Thai Food Guide

Thai food guide

Thai-style grilled pork on skewers: Moo Ping

Moo Ping

Thai-style grilled pork on skewers, known as “Moo Ping”, is one of most popular street foods in Thailand. You will find Moo Ping nearly everywhere you go. They are made by marinating bite-sized pieces of pork with an earthy, slightly spicy cilantro-garlic-peppercorn marinade. Once the pork has marinated in these wonderful flavors for a few hours, the pieces are threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled, basting every few minutes with coconut milk to seal in all of the rich, deep flavors and moisture, and then served with warm sticky rice.

Thai papaya salad, widely known as Som Tam, is a great partner for this dish, often served with a dipping sauce which seems to vary from vendor to vendor. Jaew sauce, dried chili dipping sauce, is one of the common accompaniments to serve with this kind of grilled pork.  Moo Ping vendors usually sell throughout the day, but you will find them mainly in the morning and late afternoon, perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. It will fill you up for several hours so you have the energy to keep going until dinner time rolls around. Moo Ping is worth it!

Cost: 5-15 baht
Spicy Level: 0

Thai Fish Cake: Tod Man

Tod Man

Tod Man, or Fried Fish-Paste Balls or Fish Cake, is a highly-recommended appetizer on the menus of most Thai restaurants or even on street vendors. These fish cakes are unlike the Western deep fried varieties which are battered before being deep fried. Tod Man Pla is a Thai-style fishcake made with fresh fish paste, long beans, red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. Each bite of the fish cakes is bursting with the briny flavors of the fish, the fragrance and heat from the red curry paste, and the crunchiness of the long beans. You can also change the protein from fish meat to shrimp, crab and squid.

The dish is best eaten hot right out of the fryer and dipped into a slightly tangy and spicy chili dip served with steamed rice as a main course. The accompanying chili dip is also easy to make as well, using diced cucumbers and chopped peanuts that adds texture and crunch to the sauce, making them an excellent dipping sauce for the fish cakes. They are absolutely yummy!

Cost: 40-80 baht
Spicy Level: 2.5

Thai food guide

Thai Roasted Duck on Rice: Khao Na Ped

Khao Naa Ped

Khao Na Ped, otherwise known as Roasted Duck on Rice, is a Thai dish with Southern Chinese influences (Thai word: Khao-na-ped) and is a delicious dish made of sliced roasted duck on top of steamed rice with a unique Thai gravy sauce served with some pickles like ginger or other vegetables. Often served with a small bowl of soup, it looks very similar to BBQ Pork on rice and you might even find them at the same vendor, although the authentic varieties are actually very different.

What distinguishes Khao Na Ped is the sauce, which is a lot less thick and sweet compared to Khao Moo Daeng. You will notice these shops by the lines of hanging ducks. Some restaurants serve the duck together with noodles known as Ba Mee Ped (Noodle Roast duck).

Cost: 40-80 baht
Spicy Level: 0

Thai food guide

Thai BBQ Grilled Squid: Pla Muek Yang

Pla Muek Yang

Pla Muek Yang is a popular street snack, culminating in grilled squid over charcoal and cooked thoroughly while a marinated sauce is added to the squid during the cooking process. Grilled or BBQ squid is a great Thailand street food. In local markets or on the street, you will find this dish on many food stalls.

The great secret about this dish is the sauce that comes with the grilled squid. The stunning Thai spicy sauce has a seafood base of lime juice, fish sauce, and chili, which really does take the taste to another level.

Location: Restaurants and street food vendors
Cost: 10-120 baht
Spicy Level: 0 (depends on the sauce)

Thai food guide

Thai Soy Milk: Nam Tai Hoo

Nam Tao Hoo

Soy milk (Nam Tao Hoo) is a staple Thai daily breakfast and night snack. Sometimes after waking up, we just want a warm healthy drink that is light and tasty. It’s also popular to have Nam Tao Hoo in the evening or at night after a meal. Soy milk can be found at local markets or on the streets.

Many vendors have a big pot full of soy milk, which they flavor with either white or brown sugar. In Thailand, Nam Tao Hoo (soy milk) is usually enjoyed with “Patongo” (Patongo is the Thai version of the donut, a blob of lightly sweet dough deep fried until fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside). You can also add toppings to soy milk such as black sesame, millet, jelly, sago, red beans, or even basil seeds, or whatever they offer in your soy milk. If you are a very health-conscious person, you don’t have to add sugar as it’s still delicious.

Cost: 5-10 baht
Spicy Level: 0

Thai food guide

Thai Vegetable with Chili Paste: Num Phrik With Pug

น้ำพริก ผัก
Num Phrik with Pug

Nam Phrik is a generic term that may refer to any type of spicy, chili-based, watery hot sauce typical of Thai cuisine. Nam Phrik is a type of Thai dip or hot sauce using fresh or dry chilies, garlic, shallots, lime juice and often some kind of fish or shrimp paste. In the traditional way of preparing the sauce, the ingredients are pounded together using a mortar and pestle, with either salt or fish sauce added to taste.

Nam Phrik is kind of like the “veggies and dip” of Thai cuisine, but instead of carrot sticks, there’s boiled bitter melon (and other vegetables) and in place of ranch dressing you will find fermented shrimp paste and roasted chilies. Nam Phrik is a very general term for any kind of spicy chili sauce that is normally eaten as a condiment or dipping sauce for fried fish and lots of boiled vegetables. There are many different types of nam prik in Thailand, the most popular variations include nam prik kaphi (chili sauce with fermented shrimp paste), nam prik pla too (chili sauce with de-boned mackerel fish) and nam prik pla raa (chili sauce with fermented fish sauce). If you like a hot and spicy kick to your food, accept no substitutes.

Cost: 20-30 baht+
Spicy Level: 3-5

Thai Dessert: Khanom Thai

Khanom Thai

Khanom Thai is a Thai Dessert, that is a staple of Thai cuisine. Some of these dishes are also a part of other cuisines. Most Thai desserts are a sweet and sometimes filling snack as opposed to the light and airy Western style desserts. They are characterized by sweet syrups, coconut cream, coconut flesh, tropical fruits, rice flour and sweet sticky rice. Thai desserts are easily found at street food vendors or served in restaurants with ripened mangoes with sweet sticky rice or coconut jelly. Indulging yourself in Thai desserts is an eye-opener to a new angle to explore Thailand’s sweet flavors and a food gastro-adventure that’s sure to blow your mind. Thai desserts are a fun and interesting way to sample Thai cuisine.

Location:Restaurants and street food vendors
Cost:5-30 baht
Spicy Level: 0

Thai Curry and Rice: Khao Rad Gaeng

Khao Rad Gaeng

Khao Gaeng is a Thai curry and a stalwart of Thai cuisine that is made with various types of curry paste. A Thai curry dish is made from curry paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, and herbs. Curries in Thailand mainly differ from the curries in Indian cuisine. In Thailand, they use fresh ingredients such as herbs and aromatic leaves over a mix of spices. Khao Kaeng or Khao Rad Kaeng, meaning “curry-on-rice”, is a traditional type of fast food restaurant in Thailand which specializes in ready-made curries, and often several other dishes as well, all served with rice. It is a true blend of flavors that is impressive. The combination of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour is very fragrant and is blended together perfectly. When you order the dish, don’t forget to ask them to cook it to your specification, depending on how much spice you can handle. Thai curry with rice is one of the most famous Thai street foods, easily found in every community and on the road-side. This is the epitome of how Thai people like their food – quick, easy, tasty and inexpensive, perfect for people living on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice quality.

Location:Restaurants and street food vendors
Cost:20-50 baht
Spicy Level: 0-5

Thai Catfish with Green Mango Salad: Yam Pla-Duk Fu

Yam Pla-Duk Fu

Yam Pla-Duk Fu or Yum Pla-Dook Foo (Pla-Duk means catfish) is a quick salad appetizer, but is meaty enough to be a main course. The fish is fluffed up and fried until golden and crispy and sprinkled with roasted peanuts. Chopped cilantro is stirred into a mango salad, then served as an accompaniment to the fish. The meal is then served with jasmine rice. This dish balances all the core flavors of Thai cuisine against one another such as sweet, sour, salty, nutty and spicy hot. If you are a beer drinker, this dish will be perfect for you as Thai crispy fish with green mango salad is one of the most loved classic “drinking foods” of all time.

Location:Restaurants and street food vendors
Cost:40-120 baht
Spicy Level: 2

Thai Dumpling: Kanom Gui Chai

Kanom Gui Chai

Kanom Gui Chai is a Thai name adopted from the original Teochew Chinese name and originated from the Teochew Chinese immigrants. Kanom is a Thai word that refers to snacks, but also to desserts as well. This is a vegetarian-friendly street snack that consists of chives wrapped in glutinous rice flour dough and steamed, then sometimes pan-fried afterwards. The dish is chewy inside with a crisp and golden shell. The dumplings are served with sweet and spicy soy sauce. Once you’ve tried them once, you will want more! Sometimes the best flavors really do come from the simplest of ingredients.

Location:Markets abd street food vendors
Cost:5-30 baht
Spicy Level: 0-1

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