Is Thai Food Always Super Spicy? 🌶️

No, but it is true that Thais love spicy food. In fact, there is no salt in the cruet set, pepper or oil and, instead, they always carry chilli powder and vinegar with chilli.
However, there are many dishes that are not spicy or seasoned to the taste of each diner.

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Toasted Cashews.
Stir-Fried Vegetables with Toasted Cashews

Without any doubt, rice, which is also consumed in the form of noodles. The rice cooker or the saucepan with boiling water keeps the grains or the noodles ready, and the final dish is cooked in the wok.

They often offer the same recipe for rice or noodles, sauteed, with the possibility of combining them with chickenpork or shrimp.
In the case of noodles, they may allow you to choose the thickness and also ask if you prefer the noodles with broth in the same bowl or separately, that is, with the broth in another cup.

You may want to do a Gastronomic Tour in Bangkok in a tuk-tuk, a fun way to taste the delicacies of Thai cuisine (not available yet).

Non-spicy dishes

Although they may include some chilli in the dish, it provides more colour than spicy.

The importance of rice is noted when the Thais are hungry and refer to food because they do so with the expression ‘kin kao‘ which means ‘eat rice‘.
The most typical variety is aromatic jasmine rice.

Crispy stir-fried fish with celery leaves with rice.
Crispy stir-fried fish with celery leaves with rice
Stir-fried rice with vegetables
Thai stir-fried morning glory with bacon.
Thai stir-fried morning glory with bacon

On many occasions, you will have the opportunity to season the dish chosen to your liking, so you can decide how spicy you want it.

Tip: If spicy can be a problem for children, a good alternative is to bring your own salt shaker in your backpack, so that the dishes can be seasoned without going to chili and pepper. In some restaurants, they can provide it on request of the customer, but not always.

Dishes that are seasoned to your liking

How are they seasoned?
They are usually seasoned with chillisoy sauce and fermented fish sauce. Bad matter if you have a fried egg on your plate, optional in many dishes, because there is no salt shaker. In the cruet you will find sugar and vinegar next to the chilli.

Sauteed rice noodles with seafood in soybean paste
Thai Tuna salad.
Thai Tuna salad
Kale with oyster sauce, bacon and rice

Thai gastronomy plays with an unusual sum of ingredients, mixing sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter flavours.
The surprising thing is that the combination usually reaches a balance that makes the dishes delicious.

In the case of the Pad Thai, a few tablespoons of chopped peanuts are also added.

Pad Thai with chicken.
Pad Thai with chicken

Dinner with a Thai family is a good opportunity to see how Thai people live and have a more genuine experience, as well as enjoy the menu.
It is possible to do it with Wasana through Withlocals.
The price must be updated, it depends on the number of diners in the group.

Spicy dishes

To indicate how spicy you want the dish, you can use the following Thais expressions, which sound more or less like this:
Not spicy = mai ped.
A little = nek noi (gesturing with the hands showing the index finger almost stuck to the thumb).
Very spicy = Ped maaak.

The famous Tom Yum Goong soup.
The famous Tom Yum Goong soup

As for the curries in Thailand, in traditional cuisine the green curry is spicier than the red curry, preferably used with seafood and meat such as duck; that the yellow curry used with veal and chicken, and that the Massaman curry with which some meats are cooked.

Rice with green curry and squid
Drunken sauteed seafood.
Drunken sauteed seafood
Spicy salad of lemon grass and mint

Most popular ingredients

Fresh herbs such as coriander are added at the last moment so that they reinforce the feeling of freshness.

Chicken soup with coconut milk Tom Ka Gai.
Chicken soup with coconut milk Tom Ka Gai
Chicken soup with coconut milk Tom Ka Gai.
Chicken soup with coconut milk Tom Ka Gai
Ingredients: Coriander, chilli, coconut milk and lime
Ingredients: Lemmon grass, kefir lime leaves and galangal

Finally, it is useful to know that:

» Chopsticks are that, Chinese, not Thais. Here it is usually eaten with the spoon and the fork is used to push the food. The knife is not used, the food is served so that the fork is enough to chop it, if necessary.

» The toothpicks to pick between teeth after eating are very common. Always covering the mouth with the other hand, please.

» In the shopping centres you will find the ‘food court‘ where you can eat very well for USD 3 or 4.

Tip: There is always near a 7Eleven store open 24 hours a day and they offer a wide variety of pre-cooked food, Thai-food and Fast-food. It is not recommended because this kind of food is very processed and produces a lot of plastic waste, but it can solve a lunch or dinner at any given time.
Here you will also find bananas, fruit juices, yoghurt, nuts, milk and boiled eggs, among other healthy foods.
Finally, keep in mind that these stores are the paradise of snacks and sweets that, as always, catch the children’s eyes.

Food court in a shopping centre, Bangkok.
Food court in a shopping centre, Bangkok
Article Name
Is Thai Food Always Super Spicy?
Get a first idea about Thai food: characteristics, condiments, customs, etc. 🌶️ Also some tips. More useful when you come with kids, to get the right expectation 😄.
Publisher Name
Manuel Francisco Jalón

2 thoughts on “Is Thai Food Always Super Spicy? 🌶️”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top