Thailand cuisine needs little introduction. From San Francisco to Sukhothai, its profusion of exotic flavours and fragrances make it among the most coveted of international cuisines.

As a walk through Bangkok forcefully reminds, these flavours and fragrances are seemingly inexhaustible. However, whether it be juicy pieces of grilled pork on a stick or a fiery bowl of ‘Tom Yum’ soup, we all have to start somewhere.

And what better place than our carefully selected Top 10 of Thailand cuisine, which spans everything from staple backpacker favourites to Thai classics. Once you’ve tried them all, please vote for the one that really thrilled your taste buds…

 

Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup) 

Thailand cuisine
Thailand cuisine

 

The quintessential Thai aroma! A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chilli, 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.

A versatile dish that can fit within virtually any meal, 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) 

Thailand cuisine
Thailand cuisine

 

Hailing from the Northeast state of Isaan, this outlandish dish is both great divider – some can’t get enough of its bite, some can’t handle it – and 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 flavour that’s not easily forgotten. Regional variations throw peanuts, dry shrimp or salted crab into the mix, the latter having a gut-cleansing talent that catches many newcomers by surprise!

 

Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)

Thailand cuisine
Thailand cuisine

 

A mild, tamer twist on Tom Yum, this iconic soup infuses fiery chilies, thinly sliced young galangal, crushed shallots, stalks of lemongrass and tender strips of chicken. However unlike its more watery cousin, lashings of coconut milk soften its spicy blow. Topped off with fresh lime leaves, it’s a sweet-smelling concoction, both creamy and compelling.

Thailand cuisine is not just spicy and you better to not to be stuffed yet because more is incoming in Thailand cuisine part 2