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If you’re a food lover and love exploring different cuisines, then trying various local foods and menus while on holiday is probably at the top of your to-do list. Wherever you go, and whatever it is you plan on doing, food will always be something you’ll need daily. One of the world’s most popular international cuisines comes from halal friendly Thailand. The Asian country is famous for its perfectly blended spices and creamy coconut dishes. No matter where you travel around the world, you’ll almost always come across a Thai restaurant or two offering the nations popular dishes. However, nothing beats treating your taste buds to a traditional Thai meal in the home of its origin itself.

While Thailand offers such a large selection of meat and veggie dishes, there are a few that are considered the best or most popular among the locals. If you do plan on travelling to Thailand anytime soon, we’ve got a list of dishes you’ll definitely want to give a go. Whether you’re looking for something spicy, creamy, or sweet, meaty, fishy or full of veggies, Thailand’s different menus will definitely lighten up your eyes, mouth, and stomach! 

Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup) 

A type of hot and sour Thai soup, usually cooked with shrimp, has become a popular dish around the world in the recent years. Boiled with spices and sauce mixed with the shrimp, the dish really allows the shrimp to soak up the spices while at the same time adding its own flavour to the soup. Fragrant spices and herbs are generously used in the broth making an aromatic smell so good you’ll feel your stomach rumble. Other ingredients such as lemongrass kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, chili peppers, fish sauce, and galangal are added to provide the ultimate burst of spicy and sour. This dish is often served with rice noodles or rice. 

Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad) 

A spicy yet sweet salad, Som Tum is the perfect dish for those that love to play with their taste buds.  One of the most commonly available and popularly consumed dishes in Thailand, this dish originates from the northeastern part of the Thailand (Isaan), which is on the border of Laos. An easy dish which can be found almost wherever you go in Thailand, Som Tum is perfect as a side or even on its own! Mainly shredded green papaya mixed with spices, nuts, sugar, and various other ingredients depending on once preference, Som Tum is the ideal way to start off your Thai food hunt. 

Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup) 

A Thai classic, chicken in coconut soup. Its rich and dynamic flavor from its popular Thai ingredients such as coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste, basil, and cilantro will turn your world upside down! Probably among the most popular dishes, Tom Kha Kai is a warming and comforting dish that is easily whipped together minus the long waiting period. If you’re looking to cook this dish yourself, we’d even recommend doubling your servings as the dish is even better the next day once the ingredients have had time to rest and fully meld into a satisfying broth. 

Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)

Nothing beats a good old stir-fry, especially when it’s Thailand’s fried noodle style. Commonly served as a street food the dish is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which is then stir-fried with eggs, and tofu, and flavoured with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp or shallots, red chilli pepper and palm sugar. You’ll often find this dish is served with lime wedges and roasted peanuts. Other vegetables and meat can be included, depending on one’s preference. This dish is the perfect comfort food to keep you on the go as your explore the many beautiful sites and tourist spots Thailand has to offer. 

Khao Pad (Fried Rice) 

You’ll never go wrong with Khao Pad or fried rice, especially cooked Thai style. Fried rice is popular all around the world, however, within Thailand, it is one of the only three basic filer foods, along with plain boiled rice and Thai spaghetti. Khao Pad is normally consumed as a meal in itself due to the various ingredients within and is normally served for breakfast or lunch. Different types of meat and vegetables are included in the dish and they are always cooked fresh, one of the reasons why this Thai dish is always a winner. Despite fried rice being cooked worldwide, we’d definitely recommend five Thailand’s version a try. The use of Jasmine rice, fresh herbs and spices, and fresh meat and vegetables makes it so much better than your average fried rice.