Looking for the best Thai appetizers that are also easy to make?
From lettuce wraps to wonton cups, these simple Thai recipes are perfect for any party.
I was lucky enough to visit Thailand a few years ago, and I spent more time than you can imagine sampling food at the various markets.
But one thing that really got me excited was the vast selection of Thai starters.
Appetizers are such a fun way to start a meal, or even to create a tapas-style dinner with lots of options.
I love being able to pull from these incredible cultures to serve up something special.
If you’re a fan of spicy peanut sauce and fresh fruit, then you’ll love this list of 14 authentic Thai appetizers.
1. Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
If you’re in the mood for something crazy delicious but on the lighter side, then you should try these wonderful wraps.
Using lettuce is a great way to keep the carbs down, and it adds such a nice crunch, too.
These are made with a sweet chili and peanut butter sauce, but you could always substitute with something else. How about hoisin or teriyaki BBQ sauce?
2. Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
As a massive peanut butter fan, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many dishes using it in new and funky ways. I’d had chicken satay before, but never this good.
Between the salty and spicy chicken and the creamy spiced peanut butter, you’ll want to make this a main meal.
3. Peanut Dipping Sauce
Once you’ve tasted this sauce, you’ll want to put it on everything. Trust me: I always have a batch in the fridge, and it never goes to waste.
Feel free to play around with the quantities, so it’s as thick as you like. And I highly recommend using coconut milk instead of water to make it extra creamy.
It works wonders as a salad dressing, over a big bowl of noodles, or as a dipping sauce for some fresh spring rolls!
4. Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Once I found out I could buy rice paper in the supermarket, I started making my own spring rolls, and I haven’t stopped since.
They’re so easy to work with, and you can make the most colorful spring rolls around.
Keep them veggie-friendly, or add in some of that Thai chicken mix from above. Either way, you’ll need plenty of that peanut sauce for dipping.
5. Thai Corn Fritters
You may have had corn fritters in the past, but not like this. These are full of some incredible flavors, like ginger, coconut, and garlic chili.
I also love the addition of red chili paste for just the right amount of heat to go along with those sweet pops of corn.
They can be eaten as a great little appetizer or as a side to anything from roast chicken to a stack of supreme Thai ribs.
6. Supreme Thai Ribs
Speaking of supreme Thai ribs…
Ribs are a real indulgence in my house. I have to get them special from the butcher, so I know they will be thick and juicy.
I like to cook mine in a slow cooker, but you can do it low and slow in the oven, too. Either way, they’ll melt in your mouth with this fantastic sauce.
Chili, garlic, fish sauce, and maple syrup might not sound like your mom’s ribs, but I promise these might just become your new favorites.
7. Baked Thai Coconut Shrimp with Lemongrass Guacamole
As if coconut shrimp isn’t good enough. Lemongrass guacamole!? I had to try this one!
I actually had something similar from a street cart when I was in Thailand, and I could never entirely recreate it at home. But this recipe is exactly how I remember it.
Be sure to cut the lemongrass fine so that the citrus and minty flavor can really shine through.
8. Thai Peanut Salad Wonton Cups
These are for when lettuce wraps just aren’t enough!
Who doesn’t love a crunchy wonton? Since they’re available in the grocery stores, making your own has never been easier.
This recipe uses some of the same peanut sauce to make a Thai-inspired slaw.
Mix it with the chopped peanuts and green onion, and you’ll have a flavor explosion in one little bite.
9. Thai Fried Bananas กล้วยแขก (gluay kag)
The key to fried bananas is… well, to not use bananas. These recipes call for plantains or a different variety of bananas that we don’t tend to see in the States.
Plantains because they are not as sweet and won’t turn to mush after cooking. Keep them nice and thick, and thoroughly coat them with the batter.
Even though the batter contains coconut and sugar, I dare say these would be delicious dipped in peanut sauce!
10. Thai Pinwheels with Peanut Sauce
This recipe uses many of the same ingredients you would see in a spring roll. There are plenty of veggies and some lovely sauce.
The difference is that it all gets rolled up in a tortilla and cut into bite-sized pieces.
I love the color contrast with the spinach tortillas, but you can use whole wheat or white if you prefer. And feel free to change up the veggies to your liking.
11. Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts
If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of lettuce-filled salads, then you’ll love this recipe.
Instead of a bowl of wilted lettuce, this dish is full of crunchy cucumber, red onion, peanuts, and jalapeños.
The dressing is a refreshing mixture of lime juice, sugar, garlic, fish sauce, and oil, which I’ll bet you have already.
12. Thai Style Popcorn
Does your family get one of those huge tins full of flavored popcorn every Christmas? Does it ever last until New Year’s?
I’m with you. Popcorn is such an addictive snack, and I love seeing new and exciting flavors.
This recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy, using a little lime and just the right amount of sriracha.
Once coated and baked, you’ll be left with salty-spicy-sweet caramel corn that people will go ga-ga for.
13. Dragon Fruit Cocktail with Vodka
Dragon fruit may look intimidating on the outside, but inside is a lovely tender fruit that tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear.
Since it’s a mild fruit, you can be liberal with the extra to enhance the fruit and make the drink something a little more tropical.
Serve over ice or blend with ice for a grown-up slushy.
14. Thai Fruit Skewers with Coconut and Lime
One of my favorite things about being in Thailand was the abundance of fresh fruit.
We had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they serve it happily as an appetizer.
The key to this fruit dish is to let the fruit soak in the coconut and lime. Much like chicken, the fruit will soak up the flavors to create the most flavorful fruity bites around.
For something extra special, try grilling the skewers for a few minutes to caramelize the sugars.
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