5 Underrated Thai Dishes You Must Try
When you think of Thai Food, what dishes first come to your mind? Green curry? Tom Yum? Pad Thai? Satay? Papaya Salad? Sure, these dishes are great but they have become so popular that many tourists ignore trying other amazing Thai dishes that locals love. If you think Pad Thai is our national dish, you are very, very wrong. Thailand is comprised of so many regions in the country which all give birth to different dishes depending on the regions' available ingredients. For example, the southern part of Thailand uses a different type of spice or herbs for its curry compared to the northern and middle regions of Thailand. This makes Thai dishes super unique and creative--which is why you cannot visit Thailand and only try just Pad Thai and Tom Yum Kung.
Do you think you're a pro when it comes to Thai cuisine? Or are you simply just looking to try new Thai dishes? Continue reading below to see if you can name all of these five underrated Thai dishes.
Yen Ta Fo (เย็นตาโฟ)
Yes, the broth is pink! Yen Ta Fo is a distinctively pink noodle dish in Thailand and is highly popular among the locals in Thailand. The dish is usually served with seafood, water morning glory, and fried wontons. The dish got its pink color from the unique fermented bean paste used to flavour a pork bone soup base. Some people also either add a dash of food colouring or chicken blood to intensify the colour or taste.
Pad Gra Pao (ผัดกระเพรา)
You may know this dish because of its growing popularity within North America and Europe, but if you don't, you have to try Pad Gra Pao. This is a local-favourite dish which is a minced protein (pork, chicken, or beef) stir fry with Holy Basil. The dish is always eaten with a fried egg on top of the rice because the yolk goes so well with the sauce of this dish. The level of spiciness is up to the individual's preference, however, if you want to eat like the locals, they often have it as spicy as possible. This dish may look simple, but did you know that Thai people consume Pad Gra Pao far more than Pad Thai? Don't get us wrong, we still love Pad Thai. But at the end of the day, Pad Gra Pao is our comfort food.
Miang Kham (เมี่ยงคำ)
Miang Kham is a popular snack in Thailand and it was introduced to the Siamese court of King Rama V by Princess Dara Rasmi. The name "Miang Kham" translates to "one bite wrap", from Miang (food wrapped in leaves) and Kham (a bite). The snack is eaten by wrapping the Betel leaf with assorted side dishes (shown above) such as groundnuts, dried shrimp, or sliced lime and chili, topped with a sweet and savory sauce. It is such a healthy and delicious snack, but quite hard to find outside of Thailand.
Laab, or Larb, is a northeastern Thai dish made of minced meat (pork, chicken, or beef) lightly poached in broth, then mixed with chiles, fresh herbs, and roasted rice powder. The dish is eaten with sticky rice and a lot of fresh vegetables such as basil, string beans, and cabbage.
Tom Kha Gai (ต้มข่าไก่)
You've heard of Tom Yum, but have you heard of Tom Kha Gai? This soup is similar to Tom Yum, except it, the broth is made of chicken broth, galangal, and coconut. Unlike Tom Yum, this broth is white and tastes more savory and mild. The main protein is usually chicken and can be eaten with rice.
How many dishes did you already know? Leave a comment below!