10 Thai Foods I Can’t Live Without

I have tried to limit myself to the top 10 Thai foods – in no particular order – that I can’t (or don’t want to) live without. Some dishes like noodle soup, fried rice and Pad Thai almost got a place on the list. What is your favorite Thai food?

1. Kor Moo Yang with Nahm Jim Jaew
(Grilled Pork Neck with Tamarind/Chili Dipping Sauce)
Photo credit: shesimmers.com

I love this dish so much my wife and I eat it almost every week. She grills the pork neck in the oven, but when it’s summer we cook the meat on the barbecue. The meat is marinated for 24 hours, and when ready to eat, served with an Issan style chilli dipping sauce and rice. Unbelievably good!

2. Gang Kiew Wan Gai (Green Curry with chicken)
Photo credit: phuket.com

Green curry is more spicy than red, and I think I prefer this curry more than red. The combination green curry, chicken, eggplant and baby corn is truly magical!

3. Laab Moo (Spicy pork)

Laab Moo is a dish originating from the northeastern Thailand (Isaan), but It’s highly popular throughout the country. It’s an excellent combination of minced pork, toasted rice powder, lime juice, Thai chillies, fish sauce and herbs. Here’s a recipe for a simpler version.

4. Tom Ka Gai (Chicken and galangal in coconut soup)
Photo credit: ayearatthetable.com

Tom Ka Gai is a very fresh soup, made of chicken cooked in coconut milk with galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. I still remember the first time I tried this soup at a restaurant in Phuket. 

5. Tom Yam Kung (Hot and Sour Prawn Soup)
Photo credit: engtest.net

Tom Yam Kung (or Tom Yum Goong) is a hot, spicy and sour soup, made with prawns as the main ingredient. This Thai masterpiece is hugely popular among both Thais and tourists. Here’s a recipe.

6. Paneng Kung (Red Curry with Prawns)
Photo credit: toptenthailand.net

A classic, and just like green curry probably one of the most famous Thai dishes in the world. I love when the red curry is strong red in color and little oily, and not too much coconut milk. Unfortunately, many restaurants put in too much coconut which gives the curry a pinkish color. 

7. Pla thu (short mackerel)
Photo credit: foodtravel.tv

Pla thu, or short mackerel, is a very important fish in Thailand. The fish is sold in markets everywhere, with the head bent downwards, which gives it a characteristic shape. Pla thu is typically fried and eaten with boiled and raw vegetables and leafy greens.

8. Moo Pad Krapow (Spicy stir-fried pork with Thai holy basil)
Photo credit: pantip.com

Moo Pad Krapow is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand. I have probably eaten too much of it, but still a dish I love to eat occasionally. It’s a spicy stir-fried dish made with chopped pork, holy basil, garlic and chilies. It’s traditionally served with a fried egg on top of rice.

9. Khao Man Gai (Chicken and rice)
Photo credit: rvgoddess.com

So simple but so good. Slices of tender chicken with rice cooked in broth and a unique sauce of ginger, garlic, chillies and sweet soy. Served up with a bowl of soup broth. Awesome dish!

10. Pla Pao (Grilled fish with seafood dipping sauce)
Photo credit: eatingthaifood.com

The Thai style of grilling a whole fish with a thick bed of coarse salt, stuffed with lemongrass, lime leaves and garlic, is one of the best methods to cook a fish. When fish is grilled with a bed of coarse salt, the heat and moisture are trapped under a crust, forcing seasoning to permeate the meat rather than allowing them to escape. The result will be moist and flavorful, without the saltiness.

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