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Eating Like a Local - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

You may have tried well-like dishes in Thai restaurant near to your home but that is not all about Thai food. In Thailand, there are much more flavor and aroma for you to explore - from cheap and cheerful street side stalls to delectable restaurants. The question is "where to start?" HotelThailand will take you through a quick excursion of deliciousness. Find menus to eat like a local and catch the real taste of Thai delicacies -- some of them you may not heard of. Let's find out!


Phad Kaphao Rad Khao

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

If you want to eat like a local but have no idea where to start, we recommend you to just order a dish of Pad Kaphao Rad Khao. The dish is like Thai food 101 -- you can find everywhere in Thailand and is the most ordered menu for every "Ran Tam Sang" (made to order food shop). Everybody loves it and it is the very first choice when a local sit in a restaurant and don't know what to eat. Whether you want a quick lunch stop or delicious eateries for your evening, Kaphao Rad Khao fits perfectly round the clock.

This dish usually made of ground pork or chicken though you can order with many different ingredients like seafood and tofu. The ingredient is stirred fried with chilly, garlic and sweet basil leaf (Bai Kra Phrao) before topped on steamed rice. The smell is very strong and can make you sneeze if you sit too close to cooking area, but when the food is served you will enjoy the delightful taste especially when eat with fried egg (sunny side up is the best).


Som Tam + Kai Yang

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Made your treat more "saeb" (spicy) with Som Tam and Kai Yang famous Thai dishes originated from the North-Eastern or Isan Region of Thailand. In Big city like Bangkok, you can easily find I-san food stall on almost every street corner. Most of them usually packed with locals who have a supper stop after work.

Som Tam is worldwide known menu made from green papaya sliced into thin strips then mixed in mortar with ingredients and spicy sweet and sour sauce. There are several choices of Som Tam to order, such as the most famous sweet and sour Som Tam Thai, one with salty crab called Som Tam Poo, or with fermented fish called Som Tam Pla Ra (this one is the most popular among locals). Kai Yang or charcoal grilled marinated chicken will give you a perfect combination. It has savoury taste and tender texture that is great to relief the hot and spicy taste of Som Tam. Eat with some steamed sticky rice will make this a perfect treat.


Khao Khai Jiew

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Khao Khai Jiew is one of the most popular round the clock meal. If you want to try, simply go to "Ran Tam Sang" (made to order food shop), in front of any office near your hotel, or any local market and you will find one without too much afford. This easy to make Thai dish use only beaten eggs and few drops of fish sauce then fried in hot oil until crisp (or cooked) before topped with warm white rice, the easiest Thai dish everyone can cook and enjoy.

Recently, Khao Khai Jiew becomes popular morning meals for office workers in Bangkok who usually buy a blow of this before going to their office. One blow of this can set you back around 20 - 25 THB. At the stall, there will be small cups with many ingredients like ground pork, bacon, sausage, basil leaf, chopped chilli, spring onion, shallot, green onion, mushroom, etc. you can choose to make your custom Khao Khai Jiew. Pick one you like and try to make the omelet only just for you.


Tom Yum Goong

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Tom Yum is likely to be the most famous of all Thai soups not only in Thailand but in Thai restaurants (and kitchens) worldwide. It is the most popular spicy soup menu that Thai people orders when go to a restaurant. It's soup is made with a variety of Thai Herbs: fragrant lemon grass, fresh galangal root and kaffir lime leaf – good for your health and great for your treat.

Tom Yum Goong is the definitely the most well-known variety of Tom Yum and uses shrimp (goong or kung in Thai) as the key element of the dish, but you might also use firm white-flesh fish or chicken. Try them all and see what you like best. If you have eaten Tom Yum in your hometown, we recommend trying it in Thailand to find out what the authentic taste is like.



Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

If you like Thai food, you probably have heard or eaten this delicacy. In Thailand Pad Thai is a popular one-dish meal, usually eats during lunchtime and dinner as a change from normal rice dish or noodle. This menu is stir-fried rice noodles with many ingredients, including eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chili pepper, bean sprouts -- giving a chewy texture with a zesty sweet and sour taste that everyone like.

Although it may not very easy to find Phad Thai shop as you can find Phad Kaphao or Khao Khai Jiew, it usually sell at the same stall as Hoi Tod (Crispy fried massel calm) and there are many famous Phad Thai restaurant in town. Many "Ran Tam Sang" also has the dish in their menu though it may not look or taste like you expected.

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Ba Mee Kiew

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

One of the most popular quick after-sunset-meals for people throughout Thailand. You can easily find Ba Mee Kiew shop at almost every street corner and market, characterised by Moo Daeng red barbecue pork hanging over a pile of yellow noodle and smoking hot pot of mouth-watering soup.

Have a seat and order either Bamee (egg noodle) with soup or without. Topped it with soft and savoury moo dang and may be order a blow of Kiew Nam (wonton soup) will make it a better treat. You can also topped the noodle with moo krob (crispy pork), or Ped Yang (roasted pork) too. Trying it all at least once and find which one you like most.


Kaeng Khiao Wan

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Apart from Tom Yum, another spicy soup you will find in every restaurant and market is Kaeng Khiao Wan or "sweet green curry". This mild taste coconut curry has a characteristic green colour, and can be cooked with many kind of meat though the most well-liked are pork, chicken, beef and fish paste. The dish gets along perfectly with rice but eating with Kamon Jeen or fermented rice noodle is more popular as one-dish meal.

If you walk through local market, you will surely see stalls with big stainless blow or cooking pot with Kaeng Khiew Wan in it. Order to eat with Kanom Jeen and they will put 2-3 tabs of the noodle in small blow then topped with the green curry of your choice. You can try to eat with fried savoury stuffs like salted fish or fried pork. This will enhance the delightfulness of the dish to another level.


Khao Niew Moo Ping

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

If you want to have a quick breakfast before go travel around, grab a set of Khao Niew Moo Ping to eat on the go will be a great choice. This flavourful grilled pork on skewer usually eats with sticky rice as breakfast, but also best for filling your stomach all day round. One set of this has 3 piece of Moo Ping (Skewered pork) and 1 small bag of sticky rice, and will set you back from 20 – 30 baht. Just 1 set will make you full for all morning.

You can find Khao Niew Moo Ping in market and near to crowded places like in front of school or near to major bus stop. The pork is freshly roasted on piping hot charcoal stove --- just the scent can make you mouth watering and hungry.


Kaeng Som Cha-Om Tod

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Kaeng Som or "Orange Curry" is a healthy Thai dish with lots of veggies originated from the central part of Thailand. Unlike other Thai curry, this menu does not use coconut milk and has milder sweet and sour flavor. You can add any vegetables you like, but Cha-Om Tod (fried egg with climbing Wattle) is the most popular and probably the most delicious. This vegetable has a unique smell that get along just right with the curry.

You can find Kaeng Som Cha-Om Tod in any open-air market in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. It is good for any meal of day though more popular for the evening. Eat with white rice, add a bit of fried salted fish will make it more delicious.


Kuay Tiew Nam Tok

Phad Kaphao Rad Khao - 10 Top Thai Dishes you Must Try

Change from rice menu to the most popular noodle Kuay Tiew Nam Tok or Kuay Tiew Rua. This Savoury pork noodle in herbal brown broth with pork blood is so hit that you can easily find everywhere. The menu usually eats as lunch and in the afternoon and served in a small bowl that you may need to order more than 1 to filled up.

Enjoy savoury soup that get along well with soft and chewy noodle and crunchy with water morning glory, slices of pork, and pork meatball. Add a bit of "Kab Moo" or fried pork skin is just perfect combination. If you want to have the authentic Kuay Tiew Rua, go to Rangsit and have a stop at one of the boats floating on the canal on the side of the road.

Photo from:, jutamas@ShutterStock, trangzone, siameasyfood, jin leng, Wanchai P...Photo, Nammon Warut, hakkrongkhaw, bananaleafthailand, DITP, i-chef