Thai cuisine is well known for its strong aroma and perfectly blended flavours. The delightful combination of sour and spicy flavours often comes to mind when discussing Thai cuisine. Therefore, indulging in some of the finest Thai dishes is a perfect choice to invigorate your taste buds on a mundane day.
While Thai cuisine undeniably possesses a unique international identity, it has been notably influenced by Indian culinary traditions. This influence is evident through shared characteristics, such as using an array of herbs and spices, incorporating coconut milk, and including chillies in Thai and Indian dishes.
You can explore some of Malaysia’s most popular classic and authentic Thai dishes on SOI55’s food menu.
Sourness and spiciness are key elements in evaluating the authenticity of Thai cuisine, which is as diverse as the four distinct regions of Thailand.
The central region boasts iconic Thai dishes, such as Tom Yum soup and green curry chicken. You’ll find staple ingredients like chillies, lemongrass, and shrimp paste here.
Did you know the vibrant street-side Thai BBQ pork or chicken and the ever-popular Som Tam salad originate from Northeast Thailand? Yes, that’s right! This region is known for its flavourful dishes, which often combine sweet, salty, sour, and spicy.
Head to the Thai highlands, including Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, in the northern region. Here, you’ll encounter Lanna food, relatively milder than the spicier Thai dishes in other regions.
For the ultimate spicy challenge, don’t miss Southern cuisine. In Thailand, there’s a saying: ‘The spiciest food comes from the South.’ So, if you’re a fan of fiery flavours, South Thailand is your destination.”
Compared to other Southeast Asian cuisines, Thai dishes have their own Thai seafood specialties. This is an advantage of Thailand due to its rich marine life. The Thais can catch fresh and delicious seafood from the rivers and ocean. Not only that, the seafood types are diverse, too.
Crabs, prawns, oysters, squids, mussels, and other seafood are common ingredients in Thai main dishes and side dishes. Thai cuisine consistently showcases its seafood offerings in a delightful array of preparations, featuring various cooking methods, sauces, herbs, and spices. This seafood specialty has long been a magnet for seafood enthusiasts seeking the rich flavours of Thai cuisine.
Tom Yum stands out as one of Malaysia’s most renowned Thai dishes, cherished by locals and tourists. Thai restaurants across the country typically feature Tom Yum on their menus, and it consistently ranks as the top seller, reflecting its widespread popularity and appeal.
Tom Yum Seafood’s versatility caters to the varied tastes and preferences of Malaysians, offering a range of spice levels and ingredient options, including prawns, chicken, or mushrooms. This adaptability further underscores its status as a beloved and inclusive choice for those seeking a delightful Thai culinary experience in the heart of Malaysia.
Red curry is the go-to for spice lovers in Malaysia. It’s a creamy, spicy favourite, especially for those new to Thai curries. This versatile dish can be prepared with various proteins, including chicken, beef, or seafood. Its ability to complement different meats and provide a delightful contrast to rice makes it a popular and satisfying meal choice for many.
While Malaysians are no strangers to red curry, green curry presents an enticing alternative. With green chillies as the primary ingredient, it offers a milder spiciness, boasting a richer and more aromatic appeal, thanks to an array of herbs.
Tom Kha Gai, also known as Galanga Chicken Soup, might look mild as it is white. However, it tastes sour, spicy, and slightly salty. Although the ingredients for Tom Kha Gai are pretty similar to Tom Yum, adding coconut milk makes it different. Thus, when served, you may smell the strong aroma of coconut milk.
Pad Thai is the most popular Thai-style stir-fried noodle in Malaysia. Some Malaysians would call it Thai-style Char Kuey Tiaw, which looks similar. But, the taste makes the most significant difference. This is because Pad Thai is stir-fried with a sauce that contains tamarind and other ingredients. Hence, the sour taste makes it appetising.
Thai basil chicken, akin to the beloved Malaysian dish Nasi Lemak, holds a special place in the hearts of many in Thailand. When deciding what to enjoy for a meal, the Thais often turn to this delicious dish, served with rice and a fried egg. In this way, Thai basil chicken plays a role similar to sambal in Malaysian cuisine, serving as a go-to comfort dish. With its widespread popularity, there’s every reason for you to savour this quintessential Thai national delicacy—the Thai basil chicken.
In a nation renowned for its diverse and flavourful cuisine, Som Tam is a Thai dish that masterfully combines sweet, savoury, sour, and spicy elements. This unique salad defies the conventional notion of a salad – it forgoes lettuce for unripe papaya, swaps vinegar for fish sauce, and skips chicken breast in favour of crab. Som Tam is a harmonious blend of flavours that encapsulates the essence of Thai culinary artistry.
A salad needn’t rely on greens as its main ingredient; it can feature minced meat! Larb, a revitalising delight, is particularly refreshing on scorching hot days. When the heat leaves you with a diminished appetite, Larb, a Thai meat salad, is a perfect choice. It offers a balanced and mouthwatering meal, making it one of the finest options for a nutritious and delicious hot weather reprieve.
As for Thai desserts, mango sticky rice enjoys widespread adoration in Malaysia. Its unique blend of sweetness, tartness, and a hint of saltiness renders it a dessert beloved around the globe. This delicacy is an orchestra of flavours, harmonising the tastes of chewy glutinous rice and tender mangoes. Be sure not to let the mango season in April to November pass without indulging in this delectable treat.
Thai fried rice is also a popular dish in Malaysia. Fish sauce, with its strong aroma, serves as a pivotal element that distinguishes Thai-style fried rice from the majority of Chinese fried rice preparations, where the fish sauce is usually omitted. When combined with a well-mastered wok hei technique, it imparts an exclusively smoky richness of flavour that elevates the appeal of Thai fried rice.
Other than that, Thai fried rice features fragrant Thai jasmine rice, whereas Chinese fried rice typically uses standard long-grain white rice or a combination of white rice.
Are you craving Thai cuisine? Discover these fantastic Thai recipes to recreate the magic at home. Or else, head over to our SOI55 Thai Restaurants in Selangor and KL for instant craving satisfaction and an unforgettable dining experience.