Authentic Thai dishes run the gamut from sweet, savory, spicy, and even bitter. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you will learn about just a few authentic Thai dishes you absolutely must try at Thai restaurants.
Sang Kaya Fug Tung
This dessert dish is both savory and sweet. A small-sized pumpkin has its seeds removed and then is filled with a coconut-based cream custard. After the custard adheres itself to the innards of a pumpkin, the pumpkin is served in slices, not unlike a pizza. Many times, a dollop of fresh spiced pumpkin and coconut custard is served on top of each slice.
Tom Yung Gung
You often don't worry about having to order "off the menu" to find this classic Thai comfort food at any American-based Thai restaurant. This dish is filled to the brim with fixings like shrimp, tomatoes, galangal, lemongrass, mushrooms, and kaffir lime leaves. It is traditionally served with a healthy dose of coconut milk, although a healthy alternative exists without even a trace of coconut milk, which gives it a bit of a sour edge. It brings together a wide array of flavors generally associated with Thai food, including salty, sweet, sour, and spicy.
Kao Niew Ma Muang
This dish is traditionally a street food, but can also be ordered from many restaurants. It is a dessert dish that is served as a bed of super sticky rice, topped with ripened mango that has been drizzled with coconut cream.
Gang Som Pak Ruam
The base of this soup consists of cabbage, green beans, and carrots and is generally served with a deep fried omelet with a Thai acacia leaf inside of it. If you're a fan of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors combined, then this is the soup for you.
Gang Keow Wan
This dish is commonly known as Thai green curry in English-speaking countries. This thick, delicious curry is constructed from coconut milk, green curry paste, Thai basil, eggplant, bamboo shoops, as well as lime leaves, galangal, and lemongrass. Although you don't usually have to order off the menu to find it, the authentic Thai preparation tends to be a bit soupier than its Anglo counterpart. This is to complement the rice that is served as a side, so that it can absorb every last drop.
There are few dishes in the world that are as interesting and complex as authentic Thai. Hopefully, you've learned a few things that you can order next time you're at a Thai restaurant.