Thai food menu guide
Being that it was basically in the middle of Southeast Asia, Thailand was the hub of Asian fusion. Thailand’s dishes reveal recipe roots from its surrounding neighbors and beyond. Spanning four distinct regions, influences from China to the Middle East, a multitude of ingredients and a reputation for spice, Thai food can be more than a bit overwhelming. In Bangkok, geography, the influence of the royal palace and the country’s main minorities – Chinese and Muslims – have all served to shape the local cuisine. To point you in the direction of the good stuff, we’ve put together a shortlist of must-eat Bangkok dishes.
1. Thai Green Curry – Gaang këe•o wähn
Known outside of Thailand as green curry, this intersection of a piquant, herbal spice paste and rich coconut milk is singlehandedly emblematic of Thai cuisine’s unique flavors and ingredients.
2. Crispy Rice Noodle – Mèe gròrp
Crispy noodles made the traditional way, with a sweet/ sour flavor (a former palace recipe), are a dying breed.
3. Sour Spicy Curry – Gaang sôm
Central Thailand’s famous ‘sour soup’ often includes freshwater fish, vegetables and/ or herbs, and a thick, tart broth.
4. Spicy glass noodle salad – Yam
This family of Thai ‘salads’ combines meat or seafood with a tart and spicy dressing and fresh herbs.
5. Thai Crispy Pancake – Kà•nöm bêu•ang
The old-school version of these taco-like snacks comes in two varieties: sweet and savory.
6. Ðôm yam
The ‘sour Thai soup’ moniker featured on many English-language menus is a feeble description of this mouth-puckeringly tart and intensely spicy herbal broth.
7. Thai Steamed Red Curry – Kôw mòk
The Thai version of biriani couples golden rice and tender chicken with a sweet-and-sour dip and a savory broth.
8. Thai Boat noodles – Göoay dëeo reua
Known as boat noodles because they were previously served from canals in central Thailand, this intense pork- or beef- based bowls are among the most full-flavored of all Thai noodle dishes.
9. Thai Chicken Rice – Kôw man gài
Chicken rice, originally from the Chinese island of Hainan, is now found in just about every corner of Bangkok.
10. Thai Style Stir Fried Noodles with Shrimp – Pàt tai
Thin rice noodles fried with egg, tofu, and shrimp, and seasoned with fish sauce, tamarind and dried chili, have emerged as the poster boy for Thai food- and justifiably so.