Flavorful, Fresh Cuisine
Food is at the center of Thai culture, with meals most often being eaten communally. Whether dining out or preparing a meal at home, the traditional way to enjoy Thai food is by sharing dishes across the entire table. Because of this, Thai food lends itself well to celebration, but it can of course be enjoyed alone or in a small group as well. Traditionally, Thai recipes include five main flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. Fresh ingredients are extremely important in Thai food, and meals are often presented thoughtfully with a beautiful arrangement on the plate. The meal itself typically includes a mix of meat, fish, vegetables, noodles, rice, and soup. Tropical fruits make a simple, delicious finish to any Thai meal. Want to prepare your own Thai feast at home? Join us as we take a look at some of the best Thai recipes.
#1 Pad Thai
A list of the best Thai food recipes would not be complete without Thailand’s most famous dish, Pad Thai. This classic dish features a unique sauce that is perfectly balanced between salty, tart and sweet. Careful attention to each component of the dish is also key – you’ll want to stir-fry the protein of your choice (tofu, chicken, and shrimp are all popular options) along with vegetables, egg, and rice noodles. This can be done in a skillet, but experts say it’s best to use a wok if you have one. Choose fresh spices whenever possible to keep this dish authentically Thai. Ready to try out this salty, tart, sweet, and slightly spicy Thai classic for yourself?
#2 Thai Chicken Satay
This Thai classic features marinated chicken paired with a savory, delicious peanut dipping sauce. The secret ingredient? A touch of Thai red curry paste! This dish is a great choice for family parties, date night, or a one-person feast. As a bonus, Thai Chicken Satay comes together quickly. The sauce can be made in about 5 minutes and the entire recipe can be made in around 30 minutes. This protein-packed dish is a favorite of Thai food lovers everywhere, so why not give it a try yourself?
#3 Tom Yum Soup
Craving some soup? This Thai recipe is extremely flavorful and satisfying! Tom Yum Soup combines lemongrass, garlic, lime, coconut milk, and chile along with a delicious chicken stock base and shrimp or prawns on top. It can be served as an appetizer to a full meal of Thai food, but it also makes a great, filling meal on its own – just serve it with some rice on the side! There are actually two versions of this soup in Thai cuisine: Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Goong Nam Sai) has a clear broth, while Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon) has a creamy broth – the second is made the same way as the first, except that evaporated milk and Thai chili paste are added. Whichever version you choose to make, you’ll end up with a flavorful broth filled with delicious seafood and vegetables. Ready to try it?
#4 Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)
We couldn’t leave Pad Kee Mao off our list of the best Thai food! This dish is very popular in Thailand and it’s found on the menu of many Thai restaurants all over the world as well. The name literally translates as “drunken noodles” because this dish pairs perfectly with an ice-cold beer. It’s also said that Pad Kee Mao is a great hangover food! Traditional Pad Kee Mao is extremely spicy, but if you’re making this at home, you can tailor the heat level to your taste. Another benefit of this dish (besides being delicious!) is that the list of ingredients isn’t too long and it comes together quickly, so you won’t have to spend a ton of time shopping or chopping! Ready to try your hand at this Thai favorite?
#5 Thai Red Curry with Vegetables
Thai red curry is warm, comforting, and flavorful. It’s also a bit indulgent due to the full-fat coconut milk, but opting for vegetables instead of meat keeps this dish feeling light. It also makes this Thai recipe suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so it’s a great option for those who don’t eat meat or dairy. This Thai red curry dish can also be made gluten-free with some simple substitutions. If you’re looking for complex flavor but want lighter, healthier fare that also caters to various dietary needs, then this is the perfect Thai recipe for you! Serve it over rice for a hearty, satisfying meal any day of the week. Ready to give it a try?
Want more of the best Thai recipes to try at home? Check out Part 2 of our Thai food series right here!