Pad See Eiw
One of the most common dishes in Thailand and it has gained its status for a reason. The name literally means stir-fry soy sauce, and it’s exactly just that. Dark and light soy sauce makes for the unique deep brown color on the thin or thick rice noodles. Traditionally made in a copper wok on coal, it has that particular charred smell to it that many other dishes like it has. You can get it with pork, chicken or seafood. It’s a good choice for those who can’t handle too much spice. Restaurants that serve them will have seasoning basket for you to add whatever flavors you think will work best with it.
Aptly named “fried bananas” is one of the most common streetside snacks in Thailand. Young bananas are sliced and dipped in batter that’s slightly sweetened and sprinkled with sesame seeds then fried. The result is a rich, slightly sweet, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. When eaten hot, these things are a delight.
Pad Kra Pao
The hands-down, most popular dish in Thailand. It’s a stir-fry of pork, chicken or seafood with chillies, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and holy basil. Many locals prefer it topped with fried eggs, which just fit together perfectly. It’s salty, slightly sweet and fragrant. You can request however spicy you want it to be, and the cook can make it for you.
Another hugely popular food among the locals and tourists alike. Som tam is basically shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried shrimp string beans, sugar, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, and plenty of chilies. The ingredients are mixed together using a mortar and pestle, which blends the flavors beautifully. There are many variations to the classic dish, but if you just want the standard som tam, then you have to tell them that you want som tam Thai. There are other types of som tam, such as ones with fermented crabs, fish, clams, or made with corns instead. This dish tends to be quite spicy by default, so depending on your tolerance level, it’s often best to ask for it mai pet (not spicy).
Khao Kha Moo
“Pork leg rice” is the translated name, and it’s as accurate as can be. Braised pork leg meat is shredded up, topped on rice and poured over with special sauce. Good khao kha moo should almost melt in your mouth, while also have a little bit of texture of pork. If you prefer less fatty meat, you can ask for it mai ow nang (no skin). It is often served with Chinese broccoli and a hard-boiled egg on the side. Shops that sell this dish will have a huge pot of bubbling pork stew right in front of the store.
This is Thai omelette, and it’s often served over rice. It’s one of the most basic dishes and cheapest you’ll find in Thailand. The standard kai jeow is just beaten eggs fried in hot oil. As soon as the egg hits the oil, it puffs up, making for an interesting sight. The egg will have already been seasoned, but you can often add some other things such as ground pork, shrimp, onion, carrots, and other things. Khao kai jeow is usually served with chilli sauce.
This is the Thai style barbeque pork skewer, and you can see a lot of these when you walk along the streets. These skewers of grilled pork are often sold along with little plastic bags of sticky rice. Although pork skewers are common, you’ll also see pieces of chicken and other meats grilled up and served by street vendors. Vendors often have their own secret marinade, but it’s typically made of sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Some make it more sweet, some more salty, but they are all delectable nonetheless.
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