Thai cuisine is amongst the most delicious and diverse in the world, with masterful combinations of spices and ingredients combining to create dishes that are tasty and aromatic. For those who love spicy dishes, here are some of the next spiciest food you can taste in Thailand.
In the west, salads are usually quite bland, and they certainly aren’t spicy. Well, Thailand didn’t get that memo, as laab is one of the two popular Thai salads to make this list. A popular dish in Laos as well as in the Thai region os Isaan, rice is toasted and pounded before being added to a mix of pork or chicken, mashed chillies and onions, to create a deceptively spicy dish. The first few mouthfuls might seem manageable, but the spice quickly grows to almost unbearable levels, and suddenly your “play-it-safe” salad option has backfired spectacularly.
Tom Klong Pla Grab
Another incredibly spicy Thai soup, tom klong pla grob may look innocent thanks to its almost-transparent brown colour, yet it’s anything but. A sour and spicy soup, dried fish and dried chillies are two of the key ingredients of the dish, along with galangal, kaffir leaves and lemongrass. Whilst many Thais may find it a refreshing dish, the reality is that most in the West will be left struggling – a shame really, as it’s actually pretty delicious.
Tom Yum Kung
Thailand’s much loved soup dish tum yum kung comes in at number eight, thanks to the fried chilli and chilli paste that makes for the base of the soup. Throw in galangal and lemongrass, and you’ve got a hot, aromatic dish that’s not for the feint hearted. Its fiery reddish-orange colour should set alarm bells ringing as to its spice level, and it doesn’t disappoint, with the heat radiating through to all parts of your body. Chicken soup might leave you feel better after a cold, but for a real kick up the back side, try Tom Yum Kung if you’re suffering from the flu – it’s guaranteed to get you moving.
Pad Ka Prao
Whilst many variations (for foreigners) might not seem too spicy, when prepared properly pad ka prao makes for a pretty spicy dish. Popular made with fish, chicken and pork, pad ka prao features overwhelming tastes of the holy basil after which it’s named and the fiery heat of the chillies that are added liberally to the dish, combining to make a meal that’s incredibly tasty as well as spicy. One of Thailand’s most popular and best loved dishes, if you’re feeling brave ask for it spicy – and you’ll get the traditional version that existed long before the foreigners complained about the heat.
Khao Pad Nam Prik Narok
Translating as “fried rice with chilli paste from hell”, despite the ominous title it’s only just scraped into the top 10. Sun-dried chillies are pounded in a pestle and mortar alongside garlic, palm sugar, shrimp paste and fish pieces, before being fried alongside rice and served. Whilst rice usually offers some respite from the intense chilli flavours in Thai cuisine, here there’s no escape, as the rice is coated in this devilish “chilli paste from hell”. If you can stomach it, the taste is great – but sadly many who visit are left struggling.
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