Thailand is on my top ten list of countries I want to visit. I can’t think of many places in the world that has the vibrancy and buzz that Bangkok possesses, along with the simply idyllic beaches of the Thai islands, plus the lush, green countryside of Chiang Mai – all in one location.
And of course, there’s the food: something about Thai food just makes my mouth water. The fresh ingredients, coupled with distinctive flavours of lemongrass and holy basil, makes Thai a regular request of mine when brainstorming ideas for dinner.
New to Thai food? Check out my handy guide below of some of my favourite dishes to order.
A simple, but probably the most popular dish you’ll find in Thai restaurants, pad thai consists of stir fried noodles seasoned with Thai fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, and a choice of either chicken, shrimp, and tofu. Bean sprouts provide a fresh crunch (and are usually served raw on the side for you to mix in yourself) and the dish is garnished with crushed coriander, spring onions, crushed peanuts, and a wedge of lime. Delish. This is a real comfort dish and when I’m feeling a bit under the weather, pad thai definitely perks me up.
Som Tam Salad
Som tam is the perfect starter or light meal for a hot summer day. Green and unripe papaya is carefully shredded and combined with sour lime juice, red chillies, bean sprouts, raw green beans, Thai fish sauce and a dash of palm sugar, which gives it a sweet kick. It can be eaten alone or with Thai sticky rice, which serves as the perfect accompaniment to the strong flavours that are found in the salad. Simply delectable.
Tom Yum Goong
This eye-wateringly spicy soup has the word “yum” in its name, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular Thai dishes in the world. If you’re a chilli-wimp (it’s okay to admit it), you can always ask for a less spicy variation, but true Thai food fanatics eat this as hot as they can stand. Usually featuring large prawns and possibly other types of seafood, Tom Yum Goong is known for its tart but hot taste and addictive flavours of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chilli peppers. I usually have to split this with a friend as its spices are a little overwhelming for me (as in, I’m reaching for my tissues to wipe my eyes), but I can’t help going back for seconds.
Although I also love the coconut milk-based thai curries like the next person, the above dishes are really my top three favourite to order at restaurants – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! And until I make it over to the beautiful country to enjoy the food firsthand, I’ll be dining out a lot!
Until the next time, xoxoShow