The 10 Most Popular Thai Dishes For Tourists

From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene shores of Phuket, Thailand has so much to offer when it comes to meal time. For tourists visiting Thailand, these have been confirmed as the 10 most popular Thai dishes.

Is your favourite on the list? If not then let me know in the comments.

So lets begin, here are the 10 most popular Thai dishes that have captured the hearts and palates of tourists from around the globe.

The Top 10 Most Popular Dishes in Thailand

The first most popular Thai dish - green curry

1. Green Curry (Kaeng Khiao Wan)

Green Curry, known as “Kaeng Khiao Wan,” is a creamy and aromatic dish that derives its vibrant colour from the masses of green chillies used in the curry paste.

Chicken or beef is simmered in a coconut milk-based broth with Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, and fragrant basil leaves. The balance between spiciness and creaminess makes it a crowd-pleaser. Check out my Thai green curry paste recipe for more details.

pad thai

2. Pad Thai

No list of Thai dishes is complete without Pad Thai. This iconic stir-fried noodle dish combines thin rice noodles with shrimp, chicken, or tofu, along with eggs, peanuts, bean sprouts, and chives.

The sauce, a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavours, ties the dish together, making it a favorite for both locals and tourists.

tom yam

3. Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum Goong is a quintessential Thai soup that showcases the perfect harmony of flavours – sour, spicy, savory, and fragrant.

It features shrimp as the star ingredient, accompanied by lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili peppers. The result is a hot and sour soup that awakens the senses.


4. Massaman Curry

Hailing from southern Thailand, Massaman Curry is a mild yet rich dish influenced by Indian and Malay cuisines. Tender pieces of meat are cooked with potatoes, peanuts, and onions in a spiced coconut milk gravy.

The blend of spices, including cinnamon and star anise, creates a unique and comforting flavour profile.

The fifth most popular Thai dish - som tum

5. Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)

Som Tum is a refreshing and zesty salad made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and chilies. The dressing, a combination of lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar, adds a sweet and tangy twist.

This dish embodies the complexity of Thai flavours in a simple yet vibrant form.

panang curry

6. Panang Curry

Panang Curry is a rich and nutty curry that boasts a thick and velvety texture. Its deep flavours are achieved through the combination of red curry paste, coconut milk, and crushed peanuts.

It’s often enjoyed with chicken, beef, or pork, and the aroma of kaffir lime leaves adds a citrusy note.

pad krapow moo sap

7. Pad Krapow Moo Saap

For those seeking a dish with a bold kick, Pad Krapow Moo Saap is the answer. This stir-fry features minced pork cooked with Thai holy basil, garlic, chili, and fish sauce.

Served with a fried egg on top and a side of rice, it’s a satisfying comfort food option.

The eighth most popular Thai dish - khao pad

8. Khao Pad (Fried Rice)

Fried rice, or Khao Pad, is a versatile dish that can be customized with various ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, or vegetables. The rice is stir-fried with a medley of flavours including soy sauce, onions, carrots, and peas.

Topped with a lime wedge and a sprinkle of cilantro, it’s a delicious and quick meal.

pad see ew

9. Pad See Ew

Pad See Ew is a popular stir-fried noodle dish that features wide rice noodles cooked with dark soy sauce, Chinese broccoli, eggs, and a protein like chicken, beef, or tofu.

The smoky wok hei flavour combined with the savory sauce makes this dish a comforting favorite.

The tenth most popular Thai dish - khao soi

10. Khao Soi

Originating from the North of Thailand, Khao Soi is a noodle soup that’s a harmonious blend of Burmese and Thai influences. It’s a typical Northern Thai food that features egg noodles in a coconut curry broth with tender chunks of meat (usually chicken or beef).

Topped with crispy noodles and pickled mustard greens, Khao Soi is a delightful interplay of textures and flavours.

Are Your Favourite Dishes on The List?

Thai cuisine’s popularity has soared beyond borders due to its unique blend of flavours and textures. The ten dishes mentioned above are just a glimpse into the diverse world of Thai food.

Each dish showcases the balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavours that are integral to Thai cooking. Whether you’re a seasoned Thai food enthusiast or just beginning to explore this culinary journey, these 10 popular dishes offer an enticing and authentic experience of Thailand’s vibrant food culture.

If you like this list you may also enjoy the 5 Most Popular Thai Street Foods.

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