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15 Thai Desserts Every Sweet Tooth Should Try At Least Once

thai desserts

15 Thai Desserts Every Sweet Tooth Should Try At Least Once

Exploring Thai Desserts

Whether you’re in Bangkok or Nanaimo, there’s a Thai dessert waiting for you that will make your taste buds sing. From the sweet mango sticky rice to coconut-based treats, these desserts are sure to hit the spot. If you’re looking for a new culinary adventure, be sure to add some Thai desserts to your list! Thai dishes are globally known to be delicious and their desserts are no exception.

  • Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)
  • Khao Niao Toorien (Durian Sticky Rice)
  • Itim Kati (Coconut Ice Cream)
  • Khanom Buang (Thai Crispy Pancakes)
  • Khanom Krok (Coconut Pancakes)
  • Mamuang Nam Pla Wan (Green Mango With Sweet Chili Spices)
  • Khanom Ba Bin (Grilled Coconut Cakes)
  • Thong Yip (Sweet Egg Yolk Cups)
  • Khanom Tom (Shredded Coconut Balls)
  • Kluai Thot (Deep-Fried Bananas)
  • Foi Thong (Golden Threads)
  • Khanom Chan (Steamed Coconut-Pandan Cake)
  • Chao Kuai (Grass Jelly)
  • Khao Lam (Sticky Rice in Bamboo)
  • Ruam Mit (Thai Mixed Dessert)

mango sticky rice

Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)

Oh man, Thai mango sticky rice is one of the most delicious things on the planet. It’s sweet and sticky and just perfect. I could eat it every day.


Mango Sticky Rice is one of my favorite desserts and likely the favourite of many people reading this. It’s made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and of course, fresh mangoes. The rice is usually steamed in a bamboo basket and then coconut milk and sugar are added before serving. The flavors all meld together perfectly and the sticky rice pairs perfectly with the sweet Mangoes. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

fresh durian

Khao Niao Toorien (Durian Sticky Rice)

If you’re a fan of durian, then you’ll love this sticky rice dessert. It’s made in the same manner as mango sticky rice, but instead of using mangoes, slices of durian are used as the topping. Durian is a divisive fruit, but if you’re one of the people who enjoy its unique flavour, then you’ll want to try this dish.

Thai coconut ice cream

Itim Kati (Coconut Ice Cream)

This coconut-based dessert is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. It’s made with coconut milk, sugar, and salt, then frozen until it’s solid. Once it’s frozen, it’s shaved into thin strips and served in a bowl. The ice cream is refreshing and has a strong coconut flavour that will leave you wanting more.


📷 Photo Credit: You Know You’ve Lived In Thailand when…..

crispy Thai pancakes

Khanom Buang (Thai crispy pancakes)

Khanon buang is a traditional Thai dessert passed down generation to generation. Dating back roughly 600 years ago, the Thai crispy pancake is a street food that requires precise preparation. It consists of a thin, crispy crepe made from rice flour and is topped with candied duck egg yolk.


These thin, crispy pancakes are popular street food in Thailand. They’re made with rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and salt, and are usually filled with shredded coconut or ground peanuts. The pancakes are fried until they’re golden brown and crispy, then served with a sweet dipping sauce.


📷 Photo Credit: Trương Thị Nhớ

khanom krok coconut pancakes

Khanom Buang (Thai Crispy Pancakes)

These thin, crispy pancakes are popular street food in Thailand. They’re made with rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and salt, and are usually filled with shredded coconut or ground peanuts. The pancakes are fried until they’re golden brown and crispy, then served with a sweet dipping sauce.


📷 Photo Credit: Culynyl

green mango with chilies dip

Mamuang Nam Pla Wan (Green Mango With Sweet Chili Spices)

This is a simple but delicious dessert that’s made with unripe green mangoes, sugar, and salt. The mangoes are sliced thin and served with a sweet chili dipping sauce. The combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavours is incredibly addicting.


📷 Photo Credit: We ❤ Non Veg Recipes Facebook Group

grilled coconut cakes

Khanom Ba Bin (Grilled coconut cakes)

Khanom Ba Bin is a Thai dessert that combines sweet, salty, and sour flavors in a way that’s uniquely addictive. The reason it tastes so good is because it exploits the human palate’s natural preference for sweet, salty, and sour flavors.


📷 Photo Credit: dmAsia

thong yip sweet egg yolk cup

Thong Yip (Sweet Egg Yolk Cups)

Thong yip is a gold-colored Thai dessert with the word thong in its name, which means gold, representing prosperity, more money, and success. This golden-hued dessert is generally composed of duck and chicken egg yolks, sugar, and jasmine-flavored water and is usually molded into a flower or a five-point star shape.


Thong Yip, also known as sweet egg yolk cups, are often made for weddings and other luck-bringing celebrations like New Year’s Eve. It is said that they bring good fortune, abundance, and wealth. Keep an eye out for them during Thailand’s many national holidays as well!


📷 Photo Credit: nokjaa

thai coconut balls

Khanom Tom (Shredded Coconut Balls)

Khanom Tom is a traditional Thai dessert that’s made with shredded coconut, tapioca starch, and palm sugar. The mixture is formed into small balls and boiled until they float to the surface. Once they’re cooked, they’re rolled in more shredded coconut and served.


These little balls have a chewy texture and a sweet, coconutty flavour that’s hard to resist. They’re a popular dessert at Thai restaurants, but they’re also easy to make at home.


📷 Photo Credit: Eating Well

kluai thot deep fried bananas

Kluai Thot (Deep-Fried Bananas)

Kluai thot is a popular Thai dessert that’s made with bananas, tapioca flour, and coconut milk. The bananas are coated in the flour mixture, then deep-fried until they’re golden brown. They’re usually served with a sweet dipping sauce or honey.


The fried bananas have a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. The combination of sweet and savory flavors is simply irresistible.


📷 Photo Credit: Thai Food Online

foi thong golden threads

Foi Thong (Golden Threads)

Foi thong is a Thai dessert that’s made with egg yolks, sugar, and flour. The mixture is piped into hot oil to create long, thin threads of dough that are fried until they’re golden brown. Once they’re cooked, they’re rolled in sugar and served.


These delicate threads have a crispy texture and a sweet flavor. They’re often served as part of a larger dessert, but they’re also delicious on their own.


📷 Photo Credit: unyamaneeaom

khanom chan coconut-pandan cake

Khanom Chan (Steamed Coconut-Pandan Cake)

Khanom chan is a Thai dessert that’s made with coconut milk, pandan extract, and tapioca flour. The ingredients are combined and steamed until they form a thick, sticky cake. Once it’s cooked, it’s cut into small squares and served.


This cake has a soft, fluffy texture and a sweet, coconutty flavor. It’s often served with a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of condensed milk.


📷 Photo Credit: Cindy Her Creations

chao kuai grass jelly

Chao Kuai (Grass Jelly)

Chao kuai is a Thai dessert that’s made with black grass jelly, tapioca pearls, and palm sugar syrup. It’s a popular street food, and it’s often served with shaved ice and condensed milk.


The grass jelly has a chewy texture and a mildly sweet flavor. The tapioca pearls add a bit of sweetness and texture, while the shaved ice and condensed milk help to balance out the flavors.


📷 Photo Credit: Wikimedia

khao lam bamboo sticky rice

Khao Lam (Sticky Rice in Bamboo)

Khao lam is a Thai dessert that’s made with sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar. The ingredients are steamed inside a hollowed-out bamboo stalk until they’re tender and gooey. Once it’s cooked, the khao lam is cut into slices and served.


📷 Photo Credit: mica tuca

ruam mit thai mxied dessert

Ruam Mit (Thai Mixed Dessert)

Ruam mit is a popular Thai dessert that’s made with a variety of fruits and sweets. It generally includes mango, jackfruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, coconut strips, tapioca pearls, jelly cubes, and sticky rice.


This sweet and refreshing dessert is perfect for a hot day. The fruit provides a refreshing and juicy contrast to the sticky rice, while the tapioca pearls add a bit of chewiness.


If you’ve ever experienced Filipino street food, you might be familiar with a similarly constructed dish called halo-halo!


📷 Photo Credit: thai_shock

Ready to try authentic Thai desserts?

If you’re ever in Thailand, be sure to try some of the delicious desserts. They may look strange, but they’re all worth trying. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

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Krating Daeng: The Original Thai Red Bull (History + More)

Thai Red Bull

The Original Red Bull in Thailand

In the 1970s, Krating Daeng (กระทิ่ง แดง) was created in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya. It was initially sold as a tonic to help people feel more energised and alert.

Krating Daeng quickly became popular among factory workers and truck drivers who needed to stay awake for long hours. It soon gained a reputation as a “miracle” drink that could help anyone who drank it feel more energetic.

In 1984, Red Bull GmbH was founded in Austria by Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz learned about Krating Daeng while on a business trip to Thailand and saw the potential for a similar product in the Western market.

Red Bull GmbH licensed the formula for Krating Daeng and started selling Red Bull Energy Drink in Austria in 1987. The drink quickly became popular in Europe and was soon available in over 30 countries.

Today, Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks in the world. Thanks to its originator, Chaleo Yoovidhya, Red Bull has become an iconic brand that is enjoyed by millions of people every day.

Red Bull in Thailand Today

Krating Daeng is still sold in small glass bottles at 7-11 in Thailand and also in other countries in Southeast Asia. They resemble medicine from a distance and if you think about it, it is medicine! The components include caffeine, taurine, vitamins, sucrose, and glucose, which are all excellent energy boosters. Great for doing hard labor like it was originally intended for or staying awake on a late-night bender at one of the many nightclubs in Thailand.

Whether you’re heading out for the night or trying to cure a hangover, these drinks will give you the buzz (or relief) you need!

Krating Daeng is stronger than the American and European versions, so you get more benefits for your money. Not that you need money of course, because a bottle will only set you back 10 baht (about 30 cents), and if you buy several at once it’s even cheaper. It works great as a mix for just about any hard liquor, but we prefer it with vodka or Sangsom.

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Thai vs Indian Curry: What are the main differences?

thai vs indian curry

When it comes to curry, there are two major schools of thought: Thai and Indian. Each approach to this beloved dish has its unique flavor profile and preparation methods. So, what are the main differences between Thai and Indian curry?

What is curry, exactly?

Curry is a type of sauce or gravy typically served with rice and meat dishes. The sauce is made from a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which give it its characteristic yellow color. Curry is thought to have originated in India or Pakistan.

Ingredients of Thai vs Indian Curry

The most notable difference between Thai and Indian curry is the ingredients used. Thai curry typically contains coconut milk, whereas Indian curry uses yogurt or cream. This gives Thai curry a richer, sweeter taste. Additionally, Thai curry often includes fish sauce, which gives it a salty flavor. Indian curry, on the other hand, features tamarind paste, which lends it a sour taste.

Another key difference is the type of spice used. Thai curry usually features fresh green chilies, which give it a more subtle heat than Indian curry. Indian curry powder typically contains ground red chili peppers, resulting in a spicier dish.

Texture and Consistency

Thai and Indian curries also differ in texture and consistency. Thai curry is thinner and soup-like, while Indian curry is thicker and more stew-like. This difference is due to the different types of ingredients used. Coconut milk makes Thai curry thinner, while yogurt or cream results in a thicker consistency for Indian curry.

Preparation Methods

The preparation methods for Thai and Indian curry also differ. Thai curry is typically cooked in one pot, while Indian curry is cooked in two separate stages. First, the spices are fried in oil to release their flavor. Then, the meat and vegetables are added and cooked until tender. This two-step process results in a more complex flavor for Indian curry.

Serving Suggestions

Thai curry is typically served with rice, whereas Indian curry is traditionally served with bread such as naan or roti. Additionally, Thai curry is often garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro or Thai basil, while Indian curry is typically garnished with chopped onions and tomatoes.

Types of Thai Curry

There are four main types of Thai curry: red, green, yellow, and panang. Red curry is the spiciest, while panang curry is the mildest. Green curry is made with fresh green chilies, while yellow curry gets its color from turmeric. However, our favorite Thai curry is a Northern specialty called Khao Soi.

Types of Indian Curry

There are two main types of Indian curry: dry and wet. Dry curry is cooked until all the liquid has evaporated, resulting in a thick, stew-like consistency. Wet curry contains more liquid and has a soup-like consistency.

Thai vs Indian Curry: Which is better?

There is no clear winner when it comes to Thai vs Indian curry. It all depends on your personal preferences. If you like a sweeter, richer flavor, then Thai curry is the way to go. If you prefer a spicier, more complex flavor, then Indian curry is the better choice. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re in the mood for!

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Thai Cashew Chicken (Gai Pad Med Mamuang) – Recipe to Roam

authentic Thai cashew chicken

Authentic Tasting and Easy to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

How to Make Gai Pad Med Mamuang

In this blog, you’ll learn how to make an authentic tasting Thai cashew chicken recipe. It’s a quick meal that’s easy to make, no matter your skill level.

Thai cashew chicken was one of my favorite dishes while living in Bangkok and now it’s one of my favorites to make back in my home country.

This Thai cashew chicken recipe is the result of collaboration with my partner, Amanda and we had a blast making it for the Recipe to Roam blog!

Ingredients You’ll Need


  • 200g chicken breast, cut sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil


  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed (5 cloves)
  • ½ cup yellow onions, sliced into wedges (1 small onion)
  • 1-3 fresh Thai bird’s eye chilis**
  • ⅔ cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, Julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper (large)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 lime cut into wedges (optional)  
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional) 

Lime and cilantro are a personal preference, it’s up to you!

** We like spicy. We found 3 birds eye chilis (with seeds) to be the perfect level of “true Thai spicy.” If you prefer less spice use 1 or 2 chilis and remove the seeds.  


  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or water
  • ¼ tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp Shanghai white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or cane sugar 

Cooking Utensils

  • Wok or large frying pan
  • Knife for chopping
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cutting board 
  • Tongs 
  • Mortar and pestle (optional) 


  1. Add all seasoning sauce ingredients to a bowl, mix and set aside.
  2. Prepare and cut all your veggies.
  3. Slice the chicken into even strips, mix with white pepper, salt and cornstarch.

Cooking Thai Cashew Chicken

  1. Add ½ cup vegetable oil to a wok or frying pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Fry the raw cashews about 2 minute or until starting to turn golden brown, watching carefully so they don’t burn. This can happen very quickly, so pay attention. Use a slotted spoon to remove cashews from oil and set aside.
  3. In the same oil, fry the Thai bird’s eye chilis for about 1 minute to flavor the oil then drain and set aside with cashews.
  4. Fry the chicken in the same oil for about 5 minutes until golden, use a slotted spoon to remove from oil and set aside on a plate.
  5. Add crushed garlic to the oil and stir fry the onions until translucent.
  6. Add the Anaheim pepper and red bell pepper, stir fry for about 1 minute. If cornstarch is starting to brown and stick on the bottom of the pan, use a couple tablespoons of water or chicken stock to deglaze, the bottom of the pan should be clear of cornstarch (this might require some scraping with a spoon or spatula) and liquid should thicken and get glossy.
  7. Add the seasoning sauce mixture and stir fry until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky.
  8. Add the chicken, cashews and Thai bird’s eye chilis and stir fry until everything is coated in the sauce. Add 1/3 cup of water and cornstarch mixture when wok becomes dry.
  9. Add the green onions, stir fry for a few seconds then turn off the heat.
  10. Add lime wedge and/or cilantro for garnish (optional).
  11. Serve with steamed white Jasmine rice!
authentic Thai cashew chicken
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Eating the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai: 5 Restaurants to Try

best khao soi in Chiang Mai

What is khao soi?

Khao soi is the culinary pride of Chiang Mai, Thailand. A great bowl of khao soi noodles is chewy, crunchy and full of flavours found only in the Golden Triangle. Khao soi is a dense broth made of yellow curry paste, coconut cream and smokey black cardamom. The broth is served with noodles and chicken legs stewed from the soup mixture. The bone-in richness of “Khao Soi Gai” is a one pot perfection when finished with the right amount of coconut cream.

Khao soi always includes a crunchy topping of fried egg noodles and chilli. The textural distinction of Khao soi is what sets this bowl apart from any other Thai curry dishes. In fact, it’s not a “curry” at all. Half stew, Half noodle soup. 

This northern Thai delicacy is one-hundred percent delicious in all forms. Variations of the classic have evolved over the years. A popular beef version and some restaurants offering vegetarian options are among what can be found in the region.

But what makes khao soi so good it’s written about on every Chiang Mai food blog? 

The crown jewel of Chiang Mai Cuisine is unique in both flavor and composition. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this dish so unforgettable.

The bowl. Chewy, golden chinese-style egg noodles are rarely found in traditional Thai cooking. The silky egg noodles are heavier and chewier than Thai rice noodles. These noodles have more body to transport the lighter stew from bowl to mouth. Egg noodles are also less prone to over cooking so they keep their toothsome chew when served in the broth.

The broth. This is where you experience the taste of Chiang mai and the influence of Thailand’s northern borders. It could be debated; Is Khao soi Burmese? Laotian? But we aren’t here to discuss the history of khao soi, only what makes it delicious. In Chiang Mai, food is herbaceous, smokey and less sweet than in the south. The spice mixtures used in the northern provinces of Thailand are most similar to the flavor profiles used in Myanmar. Burmese food has adopted many of the same cooking techniques and spice masalas used in India. While both Thai food and Indian food use curry copiously, they are fathoms different in flavor. Think of Burmese cuisine as the middle ground. Bold masala spice from Burma balanced with the delicate sweetness of  Thai-style coconut cream. That’s what you should taste in a well balanced Khao soi broth.  

The pièce de résistance. Without the crispy fried egg noodles khao soi would be a sad sort-of Laska. While the size, shape and portion may vary between vendors; no khao soi would be complete without it. Tangy pickled greens, shallots, fish sauce, lime wedges, coriander and extra chillies are served as a side dish (or bag if you eat in the street). The nest of noodles provides an island for extra flavor customization. Very rarely will a garnish get so much cred.   

It’s no secret Chiang Mai has limitless options to choose from, so we ate khao soi consecutively for 14 days (sometimes twice) in search of the best. These are our top 5 best khao soi restaurants in Chiang Mai.

The Best Khao Soi I’ve Ever Eaten

I stumbled upon this 70-year-old legend on an aimless early morning wander through Chiang Mai. As luck would have it – this bowl of noodles became the most unforgettable meal I’ve ever had in Thailand.

Spicy-sweet broth, always al dente eggs noodles and garnish goals make Khao Soi Lam Duan Fah Ham worth travelling for. The depth and spice of the oily red soup are an expert level balancing act to which fresh Coconut cream is added. Unlike other versions where coconut cream simmers with the broth for hours, this addition comes last. This variation also lets you have the final say in the taste and texture of your Khao Soi. Like adding cream to your morning coffee, everybody has a preference – Lam Duan Fah Ham lets you choose. Also, coconut cream is delicate and over cooking can cause it to lose its sweet, nutty flavour. Well played, Lamduan!

Lam Duan khao soi

Khao Soi Lam Duan Fah Ham

Located on the Ping River near Wat Fa Ham temple. The humble exterior of Lam Duan Fah Ham might not suggest its nearly century old reputation. Locals and tourists agree without question this is the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai if you’re picky about noodles and like your Khao Soi dense, spicy and salty. Lam Duan Fah Ham might boast the best Khao soi in the world, and word is spreading. The daughter of founder Auntie Lamduan recently Opened a second location a few minutes north of Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. Proof good news and good food travel – do not miss this famous family recipe!

Location: 352/22 Charoen Rat Road near Wat Fa Ham Temple, Chang Phueak, Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand

Contact: +66 53 243 519

Hours of Operation: N/A

Khao Soi Mae Manee

Khao Soi Mae Manee

Khao Soi Mae Manee opened in 1984 serving various noodle dishes. Over time, this humble noodle shop has evolved into a multi-award winning, Michelin-recognized, humble, khao soi hotspot. Claiming to serve “the most flavorful bowl of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai”, Mae Manee specializes in “khao soi neua”, a beef variation. With so much popularity, Mae Manee has opened a second location serving the same family recipes. Both locations are a short 10-20 minute drive outside the Old City and well worth a special trip.  

Location: 18, Soi 24, Chottana Road Changpuak Subdistrict, Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand

Contact: +66 81 961 2235 

Hours of Operation: 9am-3:30pm daily.

Khao Soi Sirichai

Khao Soi Sirichai, Chiang Mai

Come for the Hainanese chicken rice and stay for the Khao Soi. Wait, what? That’s right, poached “khao man gai”  (the Thai word for Hainanese chicken) served up alongside handfuls of khao soi noodles in the thick, oily curry broth we know and love. Sirichai takes a top spot serving up one of the most genius variations of khao soi gai we’ve ever heard of. If you’re a stickler for the classics, a traditional version is also available. We recommend the remix and saving room for chicken rice!

You can find Khao Soi Sirichai in the center of the Old City a block east of the Three Kings Monument. You’re welcome.

Location: Inthawarorot Rd., Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand

Contact: +66 81 672 6756

Hours of Operation: 6am-3pm daily.

Khao Soi Khun Yai 

Khao Soi Khun Yai

Loosely translated, Khao Soi Khun Yai means “Grandma’s Khao Soi.” What’s better than food lovingly prepared by your grandma? Easy, khao soi. Now we have the best of both worlds.

This popular spot is located inside the Old City on the Northern wall. The sign is only in Thai so keep an eye out for the green tarps tucked between two temples. 

Location: Sri Poom Road Just After Sri Poom 8 Alley, Chiang Mai Thailand

Contact: +66 86 712 4314

Hours of Operation: 10am-2pm daily. Closed Sundays.


Dash! Chiang Mai restaurant

The best khao soi almost always includes a low plastic stool and is only available until the mid afternoon. Some might say sitting sweaty on the sidewalk slurping noodles has a romance of its own. Dash! Is NOT that.

With its traditional teak interior, live music and balconies overlooking the garden terrace. Dash! may not be what you think of when you’re in need of a mind-blowing bowl of noodles. 

However, the mother-son team at Dash! have gained a reputation for their exceptional service and you guessed it, Khao soi. 

Ambiance abound, Dash! Is located in the heart of Chiang Mai only a few blocks from Thapae Gate and open late! Get there early or you might have to wait to try one of the best restaurants Chiang Mai has to offer.

Location: 18, Soi 24, Chottana Road Changpuak Subdistrict, Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand

Contact: +66 81 961 2235

Hours of Operation: 8:30am- 2:00pm, 5:30pm-9:00pm daily. Closed Mondays.

Khao Soi is a Chiang Mai Cuisine Staple

Chiang Mai and Thailand’s rural border villages are the home and birthplace of khao soi. Served and celebrated by street carts and fine dining rooms everywhere there’s no difficulty finding this delicious delicacy. Nowhere offers a higher concentration of varieties to choose from. To become a khao soi connoisseur, stroll down any street in Chiang Mai, find a low stool and deep dive into the region’s signature dish. It might be the best thing you’ve ever eaten. 

Could you eat khao soi everyday? Khao soi lovers let us know your favorite place to eat khao soi in the comments below.

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“Same Same But Different” Origins and What It Means

Bangkok market

“Same Same But Different” is a phrase adopted by tourists in SEA

Anyone who’s stepped foot in Thailand has heard the infamous phrase, “same same, but different.” Although most commonly heard in street food hotspots like Khao San Road, you’ll see the Thai slang on t-shirts, tanks and bracelets just about everywhere you go in SEA. Whether you’re sharing travel stories, learning local language or just out for drinks, “same same but different” is not just a way of understanding each other but also a way of thinking.

Picture yourself on a night out at a night market and you’re picking up souvenirs to bring back to your loved ones. A Nike tank top catches your eye and you start haggling. Wondering if it’s authentic, you ask the vendor if it’s real. “Same same but different.” is their response. Close enough, but not quite. Do you, a backpacker, care if a Nike shirt is genuine? Or are you picking it up for 150 baht?

same same but different shirts

What does “Same Same But Different” mean?

Surprisingly, Urban Dictionary has a definition that we think hits the nail on the head.

Used a lot in Thailand, especially in an attempt to sell something but can mean just about anything depending on what the user is trying to achieve.

Q “Is this a real rolex?”

A ” Yes Sir, same same but different”

It’s a diverse phrase that can cover just about anything you want it to.

Khao San Road market Bangkok

“Same Same But Different” Origins

Although no one has pinpointed the exact origins of the Tinglish (Thai-English) phrase, its roots are distinctly Thai. Used by locals and tourists alike, the phrase conveys an air of intentional vagueness. It doesn’t mean the same and it doesn’t mean different either.

Linguistically, the Thai language relies heavily on context. I’ve witnessed this firsthand, where a local and a long-term expat are chit-chatting in Thai only to realize neither are quite sure of what was said. All the words are there, but meaning is left up to interpretation.

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The 21 Best Thai Dishes to Try When Visiting Bangkok and Chiang Mai

best Thai dishes

The 21 Best Thai Dishes to Try When Visiting Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Essential Thai Foods You Have to Try at Least Once

Whether you like your food spicy or Thai spicy, there’s Thai dishes out there for everyone. Although Thai food is near synonymous with being extra spicy, it is also characterized by the giant sweet tooth of Thai culture. As often as I’ve heard someone ask for Thai spicy when ordering their favorite Thai dish (usually from a street food vendor), I’ve heard foreigners ask for regular sweet instead of Thai sweet just as much. It’s a country where asking for ‘no sugar’ often means ‘less sugar than how Thais like it’.

Top 9 Most Popular Thai Dishes

  • Khao Soi (Chiang Mai curry noodles)
  • Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles)
  • Kaeng Massaman (Massaman Curry)
  • Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp)
  • Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
  • Pad Kra Pao (Thai Basil Stir-Fry)
  • Khao Man Gai (Boiled chicken with rice)
  • Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Thai Green Curry)
  • Pad Woon Sen (Stir-fried glass noodles)

khao soi gai (Northern Thai curry noodles with chicken)

Khao Soi (Chiang Mai curry noodles)

Khao Soi is a curry noodle soup from Northern Thailand, garnished with crispy fried noodles. It is most commonly served with chicken (khao soi gai) and comes with lime, chili paste, raw shallots and pickled cabbage on the side. Khao soi is a staple of Chiang Mai cuisine, while it can be difficult to find in Bangkok.

chicken pad thai

Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles)

Pad Thai is by far the most famous Thai food globally, but it isn’t eaten by Thais as much as you’d think. Pad Thai consists of rice noodles, peanuts, scrambled egg, bean sprouts and a choice of chicken, beef or tofu. It is made by sauteing all the ingredients in a wok and then tossed in the signature tangy salty pad thai sauce.

Thai massaman curry

Kaeng Massaman (Massaman Curry)

Massaman curry is an Indian-fusion dish that stands out from other Thai curries. Originally brought to the region by Muslim traders, it makes use of both Indian (cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, potato) and Thai ingredients (chili peppers, coriander, lemongrass, shrimp paste, garlic). Although its exact origins are debated among food historians, it is widely accepted that massaman curry has Indian and Malay influences.

📷 Photo Credit: Camile Thai Facebook

tom yum goong soup

Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp)

Tom yum, or tom yam, is a Thai-Chinese hot and sour soup typically served with shrimp. Tom yum is a simple light soup made with fresh lemongrass, galangal, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and a splash of fresh lime juice at the end.

Like many other Thai dishes, it’s tough to replicate the authentic taste of Tom Yum made in the motherland. You will likely have trouble finding galangal (Thai ginger) outside of Asia. Although not mandatory for a good tom yum, galangal is an herb used to neutralize the strong fishy aroma. Try your local Asian supermarket and cross your fingers!

📷 Photo Credit: Temple of Thai

Thai papaya salad

Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)

Originating from Laos as ‘tam som’ or ‘tam maak hoong’, som tum is a unique salad that is popular throughout Southeast Asia. The most popular version of som tum served in Thailand is served with dried shrimp and peanuts, often eaten with sticky rice and other Northeastern Thai dishes. Sometimes the dried shrimp is substituted with salted crab (som tum pbooh).

📷 Photo Credit: Brian Bone

pad kra pao (basil chicken with rice)

Pad Kra Pao (Holy Basil Stir-Fry)

Pad kra pao is the closest cultural equivalent to a sandwich in Thai cuisine. This rustic, spicy stir-fry features the incredible aroma of holy basil, served with rice and topped with a fried egg. It’s a quick and easy meal found in almost any street-side restaurant, street food vendor or food court. The slightly runny fried egg brings a creaminess when prepared Thai style: fried in plenty of oil so that the egg whites have bubbly brown edges.

khao man gai (Thai style Hainanese boiled chicken)

Khao Man Gai (Boiled chicken with rice)

Khao man gai is the Thai version of Hainanese chicken rice; it is one of the simplest meals and a testament to a chef’s prowess. Simplicity in cooking is tough to achieve while satisfying the taste buds of many. The dish is served as a chicken rice soup, often with spicy, congealed chicken blood as an optional side.

In Bangkok, you’ll find chicken rice carts or Khao man gai specialty restaurants without even trying. The best place in Thailand for this dish is เม้งโภชนา (เล็ก) เจริญกรุง 59 in Bangkok, located at Charoenkrung Soi 59. This place is locally famous among Thais and expats as a hotspot for the only place to eat khao man gai. I was lucky enough to live across the street for a number of years, filling my cravings on a whim any day of the week.

📷 Photo Credit: Atsushi Hariu

Thai green curry

Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Thai Green Curry)

The secret of Thai green curry paste is that it’s fried in coconut cream at the start of preparation. The coconut cream absorbs the paste without any need for oil in the pan. Coconut cream is the more traditional way to make a Thai green curry, but this is often substituted with coconut milk for a less thick curry experience.

Many will claim that store-bought curry pastes do the trick just fine, but the authentic Thai flavour lies in the mortar and pestle.

📷 Photo Credit: Nicha The Wanderer ณิชาพาตะลอน

Thai glass noodles

Pad Woon Sen (Stir-fried glass noodles)

Pad woon sen is a classic Thai dish almost as popular as pad thai itself! Glass noodles are stir-fried with crunchy vegetables (usually carrots and shredded cabbage), grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions and garlic. The silky smooth glass noodles (also known as bean thread noodles or cellophane noodles) are often mistaken for rice vermicelli when uncooked. The main difference between these types of noodles is that once cooked, glass noodles are translucent and rice vermicelli has a white, opaque appearance.

📷 Photo Credit: Street Food Hunters

Thai Curries

Every great curry begins making an excellent curry paste by hand with a mortar and pestle. Although some will swear by the convenience of food processors for making curries, this is considered taboo in the Thai culinary world. More accurately, it can be outright offensive since it’s rare you’d find a food processor in a Thai kitchen to begin with.

As urbanization of Thailand spreads, many traditions of authentic Thai cuisine have been lost culturally. You’ll find processed sugar instead of cane sugar in almost every Thai household but in more recent years, there is also a growing trend in using store-bought curry pastes. While we normally wouldn’t recommend store-bought over homemade, these pastes are made fresh daily and are well worth the money if you don’t have enough time to cook.

Suggested Reading: How to Make Traditional Thai Curry Pastes 

Types of Thai Curry Dishes

  • Massaman Curry
  • Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodles)
  • Green Curry
  • Red Curry
  • Penang Curry
  • Yellow Curry
  • Northern Thai Burmese Pork Curry

Thai red curry

Kaeng Phet (Thai Red Curry)

Thai red curry is a popular Thai dish made from cooking red curry paste in coconut milk and adding your protein of choice (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu). The redness in kaeng phet comes from the copious amounts of dried red chilies used in the curry paste.

panang curry with spare ribs

Phanaeng (Thai Panang Curry)

Phanaeng (also spelled phanang or panang) is another type of Thai red curry dating back to 1890, featuring a salty, sweet taste and a zesty hint of kaffir lime. Most commonly served with pork, phanaeng is a creamy curry made with no liquid ingredients other than coconut milk.

📷 Photo Credit: The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine

Thai yellow curry

Kaeng Kari (Thai Yellow Curry)

Don’t mistake kaeng kari for kaeng luaeng: While kaeng luaeng directly translates to “yellow curry”, kaeng kari (curry soup) is the famous dish you’re looking for!

With origins in India, Thai yellow curry is a fusion dish incorporating Indian ingredients with Thai spices. It has a powerful, vibrant taste, accompanied by carrots and potatoes to fill you up. You can commonly find yellow curry served on street-side restaurants so find a plastic stool and get ready to fill your belly.

📷 Photo Credit: Kyle Weng

kaeng hunglay (Northern Thai Burmese curry)

Kaeng Hunglay (Northern Thai Burmese Pork Curry)

Kaeng hunglay is a curried-stew from Northern Thailand with Burmese roots, typically made from pork belly or other fatty pork. Its defining trait is the use of Garam Masala, a blend of spices found in Burmese and Indian cuisine. If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ll love this curry. It has all the rich and hearty traits of a great stew, while showcasing the sweet and sour tastes of traditional Thai cooking.

📷 Photo Credit: Thai Cookbook TV

Thai Desserts

No one ever complained about an abundance of fresh fruit! But I’ve heard plenty of complaints about Thai desserts being too sweet. Too sugary, to be exact!

best Thai desserts
📷 Photo Credit: Thai Dessert By เจ้แดงขนมไทย

How to Say “No Sugar” or “Not Sweet” in Thai

If you’re like me (a foreigner), you’ll want to tell your server mai waan, which directly translates to “not sweet”. It’s a good catch-all for ordering coffee, tea or dessert to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed by sweetness. However, some Thais will interpret mai waan as meaning “little sugar”, rather than “no sugar”. In this case, the magic phrase is mai waan loei, or “no sugar at all”.

Top 6 Most Popular Thai Desserts

  • Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)
  • Khao Niao Toorien (Durian Sticky Rice)
  • Itim Kati (Coconut Ice Cream)
  • Khanom Buang (Thai crispy pancakes)
  • Mamuang Nam Pla Wan (Green mango with sweet chili spices)
  • Khanom Ba Bin (Grilled coconut cakes)
mango sticky rice

Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)

The classic Thai dessert. You’ll find it in every nook and cranny as street food but also at Thai restaurants around the world. It’s a simple treat that is globally celebrated made from just 3 key components: ripe mangoes, high quality coconut milk and Thai sweet rice. Thai sweet rice is sometimes just called sticky rice or glutinous rice, found in most Asian food stores. Sticky rice is always made in a pot on the stove, rather than a rice cooker. The secret to a good Thai sticky rice is bringing it to a gentle boil in coconut water, coconut milk, salt and brown sugar.

fresh durian

Khao Niao Toorien (Durian Sticky Rice)

Khao niao toorien is a variation on the traditional mango sticky rice, substituting mango for fresh durian. Durian, dubbed the “king of fruits”, is famous for its pungent smell. The aroma of durian is so strong that the fruit is actually banned from most forms of public transportation. When someone cracks open a durian, you’ll know from a block away (literally).

Thai coconut ice cream

Itim Kati (Coconut Ice Cream)

You haven’t eaten in Thailand if you haven’t capped off a nice meal with coconut ice cream!

It’s a simple non-dairy ice cream made almost entirely from fresh coconut! Authentic Thai coconut ice cream uses the water from the coconut, organic coconut sugar instead of regular sugar and just a little bit of salt. Be on the lookout for regional variations – it isn’t uncommon to find coconut ice cream topped with fresh mango chunks and chopped peanuts.

📷 Photo Credit: You Know You’ve Lived In Thailand when…..

crispy Thai pancakes

Khanom Buang (Thai crispy pancakes)

Khanon buang is a traditional Thai dessert passed down generation to generation. Dating back roughly 600 years ago, the Thai crispy pancake is a street food that requires precise preparation. It consists of a thin, crispy crepe made from rice flour and is topped with candied duck egg yolk.

📷 Photo Credit: Trương Thị Nhớ

green mango with chilies dip

Mamuang Nam Pla Waan (Green mango with sweet chili spices)

Nam pla waan is a Thai fruit dip that turns any sour fruit into an exciting opportunity to drench them in sweet, salty fish sauce. Is fish sauce and fruit a combination I ever expected to recommend? Absolutely not. But it tastes amazing and after a first taste, you’ll drop your suspicions quickly! The sauce is made with palm sugar, fish sauce, shrimp paste, Thai chilies and shallots. The dip is most commonly served with green mango, but underripe pineapple and green apple will make their way to your plate sometimes too.

📷 Photo Credit: We ❤ Non Veg Recipes Facebook Group

grilled coconut cakes

Khanom Ba Bin (Grilled coconut cakes)

Thai coconut pancakes are a staple street food, cooked on a hot griddle. Khanon ba bin is a gluten free dessert that is found almost everywhere in Thailand.

📷 Photo Credit: dmAsia

Coffee from Thailand

Thai café culture has grown rapidly in the past decade. The heat of coffee in Thailand is Chiang Mai, home to internationally acclaimed baristas that have won global competitions. Although Chiang Mai is known as the capital of coffee in Thailand, Bangkok is no slouch either. With a seemingly endless amount of new coffee shops popping up in Bangkok and their widespread availability through GrabFood and FoodPanda, Bangkok is in an exciting era that should be appreciated in full. Although Thai coffee doesn’t pack the same punch as Vietnamese coffee, it makes up for it with rich flavour.

Ristr8o in Chiang Mai is possibly the most internationally famous of all Thai cafés, known around the world as being home of the World Champion Latte. That said, it’s not my favourite – that title belongs to Roastniyom, which is a more locally famous attraction. Whenever I visit Chiang Mai, I take a cab straight from the airport to Roastniyom for their cold brew and croissants!

coffee in Thailand
📷 Photo Credit: Fuel Coffee Bar

6 Best Cafés in Bangkok

Adopo Cafe in Yan Nawa, Bangkok

6 Best Cafés in Chiang Mai

  • Roastniyom Coffee
  • Ristr8o Lab
  • Graph Coffee
  • Taste Café
  • Akha Ama La Fattoria
  • Yesterday Café
best cafe in Chiang Mai
📷 Photo Credit: Chukiat Vasaruchapong
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Thai Curries 101: How to Make Traditional Thai Curry Pastes

how to make traditional Thai curries

Learn How to Make Traditional Thai Curries

Thai curries are as complex and regionally varied as the many cultures that call Thailand home. 

From the southern Malay flavors of Massaman, to the famous Khao Soy of the northern borders, Thai curry pastes are the base on which all other ingredients build to create the perfect sweet, salty, sour and spicy balance the food of Thailand is known for.

If you’re a lover of Thai food or are wanting to relive your travels through South East Asia through food, you need to know how to make your own traditional Thai curry pastes. 

I was once told at a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai the only way to “find a good husband” was to be efficient with a mortar and pestle. Alas, curry pastes are a labour of love. Creating the perfect paste will take a bit of elbow grease but your efforts will be rewarded once you taste the final product.

making authentic Thai curry
Take me back to the tastes of Thailand!

Essential Thai Ingredients

If you’ve never heard of or tasted the ingredients you will need to make curry pastes at home, the list can be intimidating. We’ve included a short glossary of lesser-known ingredients and substitutions for ingredients that may be more difficult to find in the Western world. With the exception of a few very specific ingredients, it is possible to find most required ingredients at your local Asian import market

Northern Thailand fresh produce market
I could walk through these Northern Thai markets for hours…

Sweet Basil (Bai horapa) – The most commonly used basil in Thai cuisine. Has darker leaves than others with purple tinged leaves, also has a sweet licorice flavor. It is okay to substitute Italian basil if sweet thai basil isn’t available.

Holy Basil (Bai mang rak) – Often used in Thai fish dishes, holy basil has a peppery taste that is released when cooking.

Green Cardamom (Luk grawan) – The most common type are straw-coloured pods containing 8-10 tiny black seeds. It’s sweet and floral with hints of citrus. A favorite in sweet dishes, teas, diary treats and green curries.

Black Cardamom (Luk krawan) – Large firm black-brown pods. Black cardamom  is strong and smokey with an almost minty finish good for curries and stew. Black and green cardamom are not interchangeable. However, in savory dishes omission is worse than substitution. 

Coconut Cream (Nam maprow) – Typically the first squeeze of a mature coconut, it’s richer and much thicker than coconut milk. Water can be added to coconut cream to substitute coconut milk. Add 2tbsp coconut cream to ¾ cup water for coconut milk.

Coriander (Pak chee) – Cilantro in the West, Thais might use more coriander than any other cuisine. The roots of coriander are often used in creating curry pastes. 

Fish Sauce (Nam pla) – Thai cuisine would not exist without this distinctive flavor. Used similarly to soy sauce in Chinese cooking. Made with fermented fish or shrimp it has a salty tang and is lessy “fishy” and more umami than you’d think. Do not omit from recipes unless there are allergies. In which case tamari or soy can be used (I guess).

Galangal (Kha) – Thai ginger is a larger and lighter version of traditional ginger, and is used in almost every curry paste and thai soup. The softer, more vegetal flavor of galangal makes it hard to substitute with regular ginger.

Ginger (King) – In Thai food ginger is used mainly young and fresh, and added to dishes last.

Thai ginseng (Kra chai) – Adds an earthy, woody, sweet (barley?) taste that helps balance complex curries.

Kaffir lime (Makrut) – The leaves, the rind and wrinkly little lime fruit are all used for flavoring Thai curry dishes. There is no substitute for kaffir lime leaves, however you can get away with substituting the juice and peel of regular limes.

Lemongrass (Bai takrai) – This long leek-looking grass is a staple in South East Asian cuisine; there are no true substitutes for its intensely lemony flavor, but lemon zest and a small amount of juice could do in a pinch.

Turmeric (Kamin) – Rich and pungent, this cousin to ginger will stain everything so beware. It’s a bit sweet, a bit bitter – tastes like yellow-orange. As a rule of thumb, you can substitute fresh turmeric for half dried. 

Palm Sugar (Naam taan peep) – Made from the sap of coconut palms or the sugar palm tree, palm sugar is less sweet than cane sugar. You can substitute one for the other, although the flavor won’t be compromised much but the texture of your curry may be altered. We don’t recommend it.

Peppercorns (Prik thai) – While black peppercorns are most commonly used in Thai cooking, fresh green peppercorns are used for green curry and in sauces and salads. Green peppercorns can be difficult to find in the west, but are worth the search if you can find them at an Asian market in your city. There is no substitution. 

Tamarind Concentrate (Makaam) – Is it sweet? Is it sour? It’s tamarind. It can only depend on what this unique ingredient is mixed with. Often a vital ingredient balancing thai noodle dishes but is also used in northern-style curries.

Star Anise (Poy kak bua) – A dried, star shaped spice with a pungent licorice or aniseed flavor.

Methods for Making Thai Chili Paste at Home

mortar and pestle grinding spices
Mortar and pestle for the win!

Mortar and Pestle vs Food Processor

You would likely never see a food processor being used to blend curries in a Thai household. While you can use a food processor to combine curries into a paste, it isn’t recommended.

Food processors quickly macerate all ingredients into a single homogeneous blend. Not only will this alter the texture of your final product, it will change the flavor. 

A mortar, pestle and a bit of patience will ensure all the flavors in your mixture are being broken and blended slowly, releasing all the spicey nuances of your favorite curry mixture. 

Toasting Spices, Nuts and Seeds for Curry Paste 

DO NOT skip this step. Toasting dry spices before adding them to curry pastes helps the oils inside spices release more of their aromatic properties. This helps flavors to blend and develop into a deeper, more complex flavor.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high and add dry spice ingredients. Stir until spices are a shade or two darker and are very fragrant. Be careful not to burn spices.

To toast nuts and seeds, spread over a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden. 

Rehydrating Dried Chillies and Spices

In the case of dried chillies, often you will need to rehydrate them. This method allows them to blend more evenly into the curry pastes. I like to use the same method to wake up dried or frozen kaffir lime leaves or remove tough outer pods from black cardamom. Place the ingredients in a small heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water and wait 10 minutes. 

Traditional Thai Curry Paste Recipes 

Most Thai curry pastes have similar starting points in terms of ingredients. The variations are often very slight but change the flavor profile entirely. Red curry shares the majority of its ingredients with most other pastes. The mother of Thai curry paste is used to build almost all  other regional variations. Here’s our list of our favorite curry pastes. 

Once you have measured your ingredients and toasted your dry spices,add them to your mortar and pestle then start smashing! You’re only about 15 minutes away from a traditionally prepared Thai curry paste, enjoy!

Recipe to Roam Tip: Use a tea towel draped over the mortar while smashing to protect your eyes from being assaulted by fiery, freaking hot chilli juice splatter.

chicken khao soi recipe
The perfect curry, and our favorite, Khao Soy.

Red Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Green Curry Paste

10 fresh green chillies 

1 tbsp green peppercorns (optional) 

2 stalks of sweet basil 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

2 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Yellow Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

2 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ dry white pepper corn 

1 tsp curry powder 

1-2 tbsp turmeric 

Panang Curry Paste 

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

2 tbsp roasted peanuts 

½  tsp coriander seeds 

¼  dry white pepper corn 

1 tsp curry powder 

1 tbsp turmeric 

Jungle Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3-5 fresh red chili

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

3 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

2 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Massaman Curry Paste (Nam Prik Gaeng Mussaman)

5 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

½ tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

1 tbsp turmeric

½ tsp coriander 

½ cumin seeds 

½  tsp dry peppercorn 

½ tbsp curry powder 

1 tsp cinnamon 

1 tsp black cardamom 

1 tbsp cloves 

2 star anise pods

Khao Soy Curry Paste 

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root ½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ dry white peppercorn 

1 tbsp curry powder 

1 tbsp black cardamom 

1-2 tbsp fresh turmeric or ½ tsp dried 

How long does curry paste last?

Basic curry pastes can be stored in a covered glass jar in a refrigerator for 1 month, or frozen for up to 4 months. Curry recipes make enough paste for most recipes serving 3-4. Enjoy!

Did this get you hungry? Add our Thai curry pastes to your personal cookbook and check out more of our Thai recipes for a true taste of Thailand.

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The Best Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery During Quarantine

restaurants in Bangkok with delivery

The Top 9 Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery

Don’t let the quarantine stop you from eating from the best restaurants in Bangkok!

Although the coronavirus outbreak has slowed Bangkok (and the rest of the world!) to a standstill, that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice everything we love. In this article, we’ll be covering 10 incredible restaurants in Bangkok with delivery to your front door during the quarantine period. You can order some amazing grub and enjoy the best cooking that Bangkok has to offer from the comfort and safety of your own home (or hotel).

There are a number of food delivery services available in Bangkok (and the rest of Thailand), so be sure to check if delivery to your area of the city is available. For example, I had to struggle without being able to order from Fatty’s for a long time, but now they’re available in the Sathorn area! Hopefully you can satisfy your cravings! If all else fails, try contacting their Facebook Pages or just give them a call. People are quite accommodating during this time of crisis!

Food Delivery Apps in Thailand You Should Download

While there are a handful of smaller food delivery apps available in Thailand, these are the main ones that you’ll end up using. Some of the restaurants in this blog have only recently introduced delivery options (because of quarantine), so to our knowledge, they’re only available on the staple food delivery apps. Each are available on both iPhone and Android, but FoodPanda also allows you to order food directly off their website as well.

If you have Grab (the ride sharing app) or LINE (the instant messenger) already installed, there’s no need to download anything. Food delivery is built right in!

With that out of the way, let’s hop right into the top restaurants in Bangkok with delivery during Thailand’s state of emergency. Don’t bother ordering from McDonald’s or Pizza Hut while you’re cooped up at home. Let’s support local businesses and get through this together!

Fatty’s Bar & Diner

We are unapologetically biased in pushing Fatty’s to the top of the list. Fatty’s is a Midwest-style pub with some of the most tasty, greasy food in Bangkok. To put it simply: their cheese is to die for! Mozzarella sticks, deep-fried cheese curds – even proper Canadian poutine is on the menu!

But what makes Fatty’s hit home runs during quarantine is their beer delivery. Imports and local beer are all available for delivery, and at a 15% discount. Keep in mind that if you want to order beer, it can only be done over the phone. Give them a call and they’ll sort you out.

Click here for a list of Fatty’s beer selection and delivery prices.

Daniel Thaiger

Legendary, award-winning burgers. The secret ingredient is the Thaiger sauce…and the high quality beef. And the…well, to put a long story short: these are gourmet burgers that you can get delivered to your self-isolated chambers. Daniel Thaiger keeps it simple by perfecting how much flavor you can achieve with basic ingredients and some TLC. It started as a food truck but has become so much more.

Gallery Pizza

Any 2 pizzas for 499 baht! That’s not a new promotion or anything, that’s kind of what Gallery Pizza is known for. These aren’t personal pan-sized pizzas like you may find on the oddball pizza joint on GrabFood. These aren’t limited to basic toppings. You get full access to Gallery’s pizza menu for this deal that I order more often than I’d like to admit. My favorite is the white garlic chicken and the newest addition to the menu: the PBR. It’s got a nice balsamic glaze that hasn’t been topped at any other pizza joint in Bangkok.

I’ve never actually ordered from Gallery on any food delivery apps, just over the phone and even more conveniently: via their Facebook Page. Seriously, it’s awesome. Shoot them a message with your address, phone number and your order. Then it’s time to play the waiting game. Simple.

Gallery also has beer and wine on the menu and Vanilla Coke for those with a sweet tooth out there too. I’m not a big wine drinker so I won’t pretend to know if their selection is good but I do tend to add a couple Asahi beers to my order for safe measure. Check out their menu and judge for yourself.

Pala Pizza Romana

Is that name Italian enough for you? I’d hope so, seeing as how I can’t help but read it with a thick accent in my head every time I see it.

Some people swear by Pala as the best pizza in Bangkok and frankly, it would be hard to make an argument against that. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference really. Pala’s got super nice dough, with a pinch of salt and a stretchy base. If you have the pleasure of dining in after the quarantine is over, you’ll see that it’s truly a work of art.

Charoensuk Beef Noodle

In a city known for its street food and a countless number of noodle shops, Charoensuk Beef Noodle stands out as a culinary marvel of Bangkok. Just how good can a simple bowl of beef noodles get? Well, Charoensuk has been in business for over 70 years now, so make an order and let your taste buds do the talking.

Tacos & Salsa Mexican Bar and Restaurant

What would a comfort food cheat sheet be without some Mexican food? Sure, Taco Bell is nice when you want that American-style grease but nothing beats the real deal. Tacos & Salsa has been a personal favorite of ours for years and it’s often the place the Bodega crew gathers when no one can make up their mind on where to eat. That problem may have been daunting, but now that we’re stuck at home it doesn’t seem so bad. 

If you live close enough to Tacos & Salsa, they’ll offer free delivery. Your best bet is to message them on Facebook or give them a call to find out. You won’t get that deal on any food delivery app.

Click here to check out Tacos & Salsa’s delivery menu.

Vegan Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery

Vegans in Bangkok aren’t out of luck but I wish I had more information to share with you about these restaurants. These recommendations come from active members of the Bangkok Informed Facebook Group, so I trust their judgement but can’t personally endorse them. If you can speak to the quality of these restaurants, let us know in the comments!

Food Delivery in Bangkok: What did we miss?

Did we miss some of your favorites? There’s bound to be plenty of restaurants offering quarantine discounts and deals. We’d love to hear from fellow Bangkok expats and expand this list as we discover new delivery options.

Please email me if you want your restaurant featured or if you had insight on a deal we need to share:

This blog was originally published March 29, 2020 on