Ready to take a culinary adventure to Thailand?
Let the vendors come to you with these legendary Thai street foods.
I went to Thailand a few years ago and totally fell in love. It’s so beautiful, with a stunning coastline and friendly people.
But the food was definitely the highlight! And when it comes to Thai cuisine, you can’t beat Thai street foods.
They have a ton of markets serving all kinds of fun and exciting dishes. But luckily, you can try 17 of the best without booking an expensive trip!
From fragrant curries to cozy noodles, these mouthwatering creations are sure to get your tastebuds singing.
17 Most Popular Thai Street Foods to Try at Home
1. Pad Thai
I’m sure you’ve had pad Thai at a local restaurant before. But did you know it’s also a popular street food?
This iconic Thai dish hits all the right notes as it balances sweet, savory, spicy, and umami.
If you’re craving a bowl, whip some up at home in just 30 minutes. I like mine with juicy shrimp, but chicken and tofu are great too.
Som tum is a green papaya salad that’s fresh, tart, and deliciously crunchy.
Unripened fruit may sound like an odd choice, but it’s a popular ingredient in a lot of Asian cooking.
And let me tell you: it’s fabulous!
This Thai salad combines an assortment of incredible ingredients with fish sauce, roasted peanuts, bird’s eye chilis, long beans, and lime.
As a side, snack, or light meal, green papaya salad is a sensational experience that will leave you craving more.
I can never pass up a bowl of slurpable Asian noodles, especially when it’s legit street food!
And pad see ew is by far one of the best!
Wide rice noodles coated in an umami sauce are the epitome of comfort food. Then there’s the scrambled egg, succulent chicken, and fresh broccoli.
Who doesn’t love spring rolls?! It’s a super popular street food nobody can resist.
And since you can stuff them with all sorts of yummy combinations, you’ll never get bored!
That said, this Thai recipe is one you’ll turn to again and again.
The filling is a crunchy blend of vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, and coriander stalks.
Instead of serving them with a dipping sauce on the side, you’ll season the vermicelli before wrapping them inside.
Khao pad gai is the Thai version of fried rice. And what sets it apart – other than the bed of jasmine rice – is the unique sauce known as prik nam pla.
For this one, you’ll fry chicken, toss in aromatics, then cook an egg before mixing in the rice.
As for that rockin’ Thai sauce, you’ll need chili and fish sauce. Oh, and I implore you not to skimp on the lime!
We can’t talk about Thai street food without mentioning a cozy bowl of noodle soup.
So here’s one that comes from Northern Thailand.
Chicken khao soi is a satiating curry noodle soup featuring a rich coconut broth, chicken, and egg noodles.
However, it wouldn’t be khao soi without the paste!
It has a punch of flavor from the bird’s eye chili, ginger, lime, shrimp paste, and curry powder.
Needless to say, no noodle lover can resist!
The best street foods require no plates. So chicken satay is high up on the list.
Each skewer features juicy chicken breast in an incredible spice-filled marinade. Then there’s the side of peanut sauce to enhance the experience further.
While the chicken will need to marinate, it’s a super easy dish. Try it at your next cookout, and I guarantee it will be a big hit!
Thai street vendors excel at late-night snacks and meals – even when that means breakfast items like omelets.
Kai jeow is not a standard omelet, though. Instead, it’s a fresh and umami-rich dish featuring eggs, fish sauce, and green onions.
Oh, and it only takes 5 minutes to make!
Serve it with fluffy white rice and a little Sriracha or chili paste.
Fried chicken isn’t just a southern dish, you know! It’s a Thai dish, too, and the street vendors do it best!
Try this recipe tonight if you’ve got a hankering for something flavorful and crispy!
You’ll need rice flour and tempura flour for coating and fish sauce for flavoring. As for the chicken, wings are best.
Of course, every good fried chicken wing recipe has a sauce to match. So make plenty of this sweet chili.
Mango sticky rice is a classic Asian-inspired dessert you can make at home. And it was my favorite way to end a meal when I was in Thailand!
The heart of the dish is super sticky glutinous rice. But don’t let the name fool you, it’s gluten-free.
For the rest of the dessert, you’ll need coconut milk, sugar, and of course, mangoes.
Another incredible Thai dessert is coconut ice cream. It’s a standard flavor for vendors and a sensational one at that!
Unlike your more elaborate recipes like double chocolate fudge brownie, coconut ice cream has a clean taste.
That’s because all it entails is water, sugar, and canned coconut milk.
Throw some coconut shavings on top, and help yourself to a double scoop!
12. Ma Laeng Tod (Fried Insects)
Insects are a surprising source of protein and are oddly tasty in this fried dish. So if you’re feeling adventurous (and can find it), try ma laeng tod.
They’re typically eaten as a snack, both in the afternoon and after dinner. And from grasshoppers to scorpions, there’s a variety to choose from.
Each of these has a crunchy texture and flavorful seasoning. There’s also often a side of fish sauce to go with it.
No street food adventure would be complete without a fried snack. So if you’re not quite ready for ma laeng tod, go with tod mun pla.
These fried fish cakes are crispy, savory, and full of red curry.
They’re also effortless to make at home. You only need five ingredients and about 20 minutes.
You can’t visit street food vendors in Thailand and not get meat skewers! And these, my friends, will have you drooling.
The thin pork slices take a long bath in a marinade featuring soy, fish, and oyster sauce. Then they get tossed on the grill and brushed with coconut cream.
Hot off the grill, serve them with slices of lime, cilantro, and a dipping sauce. Delish!
15. Khanom Buang
Looking for a new way to make crepes? Khanom buang is a killer Thai recipe I have to insist you try.
The batter is a blend of rice flour and mung bean. And the toppings can be salty or sweet.
Go with salty, and you’ll bite into either shrimp, egg, or pork. Choose the latter, and you’ll get something like coconut cream or sweet golden egg yolk threads.
Pla Pao is a real treat! Find a street vendor grilling this fish, and you won’t want to miss it.
A whole fish gets rubbed down in salt, then stuffed with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Peel back the layer of salt, and inside you’ll find a perfectly cooked fish. Serve it with a spicy, limey sauce, and you’re all set.
17. Thai Iced Coffee
There’s iced coffee, and then there is Thai iced coffee. Can you guess which is my guilty pleasure?
(Okay, okay…it’s both!)
This creamy and nutty adult beverage comes spiked with a couple of shots of Amaretto.
Brew a strong cup of coffee, then add the liqueur, condensed milk, and a sprinkle of cardamom.
As an after-dinner sipper or happy hour treat, this decadent coffee will perk you right up.
And yes, it’s just as tasty without the booze!
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