Luxtripper Travel Editor
There was a period of time in Thailand where I ate a massaman curry every day for five days straight and it was always just as good as the time before, so for this reason, it is firmly at number 1. This thick, nutty curry is bursting with rich, distinctive flavours. The Southern Thailand dish is made up of coconut milk, roasted peanuts or cashews, potatoes cardamom pods, cinnamon, bay leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind sauce and a dash of chili. It also comes served with a side of rice and meat; usually duck, chicken or beef although you can also get it with tofu if you are after the vegetarian option. Overall the combination of ingredients creates a strong, sweet curry without being overly spicy.
Som Tum (spicy green papaya salad)
Som Tam, otherwise known as spicy green papaya salad, is a close second place contender. This iconic light, tangy dish is an ideal lunch on a humid Thai day. The combination of ingredients used creates distinct flavours making it very popular throughout Thailand. Chillies, garlic, tomatoes, green beans and shredded raw papaya are ground up in a mortar to create a sweet and spicy zangy flavour. In certain areas around Thailand peanuts, salted crab or dried shrimps are mixed in too, adding to the individuality of the dish. Sometimes seafood is served on the side. But be warned… It can be quite spicy.
Whole BBQ fish
If you’re a fan of seafood, this dish is not to be missed. A variety of white fish is used but I predominantly had red snapper with this dish. Marinated and wrapped in banana leaves then grilled on the BBQ, nobody can cook fish quite like Thai people. You can opt for many different flavours but my favourite was the chili and garlic. The sauce is drizzled over the fish and inside the cutlets and then wrapped firmly in a banana leaf to contain the flavour. It is then grilled on the BBQ and served with coconut rice and light salad.
Larb gai, known as Thai minced chicken salad, is predominantly made up of minced chicken, red onion, basil and mint drizzled with a touch of lime juice, fish sauce and a sprinkling of roasted ground rice and red chillies. This dish has the perfect balance of spice and flavour, making it totally unique. It can also be made with beef, pork, duck, fish or mushrooms and sometimes vegetables.