When you talk about the best cuisine in the world, Thai food is right up there. Along with Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Mexican, Thai food makes it to the top 10 list of popular cuisines in the world. However, most of the popular dishes include meat, often pork, chicken, beef or seafood, as an ingredient. Because of this, if you’re vegan or looking for vegetarian Thai food you need to know and plan about it during your trip to Thailand. I have got some good news for you. You can still take a foodie trip to the ‘Land of Smiles’ and feast on some delicious vegetarian dishes.
Irresistible Vegetarian Thai Food Dishes To Try
1. Som Tam (Spicy Green Thai Papaya Salad)
This is one of the popular Thai vegetarian dishes you can try in Thailand. The mouthwatering meal is prepared using, galangal, juicy tomatoes, carrots, shredded green (unripe) papaya, lime and tamarind juice, long beans, palm sugar, and peanuts. The ingredients give the meal a sweet, spicy, salty, sour and savory flavor. The salad usually has fish sauce and prawns included, so when ordering you make sure to say you’re vegetarian/vegan for these ingredients not to be included in your dish.
2. Pad Thai (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)
A vegetarian Thai food cuisine menu cannot miss this dish. It is one of the national dishes in Thailand and is also very popular among tourists. Mostly it is cooked with eggs, bean sprouts, tasty tofu cubes, onions, lime juice, groundnuts, and shrimp or chicken. However, you can ask the chef to omit the meat products. The famous Thai dish is just as tasty without them. Pad Thai is sold everywhere in Thailand from five-star restaurants to the street food stalls.
3. Pad Phuk Tong (Stir-Fried Pumpkin)
You’re probably used to seeing pumpkins begin carved out during Halloween. In Thailand they have a much better use for pumpkins, they use them to create this vegetarian dish. Other ingredients used to prepare Pad Phuk tong are spring onions, coriander leaves, sugar, garlic, water, white pepper, celery, and soy sauce. This is one of the best vegetarian dishes in Thailand and you should try it with Thai fragrant rice.
4. Pak Boong (Morning Glory)
This is one of the healthiest foods you can take while you’re on vacation in Thailand. The delicious salad which is salty, crunchy, spicy and sour has soy sauce, chilies, soybean paste, and garlic. Oyster sauce is often added when preparing morning glory, so again tell the cook making it not to include the sauce to keep it vegetarian.
5. Pad Pak (Fried Vegetables)
As the name suggests this is an all-vegetable Thai dish. Some of the vegetables used to make it are mushrooms, cauliflower, and broccoli. When you go to a food stall you’ll see the different vegetables used to prepare it displayed and you can choose what you want or don’t want in your Pad Pak.
6. Vegetable Noodle Soup with Lemongrass
Should you visit Thailand during the cold season this noodle soup is what you should have to keep you warm on a chilly day. It is known to be a good remedy for a cold or flu and is also said to help boost your mood. To make it lemongrass, several vegetables, thin rice noodles or noodles of your choice, coconut milk is needed. The soup is quite filling and can be had as a meal on its own at any time of the day.
7. Vegetarian Thai Green Curry
Thai cuisine has a wide variety of curries with Panang and Massaman curry being some of the most popular ones. A lot of curries are made with meat but this can be removed in your order. The Thai green vegetable curry, for example, has meat in it but you can substitute this with tofu or wheat gluten. Whichever you choose will be mixed with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, coriander seeds, green chilies, and coconut milk.
8. Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables)
This is another all vegetable meal that will ensure you stick to your vegetarian diet. It will also leave you full but wanting for more. Ingredients required to make this meal are vegetable oil, coarsely chopped garlic, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, shallots, carrots, bell pepper, snow peas, mushrooms, soy sauce, spinach leaves, Thai pepper powder, and lime juice. These are all mixed together to give your food several different flavors. You can enjoy this meal with Thai jasmine rice.
9. Tao Hoo Song Kreung (Mixed Tofu)
If you don’t know tofu, it is soya milk coagulated to create curd. It is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium for vegans and vegetarians. To make this Thai meal different types of tofu are fried with the basil to make a tasty stir fry. Like most of the other dishes, we have talked about mixed tofu is usually served with some steaming rice.
10. Laab Jay (Vegan Laab)
In Thailand, most Laab salads have chicken, beef or pork but you can have a vegetarian version. Simply replace the meat with tofu and you have an amazing meal. The tofu is mixed with lime juice, Thai roasted chili paste, green onions, coriander leaves, roast rice powder, lemongrass, etc. The spices used to make this meal make it very hot and spicy, so if you don’t like spicy food ask for it to be prepared moderate or mild.