Thai cuisine has some of the most delicious food in the world, reflecting the culture, environment and values of the country. When it comes to Thai food, intricacy and harmonious finishes come to mind. Some Thai dishes may surprise expats at first, such as the deep-fried grasshoppers, silkworms and termites available on street stalls, though certain Thai dishes are among some of the favourites in the world.
Finding authentic Thai cuisine can be difficult due to the culture of adaption and experimentation in cookery, but there are some Thai dishes that have stood the test of time due to their outstanding flavour combinations and attention to detail. Using all of the dynamic flavourings of spicy, sweet, salty, bitter and sour within their dishes, Thai cuisine is innovative and offers some of the best and most mouth-watering food in the world. Here are the top 5 authentic Thai foods to try when moving to Thailand.
Pad Thai is a simple stir-fried rice-noodle dish that is probably one of the most well-known and favourite examples of Thai cuisine world-wide. Prawns, shrimps and firm tofu are among the popular choices to add protein to this rice-noodle dish, adding a subtle savouriness. In 2011, this authentic dish was listed as number five on CNN Go’s ‘World’s 50 most delicious foods’ readers’ poll. The dish was made popular in Thailand during the 1940’s, and has since become one of Thailand’s national dishes.
Gaeng Keow Wan
Gaeng Keow Wan is a Thai green curry, often served in Western Culture with steamed jasmine rise, but more traditionally served in Thailand with fermented rice noodles. This curry mixes its sweet taste with a hint of heat from the chillies and salt from the fish sauce. Although unusual, this curry can be served with an Indian style flatbread known as roti and generally contains fish, meat or fish balls as its protein source. Thai green curry is one of the most well known authentic dishes worldwide.
Gai Haw Bai Toey
Gai Haw Bai Toey, also known as chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, is a common dish in Thai restaurants. Unfortunately, this dish is not often found in Western countries due to the difficulty that comes in the art of steaming the wrapped chicken to create grassy perfume on the chicken. Served with a delicious dipping sauce, this dish is an authentic Thai treat.
Meuk Kapi Prik Tai Dam
One of the more upmarket authentic Thai dishes is meuk kapi prik tai dam – squid fried with shrimp paste and black pepper. The flavours used in this dish combine to complement the flavour and texture of the squid rather than disguise it. The dish is salty and the course black pepper balances the flavour to provide one of the tastiest Thai dishes.
Pla Rad Prik
Thai crispy fish (pla rad prik) is surprisingly simple, yet the combination of the fried fish and the sweet, sour and spicy sauce that it is usually accompanied with gives the dish a delicious twist. It is served all over Thailand from local street stalls to upscale restaurants so you can be sure that when choosing pla rad prik, you are getting an authentic Thai dish.
After sampling these dishes, you’re sure to fall in love with the food Thailand has to offer. If you want to sample the delicious food that Thailand has on a permanent basis, or you’re looking for ways to settle into life abroad, then get in touch with our Bangkok office today.