Yes, every single wonder you’ve heard about Thai cuisine is true. In fact, the compliments of your relatives and acquaintances probably fall short because, Thai food is really delicious! This Southeast Asian nation is one of those countries in the world where whatever you order, even if you order with your eyes closed, you’re going to get something great (99 percent of the time, there’s always an exception).
But what shouldn’t you stop trying when you travel to the land of smiles? Risky selection, not impossible. This is our must eat list, a dozen dishes and typical foods that you can’t miss if you visit this place. We warn you now: there could be at least 20 more things. These are only the most important ones for you to open your mouth. Bon appétit!
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The Thai pad in Thailand is like the paella in Spain: if you leave here without trying it, it is as if you have not been there. Now, it is almost impossible for you to leave without being able to take a pad thai because it is everywhere and, although its recipe varies from one area to another, it always has a base of noodles (a sort of rice spaghetti), soya and some serious seasoning (which can be meat, tofu, etc. Or just vegetables). It is usually sprinkled with nuts, almost always peanuts. The spicy one is served separately, there is nothing to fear.
We just said that the Thai pad has noodles, true, but there are a hundred thousand other varieties of noodles in Thailand. They go with everything so you’re going to find them. You can find them in soup, sautéed, transparent, with meat, with vegetables… Just go to the food stands and restaurants on the streets of Bangkok and they are super cheap: a dish costs one euro or less. They are tasty, no, the following.
But it is not only noodles that Thai men and women feed on (although they could). They also have a lot of fruits and vegetables. Papaya salad, tasty where it is found, is one of the best examples of how well the two products of the land combine. Before eating it, make sure you have a glass of water or a good portion of white rice, because if it is authentic, it will be spicy.
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Tom Yum Kung
Perhaps the most famous soup in Thailand. It’s got chicken, it’s got lime, it’s got mushrooms, it’s got garlic, it’s got soya and it’s got all the spices and seasonings you can think of. Even with everything it’s a pleasure to eat. First, because of the novel mixture of flavors (sweet, salty and spicy), second, because it is usually accompanied by a little hell to keep it from getting cold. In addition to being delicious and smelling great, it’s a show with fire, so let’s see what kind of soup that is!
Green and Red Curry chicken, beef or pork
What a delight, what a delight! Mind you, only suitable for spicy friends. The green or red curry is perfect to combine with chicken, beef or pork. Many restaurants serve it in a bowl as a soup, but the western palate likes it with rice. Sometimes it is included in the dish, sometimes you have to ask for it. Mix it all together or combine it, as you prefer. In the currys section, don’t miss the MASSAMAN CURRY either.
A specialty of the north of the country that in Chiang Mai they prepare divinely. It is, once again, a mixture of coconut milk soup, noodles, meat (usually chicken or beef) and a lot of seasoning, mostly vegetables and with a spicy aftertaste but not so much that you can throw fire in your mouth. Same thing, rebueno.
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If you like Moorish skewers, congratulations! Here you have almost everything. Meat, fish, squid… If something can be impaled in Thailand, it will be impaled. Even toast with butter and jam will be impaled! It’s the perfect snack, ideal to take away. If you want, you can soak it in hot sauce to go home warm (don’t be afraid, if you have a western face you have to ask for it to be spicy, otherwise they don’t add it by default). Although at first glance the food in the carts doesn’t look like the cleanest, the truth is that they are tasty for a while. If the Thai people buy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the street stalls, it will be for something. They get hooked.
Mango Sticky Rice
Imagine a very yellow and ripe mango, just right, with compact white rice without any additives or spices (the sticky rice) bathed in coconut milk (but not floating in coconut milk, coconut milk is like its sauce). You put the spoon in and… Mmm… Delicious. There are no words to describe this. You have to taste it. It’s by far the writer’s favorite dessert.
The healthy and not overheated alternative to the sticky rice mango is the fruit, if possible in season. It depends on when you travel, it will be time to eat one thing or another, many times products that you have not even heard of. It doesn’t matter, they are all delicious and fresh. Try the durion, the dragon fruit (that pink and green ball that is white inside with black dots), the mangoteens and the rambutans. If you prefer something more traditional there are also watermelons, papayas, pineapples, etc. They even have a take away version with a stick: you choose it, they peel it, cut it into small pieces and put it in a plastic bag so that you can eat it on the way.
Juices and smoothies
Or how about something shredded? Thai juices and smoothies are legendary and are perfect at any time or occasion. Same thing, the fruits are as fresh as you see on the counter where they are displayed. Sometimes you can mix several ingredients at no extra cost, sometimes you can add milk or condensed milk. But be sure to check out the price of each added item so you don’t get a surprise when you pay. And of course, a coconut! Don’t forget to drink a coconut, the perfect hybrid between juice and fruit, because first you drink the juice, and then you eat the fruit. Yummy, like everything in Thailand we go.
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If you’re preparing your escape to Thailand, read on:
- Travelling to Thailand: 8 tips to avoid problems
- 10 incredible islands in Thailand for a fantastic vacation
- Top 10 places in Thailand: Tigers, Temples and Muay Thai
- 8 tricks to save money in Southeast Asia
Do you like Thai food? Come on, cheer up and tell us what your favorite dish is… and what you have to try yes or no when you visit “the land of smiles”.