Thai food became popular in North America as early as the 1960's, but many of us have never ventured past the deliciousness of pad Thai. Thai cuisine has much, much more to offer than noodles in peanut sauce; read on to learn about some amazing dishes you can add to your rotation.
Curry isn’t a stretch for many eaters, but people don’t always realize that Thai curries are their own special category. Whether you opt for the coconut-tamarind goodness that is massaman, the mild flavors of yellow curry, the spicy coconut and basil flavor of green curry or the (not always spicy) red chili flavor of panang, curry is a great first step out of your pad Thai comfort zone.
Don't be confused by the unappetizing sound of this Thai salad’s name. The ground meat, sliced onions, roasted rice, mint, and sauce make for a satisfying yet healthy meal, one to seriously consider when deciding what Thai food to order.
3. Tom Kha Kai or Tom Kha Gai
This spicy sour soup is a wonderful introduction to the ways Thai food can surprise a bored palate. Made with coconut milk, lemongrass, and lime, it’s hard to describe what this soup truly tastes like. It’s even harder to stop eating it once you start.
4. Black Rice Pudding
While you’re sampling sticky rice dishes, try black rice pudding. It’s also made with sweetened coconut milk, but the special rice that this dessert is made with lends the dish an exciting color and a definite nuttiness. Eat it hot for maximum enjoyment.
5. Miang Kham
Not every Thai restaurant offers this leaf-wrapped appetizer, so if you find one that does, you’re in luck. You get the pleasure of packing your own combo of shallots, ginger, peanuts and other goodies into bai cha plu leaves and then popping them into your mouth. They’re far too yummy to stop at just one order.
6. Mango Sticky Rice
Cooked in sweetened coconut milk, this Thai dessert is so simple and yet so delicious. Maybe it’s the way the coconut milk caramelizes, maybe it’s the lush freshness of ripe mango. You don’t have to know why it tastes so good to enjoy every bite.
If you love shish kebabs, you should definitely try satays. The starting point of this fan favorite is marinated meat on bamboo sticks. What makes them truly special, though, is the sauces they’re served with. Whether your local Thai restaurant offers peanut sauces or cucumber vinegar (or both), satays make for a great appetizer. Or add multiple orders to your cart to turn this typical Thai food into an amazing entrée.
8. Lime Soda
You’ve probably had the tamarind goodness of Thai iced tea (if not, stop now and have one, we’ll wait), but have you tried a lime soda? It sounds simple (and it is), but few other cuisines celebrate the lime as well as Thai does. Fresh lime juice mixed with cane sugar and bubbly water make this drink wildly refreshing.
9. Swimming Rama
Peanut sauce, chicken and spinach? Yes, please. This dish is filling and healthy. It’s also really good for those who are against spice (a rarity in Thai food). You can make it spicy if you want, of course, but it won’t be unintentionally so.
10. Thai Papaya Salad
Shredded papaya, peanuts and dried shrimp fill this light dish with remarkably complex flavors. It makes a good side, or you can eat it as an entrée when you’re looking for a lighter lunch.
11. Fried Rice
Fried rice is not just a Chinese staple. There are a few different varieties you’ll find on Thai menus, and all are made with jasmine rice. Read deep into the menu you have at hand and choose the one that most appeals to you. Pineapple? Turmeric? Crab? Green curry? You’ll probably be surprised by the many options available. Which one’s your favorite?
Are you craving a full range of Thai delicacies? Open your Uber Eats app and try something new today.