The Best Thai Takeaway Dishes for Every Palette

Before you pick up the phone and put in your go-to order of tom yum soup and fried rice, check out our Thai takeaway favourites. Whether you like spice or not, there’s something in this list for you!

Our top 5 best Thai takeaway dishes:

  • Pad Thai.
  • Panang curry.
  • Green papaya salad.
  • Massaman curry.
  • Mango sticky rice.

We’ve shared our favourite Mexican foods, Chinese takeaway dishes and Japanese restaurant dishes. So, we thought it’s time we revealed the top 5 best Thai takeaway dishes to add to your order tonight.

With almost 3 times as many Thai restaurants in Australia per capita than in the United States, it’s pretty obvious us Aussies love our Thai food. From street food to restaurant-quality, Thai dishes are always delicious and packed full of unique flavours.

The following ingredients are very common in Thai cooking:

  • Fish sauce.
  • Dried shrimp.
  • Oyster sauce.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Lime juice.
  • Chilli.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Top 5 Best Thai Takeaway Dishes

1. Pad Thai

While Pad Thai’s origins may be from China, it was claimed by the Taiwanese in the 1930s, when Thai Prime Minister, Plaek Phibunsongkhram, pushed the use of rice noodles over rice. This was done to increase rice exports from Thailand, making it their biggest export of the time.

After this, Pad Thai was mainstreamed by street vendors and became a national dish to both foreigners and locals alike, due to its low cost and great flavours. Traditionally, these flavours combine sweet, sour, salty and spicy, with different textures added with tofu, meat, vegetables or all three. To finish it off, roasted peanuts are mixed in to give it that beautiful crunch.

Common ingredients in Pad Thai:

  • Rice noodles.
  • Coriander.
  • Lime juice.
  • Fish sauce.
  • Roasted peanuts.
  • Garlic.
  • Chilli.

2. Panang Curry

This tasty little curry is one of the more popular Thai dishes, as it’s not too spicy and slightly sweet. If you like the taste of other Thai curries, such as green or red curry, but find them too hot, this will be a more mellow, but still delicious treat.

The main difference between panang curry and red curry is the inclusion of ground peanuts in the curry paste. Other common ingredients in panang curry include:

  • Ground peanuts.
  • Lemongrass.
  • Kaffir lime zest.
  • Cumin seeds.
  • Dried chillies.
  • Shrimp paste.

3. Green Papaya Salad

While the green papaya salad is most popular in Thailand, it’s also a favourite in other parts of the world. Foodies think this dish originally came from Laos, with neighbouring countries like Cambodia and Vietnam also have a version of it. 

The Laos version of the dish uses fermented fish paste, which has a very strong taste and can put off diners who aren’t used to such an intense flavour. Thailand’s version of the green papaya salad is definitely preferred of the types for international foodies, with its classic sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavours.

Common ingredients in green papaya salad:

  • Lime juice.
  • Fish sauce.
  • Garlic.
  • Chinese long beans.
  • Green papaya.
  • Coriander.

4. Massaman Curry

For as long as Massaman curry has been around, people have debated if it’s a Thai-muslim dish or if it hails from Southern Thailand, influenced by Malayasian and Indian cuisine. While the history of the massaman curry still remains a mystery, all you need to know is it’s delicious and well worth adding to your Thai takeaway order. 

With its thick and rich flavour, massaman curry is a real Thai classic. It has less heat than other Thai curries and is cooked with meat and potatoes, making it a great curry for just about anyone to try—even fussy eaters. 

Common ingredients in a massaman curry:

  • Meat (usually beef or chicken).
  • Coconut milk.
  • Peanuts (or cashews).
  • Potatoes.
  • Tamarind paste.
  • Cardamom pods.
  • Cinnamon.

5. Mango Sticky Rice

Now we get to one of the most delicious and traditional desserts in Thailand—mango sticky rice or Khao Niew Ma Muang as it’s known in Thai. This is a constant favourite of both locals and travellers with fresh mango, sweet coconut milk and sticky rice. It’s this simplicity that draws people to it and its great taste, keeping people ordering it time and time again. 

Common ingredients in mango sticky rice:

  • Thai sticky rice.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Fresh mangos.

Bonus Thai Side Dish to Finish Off Your Order

Thai Fried Rice

Thai fried rice may look similar to its Chinese counterpart, but it has a few key differences, making it stand out. In place of the long-grain rice used in China, Thai fried rice uses jasmine rice. It also contains less vegetables than the Chinese version.

What makes Thai fried rice so different is the use of fish sauce and how the egg is added to the dish. In Chinese fried rice, the egg is scrambled and then added to the dish, while in the Thai version, the egg is added without scrambling before cooking is finished. This allows the egg to stick to the rice and adds an amazing creamy texture to the dish. Yum!

Now you’re hungry, let’s find you your nearest Thai takeaway restaurant! 

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      Luke Davidson

      Digital Content Specialist

      Luke Davidson is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch, his professional journey ranges from startups to international digital agencies working in content for a wide variety of clients, big or small. When he isn't deep diving content, data and SEO, Luke is an avid guitarist, surfer, coffee nut and gamer. As a digital content specialist and lifestyle fanatic, Luke provides valuable insights on lifestyle musings on the Localsearch Blog.