One of the best things about visiting Thailand is the food. Thai food is a delicious experience – distinctive; sweet, sour, or salty; hot or mild; and always mouthwateringly delicious. You may have tried Thai food at home but nothing beats the authentic Thai experience, particularly when you eat an exquisite Pad Thai next to the ocean, or a Kao Phad in a bustling Bangkok street market. Here are 10 must-try dishes to put on your list for your trip to Phuket and Thailand. We guarantee your mouth will be watering when you read this…
1. Pad Thai
You cannot visit Thailand without trying a Pad Thai. The noodle dish is a great snack and also a filling main meal depending on the additions – tofu, onion, bean sprouts and sometimes chicken or shrimp go into the mix. The finishing touch on a Pad Thai is the sprinkling of salty, tasty peanuts that are ground to a fine powder. You can also add sugar, fish sauce, or chilies before you settle down to enjoy a memorable meal.
2. Tom Yam Goong
This hot and spicy soup can also be eaten with rice for a filling main meal. Lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass and galangal combine to create a flavorsome aroma and the addition of the famous jumbo shrimp and mushrooms make this a worthy contender for Thailand’s most-loved dish.
3. Gai Med Ma Moung
Chicken with cashew nuts – but much more than that. Add soy sauce, garlic and honey and you’ve got a distinctive dish that is perfect for an evening meal while watching the sun set in the ocean. Cashew nuts are readily available in Phuket and always tasty.
4. Geng Kheaw Wan Gai (Chicken Green Curry)
You’re sure to have heard of Thai green curry but did you try an authentic version? Thai green curry is made with green curry paste – a blend of original Thai spices that is distinct from Indian curries. Thai green curry can be spicy and hot but the coconut milk gives it a soothing aftertaste.
5. Kuay Tiew
Thai noodle soup is a great dish to try from a market stall and there are countless varieties available. Thin or fat noodles are spiced up with chicken, duck, beef, pork or shrimps plus a beguiling mix of spices. You won’t find a noodle soup the same the entire country over – all the more reason to try them one by one.
6. Massaman Curry
Massaman curry combines potatoes with a broth of coconut milk plus peanuts, onions, cinnamon, and tamarind. Massaman means Muslim and this dish was originally developed by the Muslim community in Thailand.
7. Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad)
Thailand’s spicy papaya salad originally comes from the northeast of Thailand but it is enjoyed throughout Phuket and the rest of the country. Green papaya is shredded and mixed with spices, then served with chicken and sticky rice for a taste sensation that is unique to this region.
8. Khao Man Gai (Rice and Chicken)
Chicken and rice can be bought from the street vendors as well as the restaurants – and it is usually delicious. Chicken is boiled for a tender taste and then the rice is served hot and sticky. If you want an extra kick, spice it up with a sauce.
9. Tom Kha Gai
A refreshing combination of chicken, coconut milk, lemongrass, and galangal means this soup is one you’ll order again and again. If you want a Thai dish that is flavorsome without being too full-on, give Tom Kha Gai a try.
10. Kao Phad (Fried Rice)
If you want a snack then go for a pile of steaming fried rice with all the trimmings – meat, shrimp, chicken or tofu, plus a serving of fried egg, garlic, and even cilantro or tomato. You can add the chilies or chili sauce to your taste. Also works well as a main dish.
Plan your culinary tour of Phuket and Thailand with the help of Phuket On. Find all the information about must-visit restaurants, the best hotels in Phuket, and all the attractions you need to see.
Featured image via Luke Ma/ Flickr