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From a Local The Best Ways to Eat Thai Curry

From a Local: The Best Ways to Eat Thai Curry

Thai cuisine is well-known worldwide, but surprisingly, many people still believe that some well-known dishes, like curry, Som Tam, or Tom Yam Soup, should be eaten in a certain way.

In particular, most Thai restaurants outside the country will either prepare Thai curry using standard cutlery or customize them in a way that is familiar to their patrons.

However, locals have a unique way of eating Thai curry. Read on as we discuss some of the most common ways Thai locals eat this delicious dish!

How to Eat Thai Curry

Thai curry is eaten using a spoon and fork, except when it’s a curry noodle soup, which calls for chopsticks. Locals typically eat Thai curry by adding spices or pairing it with popular side dishes, like papaya salad, flatbreads, and dumplings. 

While there are no hard-set rules for eating Thai curry, giving it a twist like locals do will give you a truly authentic dining experience!

How to Eat Thai Curry

Image source: iStock

Just a tip: Thai curry is meant to be shared and savored.

For the Thai people, eating is a family activity they enjoy by joking around, conversing, and taking their time. 

Meals are typically shared in Thailand, and eating Thai curry is not an exception. Therefore, avoid ordering a large bowl of Thai green curry just for yourself when dining with the locals.

When the food is delivered, take what you need and move on to the next curry. 

Keep in mind that Thai food is typically spicy. Therefore, taste the curry before taking a spoonful to check the heat levels and if you can tolerate it. 

So, even if you are extremely hungry, take your time and savor each bite rather than stuffing yourself!

Types of Thai Curry

Types of Thai Curry

All Thai curries have historically been made with the same ingredients, except for the chilies. For example, the yellow curry was made with yellow chilies, green curry with green chilies, and red curry with several red chilies for a fiery hot dish.

These chilies are slightly different in flavor and appearance in Thailand. This is because new ingredients were added to the dishes as they evolved to enhance their differences and give them a slightly more distinct appearance. 

Even though all three can be extremely hot, red is usually the most intense, followed by green and yellow.

Green Thai Curry (Kaeng Khiao Wan)

The most well-known dish, Thai Green Curry, has gotten even greener over time with the inclusion of ingredients like basil, coriander, and kaffir leaf. 

These ingredients, combined with shrimp paste, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and green chilies, produce the potent and fragrant flavor you always associate with Thai food. 

Red Thai Curry (Gaeng Phed)

Red curry is all about those red chilies, but it hasn’t evolved as much as green curry. So for that tongue-heating sensation, up to 20 fresh red chilies may occasionally be pounded into the paste. 

Chefs occasionally substitute chili powder for some to achieve a deeper red color, but whenever you choose red, be prepared for the heat!

Yellow Thai Curry (Kaeng Lueang)

Turmeric is a key component of Thai Yellow Curry and other yellow chilies. Some Thai Yellow Curries resemble Indian curries in appearance, but due to the different herbs and spices used, the flavor is always significantly different. 

Since it’s a milder sauce, fish or chicken are frequently served with it. It tastes especially good with fish stew.

Best Dishes to Eat with Thai Curry

We’ve compiled a list of the top nine side dishes, garnishes, and accompaniments that will win over the dinner party guests, whether you’re making your Thai curry with chicken, beef, seafood, tofu, or a variety of your favorite vegetables.

These go well with fiery Thai red curry, fragrant Thai green curry, or even mild, aromatic, and slightly sweet Thai yellow curry.

Slices of Lime, Chopped Nuts, and Fresh Herbs

Slices of Lime, Chopped Nuts, and Fresh Herbs

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Thai curry extends itself so well to being dressed with various garnishes.

You can add chopped fresh herbs like Thai basil and coriander, lime wedges, chopped salty nuts like cashews or peanuts, and chopped hot peppers to your Thai curry.

This really simple addition will make a big impression on your visitors and ensure that they will remember your curry recipe for all the right reasons.

Steamed dumplings

Steamed dumplings

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Whether you need a party appetizer or a snack, these simple Chinese-style steamed dumplings with Thai flavors are ideal for any situation.



Image source: iStock

The most popular side dish for Thai curry is almost certainly rice, and there’s a good reason for that!  It has a relatively neutral flavor that lets you fully appreciate the complex flavor of the curries. 

Additionally, because the Thai curry sauce is frequently thinner than other curries, the rice serves as the ideal sponge for soaking it up.

Thai Jasmine Rice is the most popular variety and a mainstay for Thai curry, also known as Hom Mali or Thai Fragrant Rice. 

Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing

Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing

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Thai curry pairs wonderfully with Thai salad with sesame garlic dressing, and serving this to your guests would be fantastic too.

It is an easy but refreshing recipe that goes well with the main course. Since Thai curry is a complex dish, a side salad balances out the meal.

Homemade Flatbreads

Homemade Flatbreads

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Homemade flatbread is another dish with a neutral flavor that pairs well with Thai curry. 

Thai curry pairs well with flatbread because it has a variety of flavors and varied tastes. So, if you haven’t tried this combination yet, you should eat it in your upcoming meal.

Thai Papaya Salad

Thai Papaya Salad

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Thai papaya salad is a well-known side dish served with many different dishes.

Papaya salad, also referred to as tam som or tam mak hoong, is typically prepared using shredded, unripe papaya and a variety of finely chopped vegetables. It typically has a sour flavor, making it a delicious side dish to add variety to the meal.

Whatever the case, it balances the curry’s nutrients and enhances it.

This salad is uplifting and would be a great option if you want variety in your meal.

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

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Lettuce wraps are a healthy and filling side dish you can choose if you’re on a diet and want to lighten up your meal.

They are simple to make, and you can stuff them however you like.

For instance, you could include carrots, chili, and minced chicken. Additionally, you can garnish with chopped peanuts or honey.

The possibilities are endless, adding a unique twist to the stuffing. Just be careful not to overpower the main course.

Fried Crunchy Peanuts

Fried Crunchy Peanuts

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In Thai and fine dining restaurants, fried crunchy peanuts are frequently offered as appetizers, beverages, or classy teas.

Fried crunchy peanuts are a simple side dish that is best served with Thai curry. They make a wonderful appetizer before your curry or a garnish for your main course.

It adds flavor to the main dish and is light. Furthermore, it’s easy to make these fried peanuts.

The peanuts should be water-soaked and then dried for an hour. Then, deep fry the peanuts in the oil until they are crisp and golden brown.

Pickled Cucumber Salad with Red Chili

Pickled Cucumber Salad with Red Chili

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You can’t go wrong with a straightforward pickled cucumber dish with some fresh red chili when it comes to Asian-inspired salads.

Thai curry pairs well with side dishes made of cucumber because it refreshes the palate and enhances the flavor.

Cucumber pickles are fairly easy to make on your own. Simply use a potato peeler to make thin slices of the cucumbers and soak them in light vinegar for at least four hours.

Add chopped red chilies and sesame seeds for additional flavor after cooking and before serving with Thai curry.

It’s a light side dish that pairs beautifully with the main course and can also be eaten with other dishes.

How do restaurants serve Thai curry?

How do restaurants serve Thai curry

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To prevent the rice from becoming drenched while waiting to be served, eateries, fast food restaurants, and even pubs typically serve the curry in a bowl and the rice in a separate dish. 

When eating curry, Thai people typically use a spoon and fork unless it’s a noodle soup with curry, like Khao Soi, where they’ll use chopsticks. 

Scoop the rice and curry together in small, precise bites after adding a small amount of the curry (meat and vegetables) on top of the rice.

All the herbs and vegetables in the curry are edible, but some people ignore the red chili peppers and Turkey berries due to their bitter flavor.

5 Restaurants in Bangkok that Serves the Most Authentic Thai Curries

1.  Boonlang Noodles & Thai Food

Boonlang Noodles & Thai Food

“Braised beef green curry with House Made Roti”

Image source: Boonlang Noodles & Thai Food

MenuAuthentic Thai Foods
AddressNo. 38, 1 Soi Sukhumvit 36, Klong Ton, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Contact Information+66 92 362 6393
Operating HoursMonday- 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Tuesday- 10:00 AM- 8:00 PM
Wednesday to Saturday- 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Sunday- Closed

2. The House of Smooth Curry

The House of Smooth Curry

“Gaeng bon pla yang gub moo”

Image source: The House of Smooth Curry

MenuAppetiser, Salad, Thai Curry, Chili Paste, Soup, Stir Fried, Grilled, Deep-Fried, Rice, Dessert
Address61 Wireless Road (Witthayu), Lumpini, PathumwanBangkok, Thailand 10330
Contact Information+66 2-6508800
Operating HoursLunch: Monday – Sunday 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM (Last Order 2:00 PM)
Dinner: Monday – Sunday 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM (Last Order 9.30 PM)

3. Baan Ice

Baan Ice

“Mushroom Leg Curry”

Image source: Baan Ice Restaurant

MenuSalad, Thai Curry, Chili Paste, Soup, Fish Specialties, Rice
Address115 Thong Lo Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Contact Information+66 64 450 9502
Operating HoursOpen daily- 11:00 AM- 10:00 PM

4. Charmgang


“Fish Curry”

Image source: Charmgang

MenuAuthentic Thai Foods
Address14, 35 Nakhon Kasem 5 Alley, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Contact Information+66 98 882 3251
Operating HoursMonday & Tuesday- Closed
Wednesday- Friday- 6:00 AM- 10:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday- 12:00 PM- 2:0PM ; 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM

5. Krua Apsorn @ Dinso

Krua Apsorn @ Dinso

“Herbal Spicy Curry with Silver Sillago”

Image source: Krua Apsorn

MenuAuthentic Thai Foods
Address169 Dinso Rd, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Contact Information+66 80 550 0310
Operating HoursMonday to Saturday- 10:30 AM- 7:30 PM
Sunday- Closed

FAQs about Thai Curries

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