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Holidays in Thailand: Top 10 Must-Try Dishes

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Renowned for its incredible landscape, Thailand is also famed for its flavoursome cuisine, and Thai food plays a large part when it comes to Holidays in Thailand. Fresh and fragrant, Thai cuisine blends various different ingredients to create unique flavours in various healthy dishes. Whether you’re relaxing on an island, exploring the sights in bustling Bangkok or getting back to nature in northern Thailand, there is a myriad of flavours, restaurant dishes and street food for you to sample. With so many dishes to choose from it can be hard to know where to start, so using our expert Thailand knowledge, we’ve chosen 10 must-try dishes that are nothing short of delicious… 

1. Green Chicken Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan Kai)

A popular choice in UK restaurants, many believe you have not tried green chicken curry until you’ve tried it in its homeland. This mouth-watering, aromatic dish is often spicier in Thailand and combines chunks of chicken, Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, coriander and basil with coconut milk, green chilli, kaffir lime, galangal, shrimp paste, coriander, lemongrass, and even more spices! Often served with fragrant jasmine rice, you’ll find this delicious dish all over Thailand, from high-end hotels to the street-food markets in Bangkok.

2. Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng)

Also a popular dish in the UK, this delicious curry is made with chicken, beef, pork, duck, shrimp, or tofu in Thailand, and is less spicy than Thai green curry (the reverse is true in the UK). Ingredients include garlic, shallots, chilli peppers, galangal, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, and like green curry, the dish is popular throughout the whole of Thailand. 

3. Thai Style Fried Noodles (Pad Thai)

This iconic noodle dish can be found throughout much of Thailand and is a popular offering with street-food vendors in Bangkok. Undeniably more flavoursome than the UK version, this stir-fried rice noodles dish comes with various different proteins and is created using chilli, fish sauce, ground peanuts, sugar and lime juice. You’ll find pad thai on most menus and many consider it a must-try during holidays to Thailand.

4. Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Deliciously sweet, yet healthy, this tasty treat is a fantastic way to finish off a spicy Thai meal. Alternatively, it can also be eaten as a snack and you’ll find it at street stalls, as well as high-end establishments. The dish consists of perfectly ripe, succulent mango chunks beside sticky rice that has been drenched in coconut cream. It’s often served in banana leaves and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. Be warned - it’s seriously moreish! 

5. Chiang Mai Curried Noodles (Khao Soi)

Popular in northern Thailand and a must-try if you are on a Thailand tour to Chiang Mai, Khao Soi is a soup made with yellow curry and coconut milk and served with both boiled and fried noodles. The satisfying soup usually comes with chicken or beef, however, modern Chiang Mai restaurants also offer seafood or pork. The soup makes a delicious lunch before an afternoon of exploring. 

6. Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Originating from northeast Thailand, this light, summery dish consists of shredded green papaya, ground chilli, tomatoes, garlic and green beans. The dish is complemented with fish sauce, lime, sugar, and peanuts, which create a spicy, sweet and sour flavour. Eat with sticky rice for a more substantial meal.

7. Spicy Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)

Rich in vitamin A, this hot and sour soup packs a punch in the flavour department. You’ll find slightly different versions throughout Thailand, and it’s a popular dish in Bangkok restaurants. Common ingredients include shrimp, shrimp stock, Thai chillies, Thai roasted chilli paste, fish sauce and mushrooms. Many eateries in Bangkok add evaporated milk to the recipe for an extra creamy soup. 

8. Spicy Beef Salad (Yum Nua)

This refreshing salad ticks a lot of boxes - healthy, flavoursome and a perfect match for the hot Thai weather. Topped with strips of tender beef, this salad comes with a mouth-watering dressing made lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, fish sauce, sugar and garlic. Like spicy green papaya salads, yum nua is often eaten with sticky rice for a filling, flavoursome meal. 

9. Chicken with Cashew Nuts (Kai Med Ma Muang)

A popular dish with UK tourists, this tasty dish gets its sweet, sour and tangy flavour from fish sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and dried red chillies. The chicken often comes with a slightly crispy coating and the dish goes perfectly with sticky Thai rice. You can order this in most of Thailand’s major tourist spots.

10. Fried Rice (Khao Pad)

This simple yet delicious dish never disappoints. Available at almost every street-food market and made with jasmine rice, this hearty dish is often flavoured with onions, garlic, egg, fish sauce, lime and soy sauce, chillies and coriander. Additions include sweet pork, fresh shrimps and chicken.

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