10 Mouthwatering Thai Food Choices

The cornerstone of culture in Thailand is Thai Food. With a nation that is famous for its sun-drenched tropical beaches, its stunning history and culture, ladyboys, and embracing hospitality, maybe the biggest Thai export is actually Thai cuisine. Whether its big-mouthed chefs like Gordan Ramsay waxing lyrical about Thai cuisine, or some know-it-all food critics, everyone has an opinion on Thai dishes


Check out these 10 mouthwatering Thai food choices with some tips on ingredients and spice levels!


#1 – Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

Thai Food: Tom Yam Goong. Thailand Event Guide

Thai food: Tom Yam Koong is one of the most popular Thai dishes. Thailand Event Guide

Nothing says I am a seafood god more than devouring a bowl of tonsil tickling Tom Yam Goong. For the laymen amongst us, that breaks down as Spicy Shrimp Soup. Although this dish is known as one of Thailand’s signatures dishes, it can be an acquired taste. Some love it and some hate it. It’s like the marmite of the Thai seafood world. This spicy shrimp soup is fragrant and tasty and simply must be tried for the first-timer in Thailand.


Main Ingredients: Shrimp, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai red chilies, oyster mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, white onions, fish sauce, lime juice, and cilantro.

Spicy Level: 3 (Lip-Burner)


#2 – Tom Kha Khai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)

If you are consuming Tom Yam Goong but find it a bit too spicy, the wimps’ option is usually Tom Kha Khai. This non-spicy chicken and coconut milk soup is delicious and easy to handle. This is something you can give your kids. So if you can’t handle the hotter stuff, this tasty soup dish is a nice, yet wimpier replacement for Tom Yam Goong. But nice nonetheless.


Main Ingredients: chicken, coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms

Spicy Level: 1 (Kindergarten)


#3 – Khao Pad (Fried Rice Thai Food Favorite)

Thai Fried Rice Dish

Thai fried rice is one of the most inoffensive Thai food dishes

Khao Pad is more commonly known as ‘fried rice’. Let’s be honest, you have tried fried rice in Chinese restaurants back home and it’s a very inoffensive and unthreatening dish. This is why so many visitors to Thailand are quick to sample this non-spicy Thai food special. As the name suggests, rice+oil+protein+wok+fry = fried rice. You can have this dish with any protein such as chicken, pork, crab, shrimp, mother-in-law, or anything else you can think of.


Main Ingredients: rice, egg, oil, proteins

Spicy Level: 1 (Kindergarten)


#4 – Pad Thai Noodles – Signature Thai Food

Pad Thai Noodles

Pad Thai noodles are the cornerstone of the Kingdom

Pad Thai is one of the most famous Thai food dishes in the world. This is apparently the Kingdom’s national and signature dish and we wouldn’t argue that with you. The dish contains any variety of Noodle types, crunchy beansprouts, egg, and onion. All fried together to create this simple yet delicious meal. It’s perfect for a foreign holidaymaker who cannot handle spicy food and can be found on almost every corner of the country. This is also an ideal dish for a vegetarian.


Main Ingredients: Noodle of any type, egg, beansprouts, garlic, sugar, onions, cilantro

Spicy Level: 1 (Kindergarten)


#5 – Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)

If you are an inferior human being when it comes to dealing with spicy food, you can always rely on Farang-favorite Thai food dishes such as Kai Med Ma Muang. This is more commonly known to foreigners as Chicken with Cashew Nuts. When a restaurant gets this dish right, it’s pretty awesome. Ironically enough, this dish was first inspired by American-Chinese flavors but is now served in most international-style Thai food restaurants. Using Chicken, cashew nuts, bell peppers, and chilies all stir-fried together, it will warm your tongue a little but is ultimately delicious.


Main Ingredients: chicken, cashew nuts, peppers, chilies, green onions

Spicy Level: 2 (Tongue-Tickler)


#6 – Pad Krapow Moo (Fried Basil and Pork)

If you are looking for something with a bit of a kick without disabling your body’s immune system, we would suggest Pad Krapow Moo. The dish is usually known to us as Fried Basil and Pork with Rice. It’s served on one plate and usually combines minced pork stir-fried with Thai basil and other sauces such as Soy and oyster sauce. It’s really tasty and could be a face-melter if they have put too many chilis in there. You can buy this at most Thai roadside restaurant shacks for 30-50 THB. It’s a very common dish with locals.


Main Ingredients: Minced pork, Thai basil, green bell peppers, chilis, oyster and soy sauce

Spicy Level: 3-4 (Between Lip-Burner and Face-Melter)


#7 – Gaeng Daeng (Thai Red Curry)

Thai Red Curry

Thai red curry is a spicy introduction to Thai cuisine

One of the most famous Thai cuisine dishes is a Thai Red Curry. Which is known locally as Gaeng Daeng (say that after 10 Singha beers). The dish is made with morsels of meat such as pork or chicken, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, chilis and much more. This amazingly fragrant curry is an explosion of flavors. Although when ordered by Thai people, the spiciness level can reach face-melter, they generally dumb down the spiciness for us aliens.


Main Ingredients: pork or chicken, coconut milk, Thai red chilis, onions, curry paste

Spicy Level: 4 (Face-Melter)


#8 – Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Thai Food Green Chicken Curry)

One of the standard Thai food dishes that people always want to try is the famous Thai Green Chicken Curry. The local name for the dish Gaeng Keow Wan Kai in Thailand. The ingredients are slices of chicken, small pieces of eggplant, coriander, bamboo shoots and sweet basil, coconut milk and green curry paste. This dish is the first introduction to Thai curries and is not so spicy. But you can feel a little bit of heat underneath the flavors. This is one of the most common curries with holidaymakers, but I don’t see so many Thai people consuming it. Maybe because it’s like Kindergarten food for them.


Main Ingredients: Chicken, green curry paste, eggplant, coriander, bamboo shoots, coconut milk

Spicy Level: 3 (Tongue-Tickler)


#9 – Massaman Curry –Thai Food Special

If you love to eat curry dishes but have problems with the spicier varieties, you will probably love Massaman Curry. This tasty dish originates in Malaysia and is Islamic in essence. That’s why you mainly find it uses chicken and beef, and definitely not pork. This mild Thai curry uses cardamom, cloves, star anise, nuts, cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin, nutmeg, lemongrass, and much more. The paste is then used as a base for this deliciously tasting curry. If you want to try a Thai curry that has a bit of bite but not too much, Massaman is a perfect choice.


Main Ingredients: Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cumin, bay leaves, nutmeg, mace, as dried chili peppers, coriander, lemongrass, galangal, white pepper, shrimp paste, garlic


Spicy Level: 3 (Tongue-Tickler)

#10 – Somtam (Green Papaya Salad)

Somtam Thai Salad

A Somtam Thai salad is easily one of the spiciest things known to man

Here we are at our final destination. There is nothing really beyond this dish other than another dimension that cannot be touched by our 5-sense reality. Reaching almost cataclysmic levels of spiciness, this bowel-twisting Thai food specialty is locally called Somtam but is known by us by the more popular name of Papaya Green Salad. This dish is the stuff of legends and of biological warfare. Ask the Kurds about it. First concocted in the Northeastern reaches of Thailand using nuclear thermal reactors and a knock-off version of the Halogen Collider from Kaosan Road.


This ultra-spicy number combines garlic, chives, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and raw Papaya that is shredded and pulverized into a substance that could level Addis Ababa. In some regions, they add peanuts, shrimp, and/or crabs. A health warning or industrial-sized protective goggles or a welding mask should be served up with this meal.


If you are looking to try Thai food for the first time, please take heed of our advice. Thai cuisine is simply stunning, but it’s important to know about the dishes and their unique flavors and spices beforehand. Or you could just suck it and see!