About Thai street food

Thailand is famous for its delicious food. I find the best choice of foods on the streets. Usually the food stalls are specialised in only a few dishes that they prepare with great skills.

Feeling brave? Try these Interesting Thai Food and Drinks. To find the places to eat, check out My Bangkok Restaurant Reviews.

Khao Mok Kay (Rice Covered Chicken) (ข้าวหมกไก่)

Khao mok kay is a typical dish from the moslem south of Thailand. The marinated chicken is served in saffroned rice with a spicy sauce and sliced cucumber, garnished with fried shallots. The different set of spices and herbs makes this food taste totally different from the food in other parts of the country. It's one of my favourites.

Kay Yaang (Grilled Chicken) (ไก่ย่าง)

Kay Yaang is another common street dish from the North-East (Isan) that you'll find everywhere. The marinated grilled chicken is usually eaten with sticky rice, often with som tam (papaya salad), and served with a spicy sauce. I myself prefer to eat it with the spicy but sweeter chicken sauce ("sauce kay") that is available in every grocery store.

Phad Kra Phrao Kay/Moo/Neua (Basil Fried ...) (ผัดกระเพรา)

Chicken, beef, pork, every type of meat can be added to this spicy stir-fried basil dish. Other ingredients are fresh ground chilli, garlic, bell pepper, onion and/or mushrooms. The vegetarian option is served with tofu. It's eaten with rice.

Khay Jiao (Thai Omelette) (ไข่เจียว)

This regular Thai dish is often eaten for a quick breakfast or lunch with plain rice. Quite a few vendors will propose to put in moo sab (minced pork) or some other meat, but I always order it with mushroom and/or vegetables. It's served with a spicy chilli sauce.

Laab (Minced Meat) (ลาบ)

One of the favourite dishes of the North- East (Isan) is laab. It is often made if with pork or chicken, but can also contain duck, fish or beef. The meat or fish is either raw or cooked, and mixed with onions, herbs, chilli and decorated with mint. Laab is usually eaten with a side dish of raw vegetables and the typical sticky rice of the region.

Kho Moo Yaang (Grilled Pork Neck) (คอหมูย่าง)

Another popular food from the North-East (Isan) is grilled pork neck. Depending on the original pig, it can be a bit fatty, but you can ask for just meat, no fat. The best stalls grilled it while you wait, slice it and sprinkle it with some herbs, onion and salt. They'll also give you a spicy dip. Delicious!

Hoi Tod (Fried Mussels in Batter) (หอยทอด)

A very common street dish, Hoi Tod is usually available at the same food stalls as Pad Thai (fried noodle). The mussels are fried in a batter, mixed with spring onions and a sprinkle of herbs, and topped off  with (or put on top of) fresh bean sprouts. It's served with a chilli sauce.

Khao Kluk Kapi (Fried Rice with Shrimp Paste) (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ)

Called after the shrimp paste that gives the rice its typical brown colour and shrimpy taste, this dish is the ultimate mix of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. The separately served green mango, sweet pork, fried egg, sour sausage, dried chilli, fresh onion, chopped green beans and a variety of herbs provide for this really delicious dish. It's not so common on the streets (anymore), but I still run into it regularly. Not to be missed.

Crepe Jiipun (Pancake) (เครปญี่ปุ่น)

A big round hot plate usually means pancakes. Not thick and soft as served in other parts of the world, but thin and crispy. Many fillings possible, but my personal favourite is banana. Folded double in the shape of a pizza slice it is a tasty snack.

Jok (Rice Porridge) (โจ๊ก)

A porridge based on rice boiled so long it has gone soft and slimy. Served with fresh ginger, spring onions, various types of meat, pepper and on request a raw egg. It is usually eaten as breakfast, although it can be available during the day. A delicious meal.

Khao Man Kay (Chicken on Rice) (ข้าวมันไก่)

Sliced boiled chicken on rice (boiled with the oily ("man") part of the liquid left after boiling the chicken), served with a spicy sauce and some herbs and a small bowl of hot soup.

Khao Moo Daeng (Red Pork on Rice) (ข้าวหมูแดง)

My favourite Thai food of all times. Thin sliced pork on rice, covered with a sweet red sauce. Add lime juice, brown soy sauce and eat it with some fresh spring onion and boiled egg. If lucky, you will be served a small bowl of soup as well.

Khao Na Ped (Duck on Rice) (ข้าวหน้าเป็ด)

Sliced roasted duck with gravy on rice, served with fresh ginger and some vegetables. Often served with a small bowl of soup. A nice change from chicken.

Khao Niao Ma Muang (Sticky Rice with Mango) (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง)

Sliced sweet mango, served with sticky rice, sweetened with coconut milk. Usually eaten as dessert, but I eat it as a complete meal sometimes. Heavy stuff but very good.

A similar dish is served with durian instead of mango and is even more heavy but delicious too.

Khao Phad Kay/Moo/Pooh/Seafood/Kung (Fried Rice with ...) (ข้าวผัด)

Fried rice with vegetable, egg and meat or seafood. A good fill up anytime.

Khao Tom (Boiled Rice Soup) (ข้าวต้ม)

In this rice soup you can still recognise the rice. Served with fresh herbs, garlic, onions and meat, fish or seafood, or as plain rice soup with load of delicious side dishes. Like jok it is usually eaten as breakfast and it tastes well.

Kuay Tiao (Noodle Soup) (ก๋วยเตี๋ยว)

Thai noodle soup, most popular street food ever. Available in many variations, depending on size and type of noodle (small (sen lek), big (sen yay), made with egg (bami)), type of meat and with or without soup (naam or haeng). Make it to your own taste by adding (dried) chilli, sugar, fish sauce and/or vinegar.

Special varieties are radna, with big noodles served in gravy, yen ta fo, a pink seafood noodle soup, kuay jab, with offal, blood and big rolled noodles and kuay tiao tom yam, where the regular soup is replaced by spicy tom yam soup.

Moo Ping (Barbecue Pork) (หมูปิ้ง) etc.

Pork meat on a stick grilled on the barbecue. Served with a spicy sauce and if you like, sticky rice. Other types of meat often available at the same shop are chicken liver (delicious), sour sausage (also delicious but very fat) and chicken ass (too chewy for my taste).

Kay/Moo Phad Med Ma Muang (Fried ... with Cashew Nuts) (ผัดเม็ดมะม่วง)

Fried meat with cashew nuts and chilli, a nice contrast of tastes.

Kay/Moo/Plaa Phad Priao Waan (Fried Sweet and Sour ...) (ปรี้ยวหวาน)

Something fried with sweet and sour sauce. Usually chicken or pork, with sliced vegetables like bell pepper, onions, pineapple etc., served in a thick red sauce. A treat.

Phad Thai (Fried Noodle) (ผัดไทย)

The most common vegetarian dish, also popular with non vegetarians. Noodle, bean sprouts, egg and (dried) shrimp are fried at high speed, so that they remain crispy. Eaten with crushed peanuts, spring union, a piece of banana flower and lime juice a real treat.

Po Pia Sod (Fresh Spring rolls) (ปอเปี้ยะสด)

Cold rice-paper rolls with a filling of green vegetables, sweet basil, and maybe mushrooms, chicken, tofu, pork sausage or crab, served with a sweet and sour sauce.

Salapao (Steamed Dumplings) (ซาลาเปา)

Steamed dumplings are popular food and can be found everywhere. Many fillings are possible, but the most common ones are minced pork (moo sab), my favourite, and pork with a red sauce (moo daeng). The decoration on top indicates the type of filling. Not sure if this is universal or different by shop. Available in different sizes too.

Sateh (สเต๊ะ)

Grilled pork or chicken on a stick, served with peanut sauce and a spicy mix of cucumber, onion and chilli in vinegar.

Som Tam (Papaya Salad) (ส้มตํา)

Traditional food from the Isan (North-East). Made of sliced unripe papaya with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts and shrimp (paste). Besides this they put in a fresh chilli or 2, so it can be hotter than hot. The standard variety is Som Tam Thai. Other types are served with black fresh-water crab (Som Tam Pooh) or fermented fish (Som Tam Plara), but I don't like the smell and taste of either of these. Usually served with green vegetables, eat with sticky rice.

Interesting varieties use cucumber, carrot or mango instead of papaya, of which especially the cucumber variety is worth trying. There's also a fruit version.

Tom Yam Kung (Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup) (ต้มยํากุ้ง)

Most popular Thai soup, filled with shrimp (kung), lemon grass and mushroom. Also available in a fish or chicken variety. Usually quite spicy. Eat with plain rice.