Thai Dishes

A sampling of some of the more popular Thai Dishes:

Curry Dishes

Kaeng Musuman มัสมั่น  A rich beef, chicken or lamb curry with peanuts. Not too spicy and often served at wedding parties.

You can purchase Musuman curry paste in many Asian food stores or on the Web. However, if you’re a purist or adventurous, you might want to try this:



  • 10 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 6 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon chopped lemon grass
  • 1 teaspoon chopped galangal
  • 1 teaspoon chopped bergamot skin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, grilled
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon tamarind juice

Coarsely chop the chilies and soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain. Dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom pods and cloves over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until they are aromatic and slightly browned.

Saute the chilies, garlic and shallots in the oil until lightly browned.

Pound in the following order: a) garlic, shallots and chilies b) coriander, cardamom pods, cumin, cloves and peppercorns c) lemon grass, galangal, bergamot, coriander roots.

Place the shrimp paste on a piece of foil and cook it over a flame or burner for 1 to 2 minutes, or in a hot oven (425F) until the outside is slightly burnt. Mix the shrimp paste with all the above ingredients plus the sugar, salt and tamarind juice to form a fine paste.

Once you have your curry paste, you’re ready to make some curry:



  • peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon galangal chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon grass chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef 1″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste; (Thai masaman)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest shredded
  • 1 tablespoon lime leaves shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste; up to 4
  • 2 cups potatoes cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup pearl onions

First, prepare the curry paste and coconut milk separately. Add the paste with some of the ‘cream’ from the coconut milk and heat until the oil starts to separate. Then, in a separate pan, heat peanut oil, garlic, galangal and lemon grass. Stir fry 1 minute until oil is aromatic.

Add beef and stir fry 3 minutes until lightly browned and add the curry paste/coconut cream mixture.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, lime zest, lime leaves, basil, fish sauce and chile paste, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.

Simmer 45 minutes, until beef is tender.

When beef is just tender, add potatoes and onions to curry and simmer 30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked.

Yield – 6 cups

Kaeng Kari แกงกระหรี่  A mild flavored Indian type curry made with potatoes and chicken (sometimes other meats are used).

Phanaeng CurryPhanaeng Nua or Phanaeng Gai แพนงไก่   A spicy curry with either meat or chicken with coconut milk for flavor from southern Thailand.


Kaeng Jut  A mild flavored soup made of vegetables, tofu and shrimp, chicken or pork.

Kaeng Jut Wun Sen  The same as Kaeng Jut with the addition of Chinese vermicelli.

Tom Yom ต้มยำ  A hot and sour soup with lots of chilies and lemon grass and ginger. Can be made with chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, fish, or assorted seafood. Probably one of the best known Thai dishes.

Khao Dom  Rice soup, often eaten late at night, with pork, fish, or shrimp added.

Egg Dishes

Kai Dom  Hard boiled egg.

Kai Dao  Fried egg. Often added on the side with fried rice.

Kai Kon  Scrambled eggs

Kai Chieo ไข่เจียว  Plain Thai omelette.

Kai Yatsai  Thai omelette filled with meat or pork, onions and sugar peas.

Fried Dishes

Khao Pat ข้าวผัด  Fried rice.

Mu Priow Wan  Sweet and sour pork with vegetables.

Phak Bung Phat  Fried Thai morning glory leaves and stems.  Often a fiery show.

Nua Phat Nam Man Hoi เนื้อผัดน้ำมันหอย  Fried beef with oyster flavored sauce and green onion.

Dok Kalam Phat Mu (Kung, Gai, Nua)  Fried pork, shrimp, chicken or beef with cauliflower.

Gai Phat Met Mamuang ไก่ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์  Chicken fried with green onions and cashew nuts.

Mee Krop หมี่กรอบ  Fried vermicelli noodles with bits of meat, shrimp or egg.

Bo Bia Thot ปอเปี๊ยะทอด  Fried egg roll containing bean sprouts with pork or crabmeat.

Pla Thot ปลาทอด  Fried fish (many types).

Pla Thot Sam Rot ปลาทอดสามรส  Fried fish with sweet and sour and hot sauce.

Thotman Pla ทอดมันปลา or Thotman Gung ทอดมันกุ้ง  Fried fish or shrimp cakes.

Northeastern Dishes

Kai Chieo Khai Mot Daeng  Thai omelette with fresh red ant eggs.

Gai Yang  Roasted chicken, from the Northeast. Best eaten with Som Tom and sticky rice.

lap pla dukLap ลาบ  Spicy minced beef salad from the Northeast.  Eaten with sticky rice.


Som Tom ส้มตำ  Very spicy raw papaya salad
with lots of chilies. These four dishes eaten together are a real event, even Bangkokians rave about Northeastern food.

Odd & Ends

khao soiKhao Soi ข้าวซอย   This is a Burmese influenced dish found mainly in northern Thailand. It is a soup-like dish made with egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, nam prik pao, and meat in a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk. The curry is similar to that of yellow or Masaman curries but is thinner. Broken fried noodles or broken fried won-ton skins are often added on top for a nice crunch.

This is another of my absolutely favorite dishes but can be difficult to find, not only in Hua Hin, but all over Thailand. There are a couple of places in Hua Hin and a few oasis in Bangkok with decent servings but by far the best are found in Chiang Mai.

For Khao Soi lovers The Austin Bush Food Blog has a recipe and many posts on various Khao Soi shops in northern Thailand.

Kung Thot Krop  Crisp fried shrimp.

Bo Bia Sot  Egg roll containing bean sprouts with pork or crabmeat. Not fried.

Kam Bu Thot  Fried crab claws.

Kam Bu Nung  Steamed crab claws.

Gai Thot  Fried chicken.

Gai Op Bai Tuei ไก่ห่อใบเตย  Baked marinated chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves.

Ho Mok Pla ห่อหมกปลา  Steam curried fish wrapped in banana leaves.

Yam  A spicy Thai-style salad with chilies, garlic, and specific additions like shrimp, beef ยำเนื้อ, squid, sausage, mussels, etc.

Yam Wun Sen ยำวุ้นเส้น  Spicy Thai-type salad like the above but with Chinese vermicelli.

Kung Op Wun Sen  Baked shrimp with Chinese vermicelli.

Nam Phrik Kapi  Shrimp paste dip.

Nua Daet Diow  Dried beef, like beef jerky.

Yam Pla Duk Fu ยำปลาดุกฟู A Yam is a spicy salad and this one features crispy catfish. This recipe now has a page of its own, here.

yam pla duk foo

For a another picture of a stand selling this dish, click here.


Thai sweets







bugsBugs (Seasonal and not available everywhere)

Takatan Thot Fried Patanga grasshoppers

Maengda Water beetles

Muan Malang Pong Yang Grilled Water scorpions

Malang Mao Flying termites, grilled, fried, or roasted

Non Mai Fried or roasted silk work larvae




Miang-Come แหนมเนือง