The Best Of Thai Street Food

Posted on 24 March 2017 by Alex Uren

Thai street food is among the best in the world, so it’s no surprise we have chosen to write about it for our first of many posts on street food around the world.

The food cooked up on the bustling streets of Bangkok, the stunning island beaches or the sleepy mountain towns in Thailand varies enormously – but they all have one thing in common – they are fresh, flavoursome and absolutely delicious.

For anyone who has tried to recreate Thai food, you will know that balancing the spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavours the way the Thais manage is no easy feat and, quite frankly, there’s nothing more disappointing than cooking yourself a bad Pad Thai or overcooked rice. The temptation to book a flight to Bangkok to get a decent noodle fix is all too strong.

Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Thailand to experience some of the great flavours Thailand has to offer. The same dishes can be found in the numerous street food markets scattered around London – and we’re here to make sure you try the very best with our list of top Thai dishes to gobble down in your lunch break.

So next time you have a meeting that overruns, a run in with an annoying colleague or you simply want to treat yourself, get yourself down to your nearest Thai street food stall – check out our app Streats to find the closest one to you - grab yourself any of the following meals and see your day infinitely improve.

Pad Thai

We simply couldn’t mention Thai street food without the crowd favourite, Pad Thai. Served in abundance on the noisy, tuk-tuk laden streets of Bangkok, Pad Thai is a must-have on any travelling foodie’s meal plan. It’s Thai street food at its finest, simple, filling and absolutely bursting with all the flavours that make Thai food so special.

This classic noodle dish is made with stir-fried rice noodles, eggs, fish and soy sauces and bean sprouts. It’s topped with crushed peanuts and spices can be added to taste. It’s a Thai street food classic that will see you through the afternoon slump no problem. It’s common knowledge that you can judge any restaurant or food stall on the quality of their Pad Thai.

Massaman Curry

It goes without saying that Thailand’s famous red and green curries are worth a sample, but let’s spare a thought for the equally delicious Massaman.

Some historians believe the curry has Muslim origins, while others argue it stems more from Malaysian or Indian cuisine thanks to the heavy spices. Either way, the Massaman curry has become a firm favourite on the Thai street food scene for good reasons, it’s rich, indulgent and creamy; perfect for a chilly day in London – or a sweaty day in Bangkok!

The Massaman contains peanuts, coconut cream, potatoes and your choice of meat or tofu. For us Londoners who occasionally doubt whether the sun truly exists, it’s a solid lunchtime choice. Grab yourself a hearty portion on a cold and rainy day, find somewhere cosy and appreciate the rich and nutty flavours. Life is not all bad.

Som Tam (Papaya Salad)

Go to any Thai restaurant or stall serving Papaya salad and they will ask if you want it ‘spicy’ or ‘Thai spicy’. Choose ‘Thai Spicy’ and you’re in for a world of pain. By all means, challenge yourself but don’t say we didn’t warn you! Luckily for our sheltered Western taste buds, this dish is delicious even without a heavy dousing of chillies.

Papaya salad is light, fresh and healthy. Created using green papaya, lime, peanuts and chilli, it’s the perfect accompaniment to something more substantial or, if you’re saving yourself for a big dinner, it’s a great little lunch to enjoy on an unexpectedly sunny day – we are in London after all.

Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup)

Tom Kha Gai is a smooth and aromatic soup, perfect for all the coconut lovers out there. It can be found all over London and is generally done very well! A rich chicken soup containing coconut milk, lime, lemon grass and chilli, it’s a great lunchtime choice as it can be eaten with rice or on its own for a slightly lighter option. Tom Kha Gai is packed with flavour, warming,and the spice combined with the zesty lime and ginger will ease any stubborn winter cold symptoms.

Mango Sticky Rice

Of course every meal needs a dessert to finish, and you cannot go wrong with the classic mango sticky rice.

Thailand has two things in abundance, fruit and rice. Pair the two together and you create a deliciously sweet and simple dessert. Created using coconut and vanilla-infused sticky rice then served with fresh mango, it’s an absolute corker of a dessert and, if it weren’t for our ever-increasing waistlines, we would be eating this every day!

Alex Uren

Alex travelled around the world eating her bodyweight in street food and now she never shuts up about it. She also likes yoga, running and making other people feel inferior.