, for your interest.

Pad Siew

The fried fat noodle, with soy sauce and vegetables, with or without meat, is also in the favorite list of many foodaholics. Pad Siew offers a perfect look, which is the combination of many colors: yellow, orange, green, etc. and also a wonderful taste of fat, slippery fried rice noodles and kale, Chinese broccoli, or similar.

Thai Curries

It’s kind of interesting to know that curry is not simple… curry in Thailand. So please don’t be surprised when you order “Thai curry!” in your Thailand trip, then be asked by the waiter: “Which kinds?”.There are various types of Thai curry for your meal selection, distinguished by different textures and colors, and they are all coconut milk based. The eponymous colors of the curry come from the curry paste, all contain chilies and aromats. The curries all come with a choice of protein or straight vegetable. The main curries you will find are:

Green Curry

The green curry paste is green because of the green chili content. Green curry is normally sweeter than red curry. Fresh coriander, basil and kaffir lime leaf can enhance the paste’s greenness. Thai green curry almost always features various mini green aubergines, sometimes quartered, sometimes whole.

Red Curry

Thai red curry paste is made from fresh and dried red chilies.

Yellow Curry

Yellow curry is richer and creamier than red or green curries because of the coconut cream content. The yellow comes from fresh turmeric in the paste, making it slightly Indian-like.

Thai Fried Dishes

Khao Phat

For many Thai people, fried rice is comfort food. The variations are endless, and the dish is often the result of improvisation, but a staple of seafood restaurants across the country is the simple but delicious khao phat puu, rice fried with hearty chunks of crab and egg.

Kai Yang

Thai-style grilled chicken owes its fame to the people of the country’s northeast, who marinate the bird in a unique mixture of fish sauce, coriander root and garlic. Couple the bird with sticky rice and green papaya salad, and you have one of Thailand’s most legendary meals.