Thai food’s profusion of exotic flavors and fragrances make it among the most coveted of international cuisines.
Food is very much a part of your Bangkok experience, and luckily you don’t have to walk very far to find something to eat. Shop-house restaurants and food carts can be found on almost every street corner, at pavement eateries with fold-up tables and chairs. In fact, the smell of food is omnipresent in this sprawling metropolis.
Be prepared to see some strange-looking dishes. Absolutely nothing goes to waste, pork innards, chicken feet, even creepy looking insects included. All in all, Thai food is not just a culinary feast, but an unrivaled adventure.
Top 5 Thai Foods
- Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
This is the quintessential Thai aroma! A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chili, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce shapes this classic soup, giving it its legendary herbal kick. Succulent fresh prawns and straw mushrooms lend it body. The distinctive smell reminds you of exotic perfume, while it’s invigorating sour-spicy-hot taste just screams ‘Thailand’.
- Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Hailing from the Northeast state of Isaan, this dish is greatly distinctive. Garlic, chilies, green beans, cherry tomatoes and shredded raw papaya get dramatically pulverized in a pestle and mortar, so releasing a rounded sweet-sour-spicy flavor that’s not easily forgotten. Regional variations throw peanuts, dry shrimp or salted crab into the mix.
- Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
A mild, tamer twist on Tom Yum (the spicy shrimp soup), this iconic soup infuses fiery chilies, thinly sliced young galangal, crushed shallots, stalks of lemongrass and tender strips of chicken. Lashings of coconut milk soften its spicy blow. Topped off with fresh lime leaves, it’s a sweet-smelling concoction, both creamy and compelling.
- Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
From Cape Town to Khao San Road, the default international Thai dish! Dropped in a searing hot wok, fistfuls of small, thin or wide noodles do a steamy minute-long dance alongside crunchy beansprouts, onion and egg. A truly interactive eating experience, half its fun and flavor lies in then using a quartet of accompanying condiments such as fish sauce, sugar, chili powder and finely ground peanuts.
- Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)
Pardon the pun, but tourists go nuts for this stir fried dish. Perhaps it’s the wildly contrasting textures of a dish that sauté’s chicken alongside roasted cashews, sweet soy sauce, onions, chilies, pepper, carrot and mushrooms. Perhaps it’s the sweetening dash of honey that appeals. Do you really care? The important thing is that this dish works: it’s simple but scrumptious, a little bit tame and yet still totally Thai.
Our Executive MBA students cannot wait to try all the unique flavors and foods available in Bangkok this June!