The Lowest Calorie Thai Food?

Finding The Lowest Calorie Thai Food That Still Tastes Great!

While many Thai dishes are delicious, they can also be quite calorie-dense due to the use of ingredients like coconut milk, oils, and sugar. However, if you’re looking for lowest calorie Thai food while still savouring the tastes of Thailand, you’re in luck. Thai cuisine offers several dishes that are not only flavorful but also relatively low in calories.

Factors Affecting Caloric Content in Thai Food

The caloric content of a Thai dish can vary widely depending on several factors:

  1. Ingredients: The choice of ingredients, such as meats, vegetables, and sauces, can significantly impact the dish’s calorie count.
  2. Cooking Methods: The method of preparation, whether stir-frying, steaming, or grilling, can influence the dish’s caloric content.
  3. Portion Size: Like any cuisine, portion size plays a crucial role in determining the number of calories in a meal.
  4. Accompaniments: Side dishes, such as rice or noodles, can add extra calories to a meal.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some popular low-calorie Thai dishes.

Low-Calorie Thai Dishes

Now, let’s explore some of the lowest-calorie Thai dishes that you can enjoy while keeping your caloric intake in check:

1. Tom Yum Soup

Calories per serving: Approximately 70-90 calories

Description: Tom Yum Soup is a classic Thai hot and sour soup that is known for its bold flavours. It typically contains shrimp or chicken, mushrooms, lemongrass, lime leaves, and chilli peppers. The use of aromatic herbs and spices provides plenty of taste without excessive calories.

tom yum soup

2. Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)

Calories per serving: Approximately 80-100 calories

Description: Som Tum is a refreshing salad made from shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and peanuts. It is dressed with a zesty lime dressing that adds a burst of flavour without loading up on calories.

Som Tum

3. Gai Pad Krapow (Basil Chicken)

Calories per serving: Approximately 200-300 calories

Description: Gai Pad Krapow is a stir-fry dish that combines ground chicken with Thai basil, garlic, and chilli. While it does have some calories, it’s relatively low in comparison to richer Thai dishes like coconut curries.

Gai Pad Krapow - One of the lowest calorie Thai foods You can Eat Daily

4. Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad)

Calories per serving: Approximately 170-250 calories

Description: Yum Woon Sen is a Thai salad made with glass noodles, minced pork or shrimp, lime juice, fish sauce, and fresh vegetables. It’s not the absolute lowest calorie Thai food but is a light and satisfying dish that won’t break your calorie bank.

Yum Woon Sen - low calorie noodle salad

5. Pla Neung Manaow (Steamed Fish with Lime)

Calories per serving: Approximately 150-250 calories

Description: Pla Neung Manaow features steamed fish (often snapper or sea bass) with a zesty lime and garlic sauce. This dish is a healthier alternative to fried fish options and is bursting with flavour.

Pla Neung Manaow - low calorie fish

6. Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables)

Calories per serving: Approximately 80-120 calories

Description: Pad Phak is a simple stir-fried vegetable dish that is both nutritious and low in calories. It typically includes a variety of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and snow peas, stir-fried with garlic and oyster sauce or soy sauce.

Pad Phak

7. Larb (Spicy Thai Salad)

Calories per serving: Approximately 200-300 calories

Description: Larb is a spicy and tangy Thai salad made with minced meat (often chicken, pork, or beef) combined with fresh herbs, lime juice, fish sauce, and ground rice powder. While it does contain some calories, it’s a flavorful and satisfying option.

Larb (Spicy Thai Salad)

8. Tom Jued (Clear Soup)

Calories per serving: Approximately 60-80 calories

Description: Tom Jued is a clear and light Thai soup made with a clear broth, tofu, fish or chicken, and vegetables like mushrooms and napa cabbage. It’s a soothing, low-calorie option that is often enjoyed as a starter. In fact, it is probably the lowest calorie Thai food you can find!

Tom Jued- The Lowest Calorie Thai Food

9. Pak Boong Fai Deang (Stir-Fried Morning Glory)

Calories per serving: Approximately 70-100 calories

Description: Pak Boong Fai Deang is a nutritious Thai stir-fry dish made with red-leaf amaranth, a leafy green vegetable known for its vibrant colour and health benefits. It’s typically stir-fried with garlic and oyster sauce or soy sauce, creating a tasty and low-calorie side dish that’s rich in vitamins and minerals.

Including Pak Boong Fai Deang in your Thai cuisine choices adds a healthy and flavorful option to your meal, with its vibrant greens and minimal calories, making it a great addition to your list of low-calorie Thai dishes.

Pak Boong Fai Deang (Stir-Fried Morning Glory) -  The Second Lowest Calorie Thai Food

Tips for Choosing The Lowest Calorie Thai Food

When dining at a Thai restaurant or preparing Thai food at home, here are some additional tips to help you make lower-calorie choices:

  1. Opt for Grilled or Steamed: Choose dishes that are grilled, steamed, or stir-fried with minimal oil, as these cooking methods tend to be lower in calories compared to deep-frying.
  2. Control Portion Sizes: Be mindful of portion sizes, and consider sharing dishes if the portions are large. This can help you enjoy a variety of flavours without overindulging.
  3. Choose Lean Proteins: Opt for dishes that feature lean proteins like chicken, tofu, or seafood rather than fatty cuts of meat.
  4. Ask for Sauce on the Side: If you’re concerned about calorie-laden sauces, ask for them on the side so you can control the amount you use.
  5. Load Up on Vegetables: Thai cuisine offers a wide variety of vegetable-rich dishes. Embrace these options to increase your fibre intake and fill up on fewer calories.
  6. Customize Your Order: Don’t hesitate to ask for modifications when dining out. You can request less oil, less sugar, or additional vegetables to tailor your meal to your dietary preferences.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water or opt for herbal teas when dining out to help control your appetite and prevent overeating.


Thai cuisine offers a delightful array of low-calorie options that allow you to enjoy the bold and vibrant flavours of Thailand while maintaining your dietary goals. By choosing wisely and being mindful of portion sizes, you can savour the taste of Thai cuisine without always having to go for the lowest calorie Thai food.

Thai Food Calories List

Here’s a list of some of the lowest-calorie Thai foods. Remember the calories are only approximate but it will give you a good idea of what the lower-calorie Thai dishes are.

Healthiest Thai Food (calories)Approximate Calories per Serving
Tom Yum Soup70-90 calories
Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)80-100 calories
Gai Pad Krapow (Basil Chicken)200-300 calories
Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad)170-250 calories
Pla Neung Manao (Steamed Fish with Lime)150-250 calories
Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables)80-120 calories
Larb (Spicy Thai Salad)200-300 calories
Tom Jued (Clear Soup)60-80 calories
Pad Pak Ruam (Mixed Vegetables Stir-Fry)100-150 calories
Khao Pad (Thai Fried Rice)300-400 calories
Tom Kha Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)250-350 calories
Pla Muk Pad Phrik (Stir-Fried Squid)150-200 calories
Pad Kana Moo Krob (Crispy Pork with Chinese Broccoli)250-350 calories
Moo Pad Prik Gaeng (Pork with Red Curry Paste)250-350 calories
Pla Nueng Manao (Steamed Fish with Lime and Chili)150-250 calories
Pad Pak Ruam Mit (Mixed Vegetables with Cashew Nuts)150-250 calories
Goong Pad Pak (Stir-Fried Shrimp with Vegetables)150-250 calories
Khao Man Gai (Thai Chicken and Rice)250-350 calories
Yum Hed (Mushroom Salad)80-120 calories
Guay Tiew Tom Yum (Spicy Thai Noodle Soup)250-350 calories

Which Thai Curry is Low Calorie?

When it comes to Thai curry you are probably thinking of green curry, red curry or maybe panang curry. These are some of the most popular Thai curries, along with yellow curry and massaman curry and they all have two things in common. They are coconut milk-based and they all contain sugar.

That doesn’t make them unhealthy though but they are not extremely low-calorie curries.

So which Thai curry is low calorie you are wondering.. Well, there are two more curries that you may not have heard of, Jungle curry and Orange Curry.

Jungle curry is one of the hottest dishes in Thailand and contains very few calories. It is sometimes found in Thai restaurants in Western countries but it is rarely authentically hot!

Orange curry on the other hand is hardly ever found outside of Thailand. It is definitely a low-calorie curry, but it is also an acquired taste which is why you will most likely have to go to Thailand to try it!

Image from Kapook Cooking

How Many Calories in a Bowl of Thai Curry?

Thai CurryApproximate Calories per Serving
Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan)300-400 calories
Yellow Curry (Gaeng Karee)300-400 calories
Red Curry (Gaeng Phet)350-450 calories
Massaman Curry (Gaeng Massaman)400-500 calories
Panang Curry (Gaeng Panang)300-400 calories
Jungle Curry (Gaeng Pa)250-350 calories
Orange Curry (Gaeng Som)200-300 calories

FAQs About The Lowest Calorie Thai Food

1. What makes Thai cuisine low in calories?

Thai cuisine can be low in calories due to several factors. Many Thai dishes feature lean proteins like chicken, seafood, and tofu, and they incorporate an abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs. Additionally, Thai cooking methods such as stir-frying and steaming often use less oil compared to deep-frying.

2. Are all Thai dishes high in calories?

No, not all Thai dishes are high in calories. While some Thai dishes, like coconut-based curries, can be calorie-dense, there are plenty of lighter options available. Thai cuisine offers a diverse range of dishes, and many are relatively low in calories, especially those that emphasize vegetables and lean proteins.

3. What are some popular low-calorie Thai dishes?

Popular low-calorie Thai dishes include Tom Yum Soup, Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad), Gai Pad Krapow (Basil Chicken), Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad), Pla Neung Manao (Steamed Fish with Lime), Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables), Larb (Spicy Thai Salad), and Pad Pak Ruam (Mixed Vegetables Stir-Fry). Tom Jued (Clear Soup) is the lowest calorie Thai food.

4. Can I make Thai dishes lower in calories by making substitutions or modifications?

Yes, you can make Thai dishes lower in calories by making smart choices. For example, you can opt for lean proteins, request less oil, choose brown rice instead of white rice, and control portion sizes. You can also ask for sauces and dressings on the side to control their use.

5. Are Thai salads a good low-calorie option?

Yes, Thai salads like Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad) and Larb (Spicy Thai Salad) are excellent low-calorie options. They are typically light, refreshing, and packed with fresh vegetables, herbs, and lean proteins, making them a healthy choice.

6. Can I enjoy Thai cuisine while on a calorie-restricted diet?

Absolutely! Thai cuisine offers a wide range of options that can fit into a calorie-restricted diet. You can select dishes that align with your dietary goals, such as those rich in vegetables, lean proteins, and herbs, while being mindful of portion sizes. Some of the lowest calorie Thai foods are actually the tastiest!

7. What should I consider when dining out at a Thai restaurant for lower-calorie options?

When dining out at a Thai restaurant, consider choosing dishes labelled as “steamed,” “grilled,” or “stir-fried” with minimal oil. You can also request modifications to reduce calories, such as requesting less sugar or oil in your dishes.

8. Are there vegan or vegetarian low-calorie Thai options?

Yes, there are many vegan and vegetarian low-calorie Thai options available. Thai cuisine features a wide variety of plant-based dishes that include tofu, tempeh, and an array of vegetables. Dishes like Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables) and Tom Yum Soup can easily be made vegan or vegetarian.

9. Is it possible to enjoy Thai food on a weight loss journey?

Yes, Thai cuisine can be part of a successful weight loss journey. By making informed choices and practising portion control, you can enjoy the flavours of Thailand while managing your calorie intake and achieving your weight loss goals.

10. What are some low-calorie Thai dessert options?

While Thai desserts are often sweet and indulgent, there are a few lighter options. For instance, fresh fruit platters are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Additionally, you can enjoy Thai iced tea or coffee with less sugar or opt for a simple dish of fresh mango with sticky rice without excessive coconut milk.

Thai cuisine offers a wide spectrum of flavours, and with a little knowledge and mindfulness, you can savour the taste of Thailand while keeping your calorie intake in check.

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