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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 of Thailand's Best Street Foods: A Gastronomical Guide To The Best Local Dishes
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 of Thailand's Best Street Foods: A Gastronomical Guide To The Best Local Dishes

In the realm of street food, Thailand reigns supreme, offering a gastronomical journey that's as diverse as it is delectable. As you navigate the bustling of this culinary wonderland, don't miss the opportunity to savour these five local dishes, they're not just meals but an invitation.


Pad Thai

No exploration of Thai street food would be complete without indulging in a plate of Pad Thai. This iconic stir-fried noodle dish is a harmonious blend of flavours and textures. Thin rice noodles are stir-fried with eggs, tofu or shrimp, bean sprouts, and a delectable combination of tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar, and chilli. The result is a tantalizing medley of sweet, sour, and savoury, often garnished with crushed peanuts and a wedge of lime. You'll find Pad Thai vendors lining the streets of Bangkok and beyond, serving up this beloved dish that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Thai cuisine.


Som Tum

Prepare your taste buds for a fiery sensation with Som Tum, Thailand's beloved green papaya salad. This dish is a flavour explosion that combines the crispness of shredded green papaya with the heat of chilli peppers, the tang of lime juice, and the umami of fish sauce. Crushed peanuts and tomatoes add depth, while a touch of palm sugar balances the spiciness. Som Tum is often made to order, allowing you to customize the level of heat to your preference. You'll find it at street stalls and food markets, where skilled vendors use a mortar and pestle to create a perfect blend of hot, sour, and sweet salads. If you choose to stay at one of the hotels near Pattaya Beach such as the Travelodge Pattaya. you'll find easy access to stalls and shops that sell this delicious dish.


Tom Yum Goong

If you're seeking a taste of Thailand's culinary soul, look no further than Tom Yum Goong. This spicy and aromatic soup is a Thai classic, renowned for its bold flavours and fragrant herbs. It typically features succulent shrimp (Goong), but you can also find versions with chicken (gai) or mushrooms (hed). The soup's base is a flavorful broth infused with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (a cousin of ginger), and chilli peppers. The result is a symphony of flavours that dances on your palate, with a perfect balance of sour, spicy, salty, and savoury. Whether you're sipping it at a roadside stall or in a bustling market, Tom Yum Goong is sure to warm your heart and awaken your senses.


Gaeng Keow Wan Gai: The Creamy Green Curry

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey with Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, Thailand's creamy green curry. This dish is a testament to the country's mastery of blending flavours. Tender chunks of chicken (gai) or other proteins swim in a luscious coconut milk-based broth, tinged with the vibrant green hue of fresh Thai basil and green chillies. Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and galangal infuse the curry with aromatic complexity. The result is a dish that's both comforting and invigorating, with a delightful interplay of creamy, spicy, and herbal notes. Served with jasmine rice, Gaeng Keow Wan Gai is a quintessential Thai comfort food that can be found at street-side eateries and local restaurants across the nation.


Khao Pad

Simple yet immensely satisfying, Khao Pad is Thailand's answer to fried rice, and it's a street food staple that's perfect for those looking for a quick, filling meal. Cooked with aromatic jasmine rice, Khao Pad is typically stir-fried with an array of ingredients, which may include eggs, vegetables, chicken, shrimp, or tofu. It's seasoned with a combination of soy sauce, fish sauce, and an optional pinch of chilli flakes, providing a savoury and slightly salty flavour profile. A squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro often complete this delightful dish. It's fast, flavorful, and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Whether you're enjoying it from a street cart or a bustling food market, Khao Pad embodies the essence of Thai street food—simple, delicious, and wonderfully satisfying.