Thai food is distinguished by its unique blend of flavours and nutritional properties, which has made it famous across the world. Check out this list of best meat dishes and best Thai seafood dishes.
Check out also the 11 best Thai noodle dishes and rice meals, and the 12 best Thai appetizers and curries.
Thai cuisine is a cultural legacy passed down through generations. Rice is the key component taken with additional supplements in Thai eating culture. The Thai menu consists of many cooking methods such as boiling, soup, frying, spicy salad, and chili paste with a combination of flavours such as sour, salty, sweet, and spicy that are rarely seen in other national relatives.
Thai cuisine preparation and cooking processes are, in general, delicate. Furthermore, the ornamentation of vegetables and fruits in various hues, as well as the cutting of these materials, employs traditional techniques. Thai cuisine is popular in many nations as a result of these factors.
Thai food, whether a set or a single-plate dish, has five areas of nutritional values: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fibers in suitable quantities. Protein of high quality may be obtained from a variety of meats, including chicken, hog, beef, eggs, and shellfish. It also provides adequate fat, either from plants or animals; in general, almost all cooking methods require a small amount of oil and not too much meat, but emphasize on various vegetables and fruits that are sources of vitamins and minerals, such as beta carotene, to stay healthy and prevent cancer.
Furthermore, the fibre in vegetables and fruits aid in digestion and lower blood cholesterol. Spices, such as ginger, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf, sweet basil, and krachai, give a delightful scent as well as medical ingredients to prevent and treat certain ailments, such as obesity, cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
By the way, consuming Thai cuisine in appropriate quantity and relation to daily demands would provide necessary nutritious content that is acceptable for individuals who need to regulate their weight. Thai food is distinguished by its unique blend of flavours and nutritional properties, which has made it famous across the world.
14 Meat Dishes and Best Thai Seafood Dishes
1. Sai Oua
Sai oua is a grilled pork sausage that is popular in northern Thailand and northeastern Myanmar. It’s created with pig mince, herbs, spices, and kaeng khua, a red curry paste.
Sai oua is a popular dish in Chiang Mai and other northern Thailand cities. It’s widely accessible and is usually served as an appetizer or snack, or with sticky rice.
Laab, sometimes known as larb, is a sort of Lao meat salad. It is considered a Laotian national cuisine and is popular in Thailand’s northern and Isan areas.
Larb styles might vary based on where it comes from. Larb in Laos or Isan style is prepared using meat, such as chicken, beef, hog, or duck. The meat can be served raw or cooked, with chile, fish sauce, padaek, roasted ground rice, lime juice, and fresh herbs.
There is also a Lanna-style larb. It does not include fish sauce and is not seasoned in any way, unlike Isan-style larb. Instead, dried spices such as cumin, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and long pepper are used. In rare situations, it can be created from the animal’s blood.
Both types of larb are normally served at room temperature with sticky rice and a serving of fresh raw veggies.
Naem is a sort of fermented pig sausage prevalent in Thailand’s Isan area. The skinless sausage is made of pork meat, pork skin, cooked sticky rice, salt, garlic, sugar, and bird’s eye chile.
Naem is folded in banana leaves and fermented for 3-5 days in clay pots. This fermentation procedure promotes the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, which are responsible for the sausage’s sourness.
When the sausage is finished, it’s packaged in banana leaves and served uncooked with chile, ginger, shallots, peanuts, and spring onions.
4. Thai Satay
Satay is most commonly associated with Indonesia or Malaysia, although it is also popular in other countries of Southeast Asia, including Thailand. It refers to grilled meat that has been seasoned, skewered, and grilled.
Thai satay may be cooked using a variety of meats and veggies, but the most common are chicken, beef, and pork. It is typically served with peanut sauce and a side of achat or pickled cucumber salad.
5. Moo Hong
A slow-cooked pig belly stew is referred known as Moo hong. It’s regarded as a hallmark dish in Phuket and one of the most delectable Thai foods available on the island.
Moo hong, originally a Hokkien cuisine, is cooked by braising pork belly in a sweet marinade of garlic, black peppercorn, soy sauce, coriander root, and star anise. It’s simmered for more than an hour, until the pork belly is fork soft and swimming in a rich, black, garlicky-peppery sauce. When coupled with a bowl of cooked white rice, it’s really excellent.
6. Pandan Chicken
Pandan chicken is a Thai meal that consists of marinated boneless chicken pieces wrapped in pandan (screwpine) leaves, as the name suggests. They’re cooked together, allowing the pandan leaf’s fragrant scent to permeate the chicken.
Pandan chicken is generally served as an appetizer or snack, with a soy-sauce-based dip or a sweet chili sauce.
7. Gai Tod
Gai (or kai) is Thai for “chicken,” and tod is Thai for “fried,” therefore gai tod is Thai fried chicken. It’s a popular street food snack with a crispy but light covering.
To prepare, chicken wings and thighs are marinated in a spice and fragrant combination before being dipped in a rice flour batter and deep-fried. It’s usually served with sticky rice and a side of sweet chili sauce and topped with crispy fried garlic.
In contrast to American-style batter-fried chicken, where the coating easily falls off in one piece, the coating in gai tod is thinner and lighter, clinging to the chicken more securely.
8. Gai Yang
Gai yang refers to Thai grilled chicken since yang means “grilled.” It’s a Lao meal that’s popular in Thailand’s Isan and northern areas. But of days, it’s pretty much consumed across Thailand.
A whole chicken is divided and flattened flat before marinating and grilling over a low charcoal flame. Skewers are used to maintain the chicken flat when grilling so that it cooks evenly, resulting in succulent flesh and well crisped skin. Gai yang is commonly served with a tamarind-based sauce or a sweet chili sauce as a dipping sauce. Personally, I favor the first option.
Gai yang is commonly served with sticky rice and som tam because it is a Lao/Isan meal. It was always served with som tam and sticky rice when we had it in northern Thailand. They complement each other so perfectly.
9. Yam Pla Dook Foo
One of the best Thai seafood dishes is yam pla dook foo. It’s a deep-fried flaked catfish salad with a dressing of thinly sliced unripe mango, chili, lime juice, shallots, fish sauce, and sugar.
The menu reads “catfish,” but it doesn’t look like catfish. The flesh is flaked and deep-fried as promised, so you’re presented this platter with the most wonderful crispy chunks of catfish that go so well with steaming white rice and the unripe mango salad.
You should try this recipe. It’s textured, fascinating, and a lot of fun to eat.
10. Pla Pao
Pla pao is grilled salt-crusted fish. Before grilling, a whole fish, generally a red hybrid tilapia (pla tabtim) or snakehead fish (pla chon), is sprinkled with a heavy layer of salt.
To keep the meat juicy and delicious, the fish is traditionally grilled for around forty minutes (twenty minutes on each side) over a low charcoal fire. When it’s done, it’s usually accompanied by a Thai seafood sauce prepared with garlic, bird’s eye chile, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar.
11. Tod Mun Pla
Thai fish cakes are known as tod mun pla. It’s a traditional Thai street meal or market snack that’s available across Thailand.
Tod mun pla are red curry-flavored fish cakes usually prepared with clown featherback fish flesh (pla grai). It is frequently served with a cucumber dip or a sweet chili sauce as an appetizer, snack, or main dish with steamed rice.
12. Hoy Tod
Hoy tod is a famous street food dish in Bangkok. It refers to a crispy omelette prepared with oysters, mussels, or both.
To cook, oysters or mussels are fried with bean sprouts after being covered in a delicious egg batter. The omelette is cooked till crispy and served with a chili or tomato sauce.
If you visit Bangkok, you may come across two varieties of this dish: hoy tod and suan. Hoy tod refers to this crispy fried form that may be cooked with either oysters or mussels, whereas or suan refers to a spongier, gooier variation produced with only oysters.
13. Kai Jeaw Poo
A Thai crab omelette is referred to as kai jeaw poo. It’s a Thai cuisine that has gained international recognition in recent years as a result of Jay Fai, the goggle-wearing street food cook who was given a Michelin Star in 2018. One of her signature dishes is kai jeaw poo.
In a mixing dish, whisk together the eggs, pepper, and fish sauce before stirring in the crab meat. Using spatulas, form the egg mixture into a compact cylinder in heated oil. When the crab omelette is finished, it is decorated with herbs and served with chili sauce.
14. Goong Ten
Goong ten is one of the most unique and intriguing meals, and is definitely one of the best Thai seafood dishes, in this Thai cuisine guide. It refers to an Isan cuisine made of finely shredded lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, bird’s eye chile, mint leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, and chilli powder.
What makes goong ten fascinating is that when the inch-long shrimp are dropped in the mixture, they remain alive. The acidity from the lime juice, like in ceviche, essentially “cooks” the shrimp and causes them to dance around, hence the dish’s common moniker – “dancing shrimp.”