Looking to add a bit more Thai to your cooking repertoire?
With its beautiful layering of ingredients and the just-right combination of herbs and spices, Thai dishes are always enjoyable – even kids love them!
Whether you go for recipes that are “five-chilies-hot” or prefer a milder version, this Asian cuisine is all about the harmonious blending of flavors. Ingredients are fresh, veggies crisp, spices and herbs skillfully blended, and flavorful sauces accompany many dishes.
Rice and cooling salads are standard fare on the table, and Thai iced tea or a cool, crisp beer are the ideal beverages to round out a meal.
To get you started, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best Thai recipes from around the web. Some are easy, some a bit more involved, but one thing is certain… they’re all delicious!
1. Street Vendors’ Staple: Chicken Satay
A staple of street vendors in Bangkok and other major cities, skewered satays are the perfect party food – no need for a plate or cutlery, just nibble on the skewer.
Cook them on the grill at summer get-togethers, or as Felicia demonstrates in our own test kitchen, they’re delicious fresh from the oven any time of the year!
Marinated with chili paste, turmeric, and fish sauce, this easily prepared Spicy Chicken Peanut Satay brings some heat, and loads of flavor.
Serve the peanut sauce for dipping, and a cool cucumber salad alongside it to relieve some of the heat.
2. Thai Beach Supping: Chicken Coconut Soup
The Wanderspice clan brings us a re-creation of Tom Kha Gai, or Chicken Coconut Soup.
Coconut milk gives a rich velvety base, while galangal, garlic, chilies, and lemongrass infuse this recipe with the spicy heat and slow, easy flavors of a Thai beach.
Take your time with this one and savor the experience!
The recipe comes with great instructions to fully develop the flavors, plus viable alternatives for the more elusive ingredients.
Try it now on Wanderspice.
3. Beggar’s Purse Meatballs for a Pretty Presentation
Here’s another tasty recipe from Wanderspice, featuring pork meatballs tucked into crispy wonton packets, served over a bed of fresh broccoli slaw with spicy peanut sauce.
Aromatic with lemongrass and cumin, these wonton meatballs are fried to a gorgeous golden crunch, while the cool, crisp slaw balances out the warmth of the peanut sauce.
This is one of those dishes that’s are almost too pretty to eat… almost. The pretty presentation, and the flavors, will delight both kids and adults!
Wanderspice shares the recipe.
4. Light and Lean Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
Another meatball recipe, this recipe for Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce from The Fitchen brings low-cal turkey meat and vibrant flavors to the table.
One of those serendipitous recipes born of ingredients on hand, The Fitchen team has created a winner!
Ginger, curry paste, lemongrass, fish sauce, chili flakes, and coconut milk combine for juicy, tender meatballs with an authentic taste.
And the coconut curry sauce has a subtle heat to it that can be notched up or turned down as desired.
Get the recipe now at The Fitchen.
5. The Four Flavors: Easy Spicy Garlic Shrimp
This recipe for Easy Spicy Garlic Shrimp also comes to us courtesy of The Fitchen, and covers all four of the cornerstone flavors of Thai cuisine.
Green onions provide a sour note, fish or soy sauce gives a salty flavor, prawns and honey offer sweetness, and spicy flavors abound in the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
Wonderfully balanced and layered flavors for the seafood lovers!
Learn how to make your own at home, from The Fitchen.
6. Spiralize This: Sweet Potato Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Everyone wants a healthy pasta alternative, and these Sweet Potato Noodles hit the mark dead on. So, get out your spiralizer and enjoy the rich vitamin and mineral content of these tasty tubers.
Tossed with a peanut sauce, then topped with cilantro and spicy roasted chickpeas, this fresh and quick meal is an Asian-inspired vegetarian delight.
Not sure about making the noodles? Follow along with The Fitchen’s fun and funky video and recipe for all the details!
7. A Vegan Version of Pad Thai
Loaded with heat and veggies, this vegan version of Pad Thai from Kitchen Window Clovers is bright, beautiful, and it comes together with wonderful simplicity.
Another job for the spiralizer, sweet potato noodles form the heart of the recipe. That’s right – it’s gluten-free, too!
Bell peppers and cabbage add some crunchy texture. Garlic, sriracha, and red peppers bring the heat, and pumpkin gives the peanut sauce a unique flavor and texture.
Quick and easy, bookmark this recipe from Kitchen Window Clovers for busy weeknights!
8. One-Pot Chang Mai Red Curry
A “one-pot wonder,” this Red Curry Chicken has all the flavor of a full meal – and it comes together in only 30 minutes!
Chicken, veggies, garlic, coconut milk, and red curry paste are blended, then simmered into a fragrant curry. And it’s simple to spice up or tone down just by adjusting the amount of curry paste.
Quick and easy, serve it over a bed of fluffy jasmine rice – this is comfort food at its best!
And if you give it a taste test only to discover that you’ve been a little too heavy handed with the spice, we share our favorite tips in this article to help you to tone it down. (Don’t worry- you can save dinner!)
You’ll find the recipe for this delicious curry on Our Perfect Palette.
9. Must-Try Peanut Sauce
No doubt you’ve noticed that a lot of Thai dishes are served with a peanut sauce.
And why not? Rich and creamy, a good peanut sauce has spices, herbs, tangy citrus or vinegar, plus flavorful oils. But there’s also those darned calories from the peanut butter…
Well, problem solved! Thanks to this Low-Calorie Peanut Dressing from Hunger Thirst Play that uses powdered peanut butter, you still get all the fab flavors of a spicy peanut sauce, but without the calories – or the guilt! More peanut sauce, anyone?
With up to 85 percent less fat and only one-third of the calories, powdered PB is made from real roasted peanuts. It’s great in savory sauces like this one, and it can also be used as a dip for fruit, in smoothies, and for baking.
Better Body Foods Peanut Butter Powder, available on Amazon
Get the recipe now from Hunger Thirst Play.
10. Go Green on Meatless Monday
As Thai food relies on balanced flavors, to complement the Red Curry Chicken above, we have a made-from-scratch Vegan Green Curry with Sweet Potatoes, Tofu, and Green Beans.
Vintage Kitty has lovingly crafted this recipe with lots of fresh herbs, spices, tofu, and veggies. The result is a savory and satisfying option for your next meatless meal.
With plenty of authentic ingredients, you’ll want to read the recipe carefully before you make a trip to the grocery store. To enjoy the full flavors of a homemade curry paste, you’re going to want to follow these specifications closely.
Vintage Kitty shares the recipe for this green curry.
11. Something for Everyone: Pumpkin Corn Soup
This Pumpkin Corn Soup starts with a vegetable broth base, and builds the subtle layers of flavor Thai soups are known for.
For vegans and vegetarians, the addition of tofu will turn it into a main course. And meat eaters can sub out the veggie broth for chicken stock and add in some cubed chicken.
To make this soup appealing to all tastes, Kitty suggests loading up a condiment tray with typical Thai herbs, sauces, and oils – this way, everyone can season their bowlful according to their tastes.
You’ll find the recipe on Vintage Kitty.
12. Turmeric Pork Ribs are Slow Cooked Perfection
Ideal for busy weeknights, these Slow Cooker Turmeric Pork Ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender and full of lively, spicy flavors.
Five minutes in the morning to get the ribs started plus another 15 minutes before serving is all that’s required to put this dish together.
For a complete meal, serve them up with a fresh and juicy pineapple slaw, and a side of steamed rice.
Learn how to make this carnivore’s dream in your own Crock-Pot (and that tropical fruity slaw), over on The Gingered Whisk.
13. Simple Chicken and Zoodles Skillet
OK, spiralizer fans – here’s another one for you!
This Quick Chicken Zoodle Skillet from The Gingered Whisk is another one-pot gem that takes only 20 minutes to make, from start to finish.
Spiralize the zucchini noodles first to ensure they have plenty of time to drain, then cook them quickly just before serving.
Prepare the sauce in a jar and cook all the other ingredients in a skillet. Simple, quick, and fun!
You’ll find the recipe on The Gingered Whisk.
14. BBQ Ribs with Apple Lavender Slaw
For an “East meets West” vibe, make these BBQ Ribs with Apple Lavender Slaw!
With ingredients like tamarind paste, ginger, and shrimp paste, Wanderspice puts a delicious Thai twist on a traditional barbecue dish.
Baby back ribs are braised in an aromatic liquid with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and a variety of spices, herbs, and vegetables.
Slathered in a Thai BBQ sauce and served with a slaw made with apples, cabbage, and lavender flower, these ribs are finger-licking good!
Enjoy this tasty BBQ creation now on Wanderspice.
15. Fresh Green Papaya Salad
While a giant wedge of iceberg lettuce covered in ranch dressing and bacon bits does sound appetizing, there’s something even better…
Nancie’s Table makes a phenomenal Thai-inspired green papaya salad, with a colorful and healthy mixture shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, shallots, and garlic.
With a hint of sweetness from palm sugar, heat from chiles, and acidity from lime juice, you’ll love the fresh, vibrant flavors of this vegetarian salad.
Ingredients are gently mashed together using a mortar and pestle, to break down unripe papaya and perfectly mix and infuse the ingredients together to create a most magical combo.
This recipe is one among many tasty dishes in Nancie’s cookbook, Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes. Her recipes focus on allergy-friendly food with bold, authentic flavors that all health-conscious cooks can make and enjoy!
Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes, available on Amazon
So if you have an allergy to shellfish, or enjoy the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, this is a great cookbook to buy!
Purchase the book, or try this particular recipe now at Nancie’s Table.
Into the Kitchen
Are your taste buds primed after reading about all of those mouthwatering recipes?
For more tips, techniques, and information on this incomparable cuisine, visit our introductory article A Tantalizing Taste of Thailand – you’ll be inspired to get into the kitchen and start cooking right away!
And once you’ve tried a few, let us know which of these tasty recipes you enjoyed the most – drop us a line in the comments below.
Don’t forget to Pin It!
Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. All other photography in this article is owned and copyrighted by their respective owners as identified. Used with permission by Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved by all parties. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
About Lorna Kring
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.