What is the food like in Thailand?



Thai cuisine is much more than just a culinary experience; It is a deep reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and traditions

From its fresh ingredients to complex flavors, Thai food tells a story of diversity, balance and a deep connection to nature and spirituality.
Variedad de platos tailandeses en una mesa

The art of balance

One of the fundamental principles of food in Thailand is the balance of flavors. Thai dishes are known for combining the four basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour and spicy. This balance is achieved through the use of fresh and natural ingredients. For example: palm sugar adds sweetness, fish sauce adds saltiness, lime or tamarind juice introduces acidity, and fresh chiles provide spiciness.

In addition, food in Thailand is based on fresh and seasonal ingredients. Herbs and spices such as basil, coriander, ginger and galangal are essential. Fresh vegetables, fish, seafood, and rice, even jasmine, are basic components of many dishes. The local market plays a crucial role in daily life, where ingredients are bought fresh every morning.
Plato de pad thai con pollo

The iconic dishes

These are the most representative dishes of Thailand. And below we explain how to make them!
Pad Thai: This is probably the best-known Thai dish internationally. It is a stir-fry of rice noodles with tofu, shrimp or chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, peanuts and a touch of lime. The tamarind sauce gives it its characteristic flavor
Tom Yum Goong: A spicy shrimp soup that combines the freshness of herbs such as lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves with the richness of shrimp and the spiciness of chili peppers.
Som Tam: A green papaya salad that mixes sour, sweet and spicy flavors. It is a perfect example of the balance that defines Thai cuisine.
Granos de arroz en una cuchara de madera

The role of rice in food in Thailand

Rice is an essential component in the Thai diet. Jasmine rice, known for its fragrance, is the most commonly consumed type.
An interesting fact about Thai rice is that jasmine rice, locally known as “khao hom mali”, is not only famous for its unique fragrance and flavor, but is also considered a symbol of prosperity and good fortune in Thailand. This type of rice is mainly grown in the northeastern regions of Thailand, where soil and climate conditions are ideal for producing its distinctive floral aroma.

Jasmine rice is so prized in Thai culture that it is used in important ceremonies and festivals. For example, during the Songkran festival, it is common to see offerings of jasmine rice to Buddhist temples and monks as a way of making merit and seeking blessings for the new year. Furthermore, its cultivation follows traditional methods that have been transmitted from generation to generation, thus maintaining not only its quality but also a rich agricultural cultural heritage.
Pollo asado en un mercado callejero de Tailandia

Vendor serving meat on plates at Thai street food

Festivities focused on food in Thailand and street food

Food in Thailand is not only enjoyed on a daily basis, but also plays a central role in festivities and rituals. During Songkran, the Thai New Year, people prepare and share elaborate feasts to celebrate. Loi Krathong, the festival of lights, also includes the preparation of special foods that are offered to the spirits and shared with family and community.

Street food is a vibrant part of Thai culture. Night markets and street vendors offer a variety of delicacies at affordable prices. From chicken satay skewers to mango noodle soups with sticky rice, street food offers a way to experience the authenticity and diversity of Thai cuisine.

Spirituality and Buddhism have a great influence on food in Thailand. Many people practice vegetarianism during Buddhist festivals and special days. Furthermore, the tradition of making merit by donating food to monks is a common and respected practice.
Pad thai servido sobre hojas de plátano

Pad Thai: the international star

If there is one Thai dish that has conquered hearts around the world, it is Pad Thai. This stir-fried rice noodle dish is the perfect mix of flavors and textures.

What makes it special? Pad Thai is an explosion of flavors: sweet from the palm sugar, salty from the fish sauce, sour from the tamarind juice and a touch of heat from the chili powder. In addition, the combination of ingredients such as tofu, shrimp or chicken, bean sprouts, roasted peanuts and chives makes it a complete culinary experience.


Rice noodles are stir-fried in a wok with garlic and protein (tofu, shrimp or chicken), egg, bean sprouts are added and everything is mixed with a sauce made of fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind juice. Served with crushed peanuts and a slice of lime to squeeze to taste.
Sopa tom yum con camarones y hongos

Tom Yum Goong: a sip of authenticity

Tom Yum Goong soup is a dish that not only warms the body, but also the soul. This spicy and sour shrimp soup is a classic that showcases the complexity and depth of Thai flavors.

Tom Yum Goong is famous for its aromatic broth, made with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal. The freshness of these ingredients, combined with the lime juice and fish sauce, creates an unmistakable and refreshing flavor, while the chiles add the perfect spicy touch.


The broth is prepared by boiling lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal. Then the shrimp, mushrooms and tomatoes are added. It is seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce and chilies. It is served hot and decorated with fresh cilantro.
Ensalada de papaya verde (som tam) en un cuenco negro

Som Tam: freshness on a plate

If you are looking for something light but full of flavor, Som Tam is the perfect choice. This green papaya salad is a dish originally from northeastern Thailand, but has gained popularity throughout the country.

Som Tam is a combination of crisp and fresh, with a tangy and spicy flavor that is truly addictive. Grated green papaya is mixed with carrot, green beans and cherry tomatoes, dressed with a mixture of garlic, chilies, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. The roasted peanuts add a crunchy touch that completes the dish.


Grated green papaya is lightly pounded in a mortar with garlic and fresh chillies. Green beans and cherry tomatoes are added, and it is dressed with fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Finally, it is served with roasted peanuts sprinkled on top.

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Enjoy authentic Thai cuisine and a Thai massage with our offer. Relax with a 60-minute massage at our center at Passeig de Gracia 100, Barcelona, ​​with Thai therapists.

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Immerse yourself in a journey of relaxation and flavor with our tasting menu and massage.
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