9 Massively Tasty Thai Dishes to Eat in Thailand

Written By: Mark Wiens

Wondering what to eat in Thailand when you visit next? You’ve come to the right place. Thai food is our favorite. When we first traveled to Thailand in 2000, we were introduced to the exotic flavors of Thailand from north to south and it’s been our top choice for international food ever since.

Upon returning home, we bought the book Entree to Asia and have been making Thai food (and other Asian recipes) at home for two decades. We always look forward to going back to Thailand to discover more authentic Thai cuisine. It’s the one food of the world that never gets old.

The Best Thai Food

This post was originally written by Thai food expert Mark Weins who shared his favorite Thai fish dishes that are not to be missedIf you want to read about more Thai cuisine check out our post Best Thai Food – Traditional Thai Dishes to Eat in Thailand or at Home

Thai Fish Dishes

Fish is a major part of Thai cuisine, and in Thailand, it’s not just the neat boneless fillets that are used, but the entirety of the fish. All Thai fish dishes and photos by Mark Weins of Migrationology.

1. Pla Pao

thai food plao plao

Roasted fish in Thailand is stuffed with crushed lemongrass stalks, coated in a thick layer of salt, and roasted over low coals on the grill. Tear away the skin, grab a chunk of the moist flaky flesh, dip it into the sweet and sour chili sauce, and you’ve got a bite to cherish! Get the full recipe here

2. Pla Duk Yang

thai cuisine Pla Duk Yang
Pla Duk Yang

Not being the prettiest of creatures, catfish luckily make up flavor-wise for what they lose with their looks. Smoked over low heat, catfish soak up an unbelievable amount of smokiness to add to their addictive taste. The flesh remains firm, almost meat-like, while the skin turns golden and crunchy!

3. Pla Kapong Neung Manao

tasty thai dishes Thai food - Pla Kapong Neung Manao
Pla Kapong Neung Manao

Known as Asian seabass, or barramundi, this fish is first steamed plain and then drenched in a zesty lime soup. The heaps of garlic, fresh diced chilies, and cilantro are the taste-bud-awakening flavors that make it such a remarkable Thai dish. See how to prepare this dish on EatingThaiFood.

4. Pla Tod Cumin

Thai food - Pla Tod Cumin
Pla Tod Cumin

Marinated in freshly ground turmeric root, then deep-fried to a crisp, these little guys are the definition of comforting culinary satisfaction. Along with a big plate of rice, pla tod cumin is one of my favorite things to eat in Thailand! See how to make this Southern Thai food by following this recipe.

5. Miang Pla Too

Thai dishes - Miang Pla Too
Miang Pla Too

Miang Pla too is a little meal package that includes a fried mackerel, soft rice noodles (khanom jeen), lettuce and napa cabbage leaves, and a variety of different herbs.

In a similar fashion to constructing a taco, grab a piece of lettuce, fill it up with noodles, a piece of fish, throw some herbs on top, and be sure to generously douse it in chili lime sauce before devouring! Check out this easy-to-follow recipe.

6. Pla Tod Rad Prik

Thai cuisine - Pla Tod Rad Prik
Pla Tod Rad Prik

Deep-fried fish is delicious enough on its own, but take the fried fish and baptize it in a sweet and sour chili laced sauce, and you’ve got a recipe of ultimate tastiness.

7. Pad Pla Keun Chai

what to eat in Thailand - Pad Pla Keun Chai
Pad Pla Keun Chai

Along with the marvels of intact fish dishes, various forms of stir-fried fish are also common in Thai food. Pad pla Keun Chai is a fantastic dish that’s flavored with oyster sauce and fried in combination with red chilies and baby celery leaves.

8. Pla Chon Lui Suan

fish dishes to try in Thailand - Pla Chon Lui Suan
Pla Chon Lui Suan

If there’s one Thai dish that boasts the quintessential tastes of Thai cuisine on a single plate it’s pla chon lui suan. Steamed with a garden of vegetables, coated in a fiery hot and dangerously tart dressing, and topped with pungent slices of raw garlic and mint sprigs, each mouthful delivers a blast of culinary delight.

9. Pla Ta Pien Tom Kem

traditional fish dishes in Thailand - Pla Ta Pien Tom Kem
Pla Ta Pien Tom Kem

Simmered for over 20 hours in a bath of sugar cane juice and ginger, pla ta pien tom kem is a unique traditional Thai dish. The tender flesh is so soft that you can actually slice straight through the bones and eat the entire carcass!

Check out more food from around the world:

Read More about Thailand:

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About Mark Wiens

Mark Wiens was raised in Central Africa, graduated from university in the United States, and eventually migrated to Southeast Asia. On Migrationology, he shares discoveries from his obsession with food and travel. He also blogs about mouthwatering Thai street food, his untreatable addiction!

Leave a Comment

9 thoughts on “9 Massively Tasty Thai Dishes to Eat in Thailand”

  1. I would love to visit Thailand. Heard soo many wonderful things about there. Where should I stay once there? Moderately priced 5 star?

  2. YUM! I love fish and all things spicy so think I would like a lot of these dishes. Unfortunately I was only in Thailand for a couple of weeks so far this year, so have yet to try any of these, but I’m looking forward to getting back there now!

  3. Since Ayngelina showed me how to eat a whole fish last year in Buenos Aires, I am ready to explore the culinary delights of Thailand!

  4. Hi,

    I love your articles.

    I would love to try to make ‘Pla Ta Pien Tom Kem’. Do you know where I could find the recipe for this?

    Thanks, Bea