Among the giants of popular Thai dishes is som tam, or green papaya salad. The green papaya is sliced thin and pounded with an assortment of ingredients and chilies and dressed with fish sauce and lime juice. Som tam is best enjoyed with a plate of sticky rice to dip into the dressing.
Where To Eat It: Everywhere on the streets of Bangkok, but if you are looking for a restaurants you can try Som Tam Boo Maa, one of my favorite Isaan restaurants in Bangkok.
Larb moo is a minced pork salad that goes great with an order of som tam and a pile of sticky rice. Minced pork is cooked and mixed with fresh herbs, toasted rice, and flavored with fish sauce and lime juice. Larb can also be made with other meats like chicken (gai), beef (larb neua) or catfish (larb pla duk).
Pad Ga Pao Moo
If a local Thai doesn’t know what to order, the always delicious standard to rely upon is pad ga pao moo – stir fried pork with basil. Usually the dish is served over a plate of plain rice and an optional fried egg (kai dao) on top. Can also be ordered with seafood (tale), shrimp (goong), or chicken (gai).
Where To Eat It: Find pad ga pao in every little nook and cranny street stall in Bangkok. I used to eat quite often at Poisien restaurant (aka Pumpkin lady restaurant) near Victory Monument.
Gaeng Keow Wan Gai
There are quite a few famous Thai curries available, but one of the best is gaeng keow wan gai or green chicken curry. The curry is made with fragrant green chili paste, chicken, bamboo shoots, and a host of other ingredients that blend together. Finally coconut milk is added to make the sauce creamy rich and bring the spices together.
Where To Eat It: Not so much on the street side, but at most neighborhood or Thai sit down restaurants.