Four Dishes to Try at a Thai Restaurant

Recently I ordered mango sticky rice at a new Thai restaurant in town and I was not disappointed. After I had this dish as a snack I was no longer hungry as it had satisfied my cravings for something sweet!

Thai cuisine remains one of the most memorable and flavorful cuisines I’ve tried.  I have been meaning to travel to Bangkok to experience Thai street food, but have yet to have the chance.  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a lot of time to travel but since I’ve become swamped from both my personal life and my career.  Luckily, as I am currently living in Calgary there are plenty of Thai restaurants to satisfy my cravings.  And at every Thai restaurant there’s a few staple items I order.

Mango Sticky Rice

This is a traditional dish that is made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and fresh mangos.  I love how simple this dish sounds but has such delicious flavors and is a favorite among the streets of Bangkok.  In the evenings at night markets there are vendors selling this traditional dish, usually wrapped in a bamboo leaf.  The rice is al dente and creamy with the coconut milk.  The mango adds a tangy flavor to the dessert that makes the perfect combination.

Green or Red Curry

This aromatic dish is made with various herbs such as lemongrass, chilis, kaffir lime leaves, and coconut milk.  My favorite part about Thai curries is that it uses fresh ingredients that give such a strong aroma.  I’ve tried to make this dish at home with pastes and pre-made sauces, and the dish simply doesn’t taste the same.  Green curry is made with green chili peppers and is milder than a red curry but is still spicy.  Red curry is made of a blend of red chili peppers simmered with vegetables like carrots, peppers and onions.  A variety of proteins may be added including chicken or beef.  Both these types of curries are usually served over rice and is so heart and filling.

Green curry is both delicious and healthy as it contains a variety of vegetables and proteins.

A classic tom yum soup with customized spices (I like it extra spicy).

Tom Yum Soup

This is a staple at every Thai dinner I’ve attended.  Tom yum is a sour and moderately spicy soup made of mushrooms, sliced chicken, or shrimp.  The soup is so flavorful and is a perfect way to start your dinner.  I usually drink this soup as an appetizer that gets me excited for the main courses.

Pad Thai

Another classic dish that has been Westernized by many fast-food restaurants.  Traditional pad Thai is served as a street food in many cities in Thailand.  Pad Thai translates directly to “fried” Thai referring to the stir-fry technique used to make the dish.  Pad Thai noodles are made of rice noodles that are cooked to perfection and soak up some juicy spices and sauces used.  While I’ve tried making pad Thai at home using store bought sauces, it simply cannot compare to that found in an authentic Thai restaurant.  You may find a variety of toppings within the dish including bean sprouts, egg, shrimp, tofu, and peanuts.  It is served with lime wedges and chili flakes.  For those who are new to Thai cuisine, this is a must-try.