Clay's Kitchen : Thai Food Glossary

Thai Food Glossary

© Copyright 1995-2020, Clay Irving <>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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When Thai words are represented as English equivalents (romanized), words are often spelled differently depending on the translator. A g may be written as a k, a t as a d, a k as a kh, an oo as a u, a bp (yes, that's a Thai consonant) as a b, etc. I have used the Royal Thai General System of Transcription to spell the words. I have attempted to provide alternative spellings of the words I've seen in recipes. But, as my Thai language teacher says, you need to be flexible.
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English RepresentationThai Word or PhraseMeaning
Literally, "apple" from the English word.

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ahan อาหารFood
ahan thale (a haan ta lee, ahan taley, ahan thelah)อาหารทะเลSeafood
Pronounced "ah-haan tah-lay".
apchoei (awp-cheeuy, ohp-cheeuy)อบเชยCinnamon
Origanum vulgare, spelled phonetically from the English word.
aroi อร่อยDelicious
aroi mak อร่อยมากVery delicious!
aroi mak makอร่อยมากๆVery, very delicious!
ba mi (ba me)บะหมี่Egg Noodle
Similar to spaghetti noodles (pronounced "bum-mee")
bai ใบLeaf, Leaves
bai chi (bai chee)ใบชีCilantro Leaves
bai horapaใบโหระพาSweet Thai Basil
Tastes rather like anise, looks like European sweet basil. It is often eaten raw, served on a plated of herbs to accompany a meal. They are served with lab or used in spring roll wraps. They are also used in stir-fried chicken or beef and in red and green curries.
bai kaprao (bai graprow, bai ka phrao)ใบกะเพราThai Holy Basil Leaf
Ocimum Sanctum. Green with purple reddish tinged leaves, holy basil has a clove-like taste.
bai kluai (bai gluay)ใบกล้วยBanana Leaves
bai krawan (bai grawan)ใบกระวานBay Leaf
bai maeng lakใบแมงลักLemon Basil or Hairy Basil Leaf
Lemon basil leaves have a sweet fragrance, and they are used for adding a fragrance to foods including Gaeng Liang, แกงเลียง, and kanom chin (curried Chinese noodles). The seeds are eaten as a sweet with syrup and crushed ice.
bai makrut (bai magroot)ใบมะกรูดKaffir Lime Leaf
See pew magroot
bai toei (bai toey)ใบเดยPandanus Leaf Essence
Pandanus leaf essence, also called "toei hom", "bay toei" or screwpine leaf flavoring, is Thailand's equivalent to vanilla flavoring. It has an earthy fragrance and taste and is usually added to coconut milk based sweets. A common dish is Kai Ho Bai Toei (Chicken wrapped in Pandanus Leaf) ไก่ห่อใบเดย
bai tongใบตองBanana leaf wrappers
bekon saenwitเบค่อนแซนวิชBacon Sandwich
bia เบียร์Beer
bia changเบียร์ช้างChang Beer
Chang beer is a 6.4% ABV pale lager created in 1994 in a joint-venture with Carlsberg beer. It is now owned by ThaiBev, and has managed to win a considerable size of the market.
bia leoเบียร์ลีโอLeo Beer
A 6% ABV lager brewed by Boon Rawd Brewery.
bia singเบียร์สิงห์Singha Beer
Singha is 6% ABV pale lager brewed by Boon Rawd Brewery.
brung ปรุงTo season, mix, prepare, or cook
brung ahanปรุงอาหารTo prepare food
To cook food.
brung rotปรุงรสTo season, flavor
buai (bouy)บ๊วยSalted Plums
These dried shriveled plums are about the same size as olives. They are grayish brown and covered in a fine layer of salt. They are sold in decorative clear plastic containers or wrapped in cellophane. Salted plums are used to flavor steamed fish or other Thai dishes. The plums and juice are used to make a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
buai lengปวยเล้งSpinach
Spinacia oleracea, also called ผักปวยเล้ง, phak buai leng.

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buap liamบวบเหลี่ยมSponge gourd, angle gourd, angled luffa
Also known as angle gourd, angled luffa, or Chinese okra. Fruits have raised ridges running from end to end, resembling okra. The ridged fruit is 1-2 ft. long and 2 inches across and is lighter than the Smooth Skin Luffa. This variety is very popular for cooking use in China and Vietnam. Flesh is very tender and delicious.
bup (boop)บุบTo grind, pound lightly
In Thailand, this task is efficiently accomplished with a motar and pestle.
cha (jay)เจVegetarian
chaomชะอมAcacia Leaf
Acacia pennata. The feathery shoots are used in soups, curries, omlettes, and stir fries.
chaeแช่Soak, steep, immerse
As in "chae nam" แช่น้ำ - to "soak in water", or kung chae nam pla - shrimp "soaked in nam pla".
Allium schoenoprasum, spelled phonetically like the English word, but the final "v" sound is not pronounced.
chamชามBowl, dish
A more formal word, bi noht baat บิณฑบาตร, specifically means a "food bowl" or "alms dish". The act of putting food into a monk's bowl is called sai baat, ใส่บาตร.
chap chaiจับฉ่ายHotchpot, medley, mélange, as in Tom Chap Chai (Vegetable Stew) ต้มจับฉ่าย.
chaplu (chaploo, shaploo)ชะพลูWild Pepper, Cha-Plu
Piper sarmentosum. Sometimes wrongly identified as Piper betle, which doesn't have glossy and tender leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped, light green when young and shiny dark green when mature. The upper side of the leaf is smooth while the underside is somewhat rough. The leaf has a pleasant fragrance and a refreshing taste. I once had it served with laab muu as a wrapper for the minced pork.
A sizzling sound as in pla duk phat cha ปลาดุกผัดฉ่า.
chiao (jiao, jiaw, jeow)เจียวCrisp fry, to fry in oil
chimจิ้มDip in, to try, to have a taste
Dip food into sauce, as in the many nam chim น้ำจิ้น recipes.
chin ชิ้นPiece of food
Also a numeric classifier for food.
chin nuea gaeชิ้นเนื้อหแกะLamb chops
chin nuea muชิ้นเนื้อหมูPork chops
chit saenwitชีสแซนวิชCheese Sandwich
A Chinese rice porridge, like Hong Kong Congee, chok hong kong, โจ๊กฮ่องกง. Congee may be served plain, or with additions including chicken, pork, "pork liver innards", shrimp, fish, and with salted or fresh egg.
chom puชมพู่Rose Apple
Euginia jambos, also known as Pink Rose Apple or Malay Apple.

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chon (chawn, chorn)ช้อนSpoon
Pronounced "chawn".
chon chaช้อนชาTeaspoon
chon glangช้อนกลางServing Spoon
chon somช้อนส้อมCutlery, silverware
Literally a spoon and a fork.
chon toช้อนโต๊ะTablespoon
chu chiฉูฉี่A Thai Curry
churotฉูรสFlavoring, seasoning, spice
chueamเชื่อมTo boil in syrup
Boiling in syrup like the dessert dish กล้วยเชื่อม (Bananas boiled in syrup).
chueanเฉื้อนTo slice
To slice, carve or cut
chuet (juet, jued)จืดBland, tasteless.
In Thailand, Chinese-style soups are called "bland" soups, like kaeng chuet wunsen (noodle soup) แกงจืดวุ้นเส้น or nam kaeng chuet (beef stock) น้ำแกงจืด.
chupชุบTo coat (with)
As in the dish gan chiang pu chup paeng thot, กรรเชียงปูชุบแป้งทอด, which is crab legs (skulls) coated with flour and deep fried.
dawk chan (dok jan)Mace
dipliดีปลีLong Pepper
Piper longum, sometimes called Javanese, Indian or Indonesian long pepper, is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Long pepper has a similar, but hotter, taste to its close relative Piper nigrum - from which black, green and white pepper are obtained. The word pepper itself is derived from the Sanskrit word for long pepper, pippali.
dipดิบRaw, unripe, green, undercooked when refering to meat, rare, uncooked
dongดองPickle, pickled, fermented
dueatเดือดTo boil, froth, foam.
fak thong (pak thong, fuck thong)ผักทองPumpkin
Cucurbita moschata, also known as Cushaw, Butternut Squash, or Winter Squash.

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fuฟูTo rise, to be fluffy
Like dough rising — I've also seen a dish called pla dook foo ปลาดุกฟู which was described as a Deep fried catfish sour-hot salad or Yum pla dook foo ยำปลาดุกฟู which was described as a Crispy catfish green mango salad. Shredding the catfish then frying it makes it fluffy and crispy.
kuichaiกุยช้ายChinese Chive
Allium tuberosum, also known as garlic chives, the flavor is more like garlic than chives, though much milder. Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring similarly to chives, green onions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are often used to make dumplings with a combination of egg, shrimp and pork. The flowers may also be used as a spice.
haem saenwitแฮมแซนวิชHam Sandwich
haengแห้งDry, Dried
Pronounced "haang" with a very long "a".
haeo (haew)แห้วWater Chestnut
hanหั่นTo slice, cut into pieces
het เห็ดMushroom
Pronounced "head" in a low tone, barely pronouncing the "d".
het fangเห็ดฟางStraw Mushroom
Volvariella volvacea
het hom (hed horm, hed hom)เห็ดหอมShiitake Mushroom
Lentinus edodes, also known as Chinese Mushrooms or Japanese Black Mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have a pale brown to dark reddish brown cap that is generally two to four inches wide. The young mushrooms have an edge rolled inward, which nearly flattens out with age. The stems are tough and fibrous and are generally detached and discarded. The cap has creamy white gills on its underside and its flesh is firm and white. The mushroom grows in clusters on hardwood, such as oak, chestnut and beech. The flesh is meaty textured with a rich, smoky flavor and goes well with all foods. These mushrooms are supposed to be good for baby's cartilage.

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het hu nu khaoเห็ดหูหนูขาวWhite Jelly Fungus
Tremella fusiformis. A white jelly fungus, also called Pen Tsao or Silver Ear. These mushrooms are supposed to be good for sperm, semen, and kidney.
het hu nu si nam tamเห็ดหูหนูสีนำ้ตาลJew's Ear Mushroom
Auricularia auricula. They are usually purchased in dry form and a reconstituted with water prior to use. They swell to triple the dried size and have a cartilage-like texture. These mushrooms are supposed to be good for clean lungs.
het hu nuเห็ดหูหนูCloud Ear Mushroom
Auricularia sp. Also known as wood ear or tree ear, these mushrooms are commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
het konเห็ดโคนTermite mushrooms
Termitomyces albiceps and Termitomyces fuliginosus (also called เห็ดขาไก่, hed kha kai). Hed kon is a popular edible mushroom in Thailand. Hed kon is supposed to be good for the brain and memory. These mushrooms are a symbiotic fungi. They can only exist with the help of termites. In this photograph from Thailand, the sign indicates เห็ดโคนญี่ปุ่น, "hed kon yee-bpoon", or Japanese mushrooms.
het lomเห็ดลมHet Lom
Het Lom is one of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms in northern and northeast of Thailand.
het munเห็ดมูลHed Mun
Termitomyces sp., a variety of edible mushrooms.
het nang rom (het nang lom)เห็ดนางรมOyster Mushroom
A fan-shaped mushroom that is white, light gray, light gray with a bluish tinge, pale yellow or pinkish in color. It has a slight odor similar to anise or licorice and a tender texture with a mild oyster-like flavor.
hio nam (hiu nam)หิวน้ำThirsty
hio หิวHungry
hoi (hawy)หอยShellfish, clam, oyster, snail, shell
Pronounced with a rising tone.
hoi chenหอยเชลล์Scallop
Amusium pleuronectes
hoi kapหอยกาบClam, Cockle
hoi kraengหอยแครงCockle
Anadara granosa and Anadara nodifera. Also known as arc shell and blood cockle.

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hoi laiหอยลายClam
Paphia undulata, Undulated Surf Clam.

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hoi maelang phuหอยแมลงภู่Mussel
Perna viridis, green mussel, also called hoi maeng phu หอยแมงภู่, in Thai.

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hoi nang romหอยนางรมPacific Oyster
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hom หอมShallot
Green or Spring onions are "ton hom", ต้นหอห, literally "onion plant".
hom daeng chiao, hawm daeng jeow, hom daeng jiawหอมแดงเจียวFried Red Shallot
A delicious topper for rice and noodles and other Thai dishes.
hom daeng หอมแดงRed Shallots
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hom yaiหอมใหญ่Onion
Literally "big" shallot or onion.
hot dokฮอทดอกHot Dog
Spelled phonetically like the English words
hoห่อTo wrap
To wrap, as in kai ho bai toei (Chicken wrapped in Pandanus Leaf) ไก่ห่อใบเดย
hua หัวBulb, tuber, rhizome or rootstock
hua chai poหัวไช้โปPickled Radish
Made from salted and pickled daikon-like turnips. It is both salty and sweet and makes a nice contrast fried with rice noodles. Rinse well before adding to Pad Thai.
hua hom หัวหอมOnion
hua hom yaiหัวหอมใหญWhite onion
hua phak kat หัวผักกาดRadish
Raphanus sativus, also rae-dit แรดิช.
hua phak kat daengหัวผักกาดแดงCarrot
Also, kee rot แครอท

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hua phak kat khaoหัวผักกาดขาวDaikon
Raphanus sativus, Chinese radish, white radish or oriental radish.
hua wasabiหัววาซาบิWasabi
hung (hoong)หุงSlow blanch, to boil or cook
imอิ่มFull (of food), had enough to eat
kae rotแครอทCarrot
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kaeng (gaeng)แกงTypical Thai dish, half-way between a soup and a stew. It may be clear and thin or spicy and thicken with coconut cream.
kaeng chuet (kaeng juet)แกงจืดBland Soup, usually Chinese-style
kaeng khiao wan (gaeng kiew wahn)แกงเขียวหวานGreen Curry Paste
kaeng lueang (gaeng lueang)แกงเหลืองYellow Curry Paste
kaeng masaman (gaeng masamun)แกงมัสมั่นMasamun Curry Paste
kaeng pa (gaeng pah)แกงป่าJungle Curry
kaeng panaeng (gaeng panaeng)แกงแพนง, แกงพะแนงPanang Curry Paste
kaeng phet (gaeng ped)แกงเผ๊ดRed Curry Paste
A thick spicy curry
kaeng somแกงส้มPopular fish soup in Thailand, like Gaeng Som Pla (Sour Soup) แกงส้มปลา.
kaeo mang kan thai nuea khaoแก้วมังกรไทยเนื้อขาวWhite Dragon Fruit
Dragon Fruit is also known as pitaya, huŏ lóng guŏ, strawberry pear, nanettikafruit or thanh long. Its flesh is eaten raw and is mildly sweet, sometimes likened to that of the kiwi fruit due to a prevalence of sesame-sized, black crunchy seeds.
kaeoแก้วA Glass
kaep muแคบหมูFried pork skin, pork cracklings
Spelled phonetically from the French word, café. Printed on the coffee creamer package in the picture, it is spelled phonetically like the English word, กอฟฟี่ (khawf-fee).
kai (gai)ไก่Chicken
kai thot (gai tawd, gai tot)ไก่ทอดFried chicken
kai yangไก่ย่างGrilled Chicken
kalam dokกะหล่ำดอกCauliflower
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kalam pliกะหลำ่ปลีCabbage
Cabbage is commonly eaten with laab, som tum, and yam, or used in salads or clear soups. For Chinese Cabbage, see phak kat chin, ผักกาดจีน.
kan chiang puกรรเชียงปูCrab Sculls
The hind-most pair of legs on a crab. They are flattened blades with which the crabs row through the water.
kan kae salak polamaiการแกะสลักผลไม้Fruit carving
kan phluกานพลูCloves
The very fragrant flower buds of the tree Caryophyllus aromaticus, thought to be native to insular Southeast Asia.
kan plu (kan plou)กานพลูCloves
Engenia caryophyllata Cloves are the dried flower buds of a member of the myrtle family and can be used whole or in powder form. In Thai cuisine. They are added to curries but they also mix well with tomatoes and salty vegetables.
kangกั้งRock Lobster
A mantis shrimp of the genus Squilla, also called kung hin, กุ้งหิน
kaolaoเกาเหลาA Chinese-style clear soup that has no noodles
In Thai "noodle" is sen, เส้น, so ordering kaolao means not eating sen. In Thai slang mai gin sen, ไม่กินเส้น, means "do not like or love each other", so kaolao could mean the same. In fact, there is a cartoon series in the Thai newspaper, Matichon, มติชน, called kaolao ruam mit, เกาเหลารวมมิตร, or "gathering of people who don't like each other".
kapi (gabi, gapee, gabpi, gkapki, ka-peei)กะปิShrimp paste
Made from ground shrimp and rice. Kasma Loha-unchit has a very good article about kapi.
kaprao (gapraw)กะเพราStir-fried dish with holy basil (bai grapaw) and chile (prik kee noo)
kare (garee, karee)กะหรี่Curry
From the English word "curry". Used only when refering to Indian curry.
kati (gati, gkati)กะทิCoconut Milk/Cream
kha ข่าGalangal
Alphinia galangal, is a larger and lighter-colored relative of ginger and has its own distinctive taste.

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kha minขมิ้นTumeric
Curcuma longa, is a small ginger with brown rhizones. Inside the flesh is bright orange.
kha muขาหมูPork Hock
Literally means "pig leg".
khai ไข่Egg
khai ไขAnimal Fat or Lard
khai chiao (kai jeow, kai jee-o)ไข่เจียวOmelette
khai khaoไข่คาวFried eggs
khamคำA mouthful or bite, morsel
khanaคะน้าSee phak khana
khanom ขนมCandy, sweets, cake
Pronounced "ka-nome", it is a generic term for sweet dainties, candied foods, puddings, and pastries.
khanom chinขนมจีนThai Spaghetti Noodles
Literally "Chinese pastry", kanom jeen is Thai vermicelli made from rice flour.
khanom pangขนมปังBread
Literally means "expensive cake".
khanom pang pingขนมปังปิ้งToast
khanun (kha nuu)ขนุนJack Fruit
The jackfruit is the shape of a large melon. The fruit has a green-greyish skin, and contains a great number of pips or kernels which are about the size of a pigeon's egg. These, when roasted, taste like chestnuts. The fruit is yellow and succulent, of a sweet taste and powerful smell. Thais eat the yellow flesh alone, with ice cream or mixed with other fruits and coconut milk in a compote. The cooked seeds find their way into many dishes.
khanคั้นSqueeze, squash, crush
nam som khan, น้ำสัมคั้น, is fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Pungently flavorful without sweetness.
khao (kao)ข้าวRice
khao chao (kao chao)ข้าวเช้าBreakfast
Literally, "morning rice". A more formal way of refering to breakfast is "a-han kao chao", อาหารข้าวเช้า, which just means "food morning rice".
khao hom mali (kao hom mali)ข้าวหอมมะลิJasmine Rice
Pronounced "cow homme-mah-lee".
khao kua (kao koor)ข้าวคั่วPowdered Fried Rice
khao niao (kao niow)ข้าวเหนียวSticky Rice
pronounced "cow-knee-owh".
khao niao dam (kao niow dom)ข้าวเหนียวดำBlack Sticy Rice
Pronounced "cow-knee-owh dumb". Black sticky rice is nutty and flavorful like wild rice. Soak and steam or boil to cook. Serve savory, combined with cooked white sticky rice, for a nutitious rice dish. Or sweeten with palm sugar and serve with coconut milk for a delicious Thai dessert (kanom).
khao phat (kao pad)ข้าวผัดFried Rice
khao plao (kao plao)ข้าวเปล่าSteamed Rice, Plain Rice
khao podข้าวโพดCorn
Usually baby corn (ข้าวโพดอ่อน, literally young corn) is used in Thai cuisine
khao pon (kao pon, khua pon)ข้าวป่นRoasted Rice
khao soi kaiข้าวซอยไก่Chicken with Noodles in Curry Soup
khao soi nueaข้าวซอยเนื้อBeef with Noodles in Curry Soup
khao soi ข้าวซอยRice noodles in soup, but today egg noodles are mainly used.
khao thiangข้าวเที่ยงLunch
Literally, "noon rice"
khao tomข้าวต้มRice soup, rice gruel, congee, rice porridge
khao yenข้าวเย็นDinner, supper
Literally, "evening rice". "yen" is the early evening hours between 4:00pm and 6:00pm.
khemเค็มSalty taste
khi maoขี้เมาHabitually drunk, a drunkard, very drunk.
khiao (keow, khiew, kiao, kiew)เขียวGreen
As in kai Phat Khiao Wan (Chicken Stir-Fried with Green Curry Paste) ไก่ผัดเขียวหวาน or Nam Phrik Kaeng Khiao Wan (Green Curry Paste) น้ำพริกแกงเขียวหวาน.
khiaoเคี่ยวTo boil down
khing dongขิงดองPickled Ginger
khing ขิงGinger
Zingiber officinale, grows from underground stems, or rhisome. Mature ginger stems are buff-colored; young or fresh ginger, king awn ขิงอ่อน, is white and is eaten fresh and pickled, as well as cooked.

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khlaoเคลาTo mix together, roll, knead
khlokโขลกPound, Pulverize
To crush or pulverize by using great force, as one would do with a motar and pestle. For example, rak phak chi khlok, รากผักชีโขลก, (cilantro root pounded with motar and pestle)
khomขมBitter taste
khot klet plaขอดเก็ลดปลาScale fish
To remove the scales from the fish.
khrueang เครื่องIngredients, food, ware, utensil
khrueang brungเครื่องปรุงCondiments
khrueang chu rotเครื่องฉูรสSpice
khrueang krapongเครื่องกระป๋องCanned Food
khrueang naiเครื่องในGuts
Literally "stuff inside" meaning innards, giblets, guts, internal organs, or offal
khrueang puangเครื่องพวงRing of Spices
Usually served with noodles, the spices are dried chile powder (Prik Pom), vinegar with chile slices (Prik Dong), fish sauce (Nam Pla), sugar. View Additional Information.
khrueang thadเครื่องเทศSpices
khua (khuaa, krua)คั่วTo roast, to pop (corn)
khuen chaiขึ้นฉ่ายChinese celery
Apium graveolens, Chinese celery has thin, hollow stalks and a much stronger flavor than common celery found in Western markets. It is commonly used in salads and stir-fry.
khuen chiaขึ้นฉ่ายCelery
Also spelled phonetically like the english word, เซเลอรี, sa-lo-re.
khwakควักScoop out
to pick out; to scoop out; to gouge; to dig out; to take out; to spoon out. A usage of the word is khwak sai, ควักไส้ (scoop out intestines or guts — when you clean a fish)
kiao (geow, kiow)เกี๊ยวWonton
Square sheets of wheat dough enclosing pork, boiled in soup stock.
kin (gin)กินTo eat or drink
kin khao (gin khao)กินข้าวTo eat food, literally, "eat rice"
A usage of the word would be khot klet pla, ขอดเกล็ดปลา (remove fish scales, or scale the fish).
kluai (gluay, kluay)กล้วยBanana
kluea (gluea)เกลือSalt
Pronounced "glue-uh".
kluea samutเกลือสมุทรSea Salt
kluea thale (gluea talay)เกลือทะเลSea Salt
kra chiap keowกระเจี๊ยบเขียวOkra
Abelmoschus esculentus, also known as Lady's Fingers, gombo, gumbo, quingombo, okro, ochro, bamia, bamie, quiabo. In Spanish okra is quibombo; the French word is gombo, bamia or bamya, in India it is bhindi, and in the eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries bamies.
krachai (grachai)กระชายKrachai
Boesenbergia pandurata, sometimes classified as Kaempferia pandurata or Kaempferia panduratum, Fingerroot or Chinese Keys is a rhizome that grows bunches of slender and short yellow-brown tuberous roots and is used in fish dishes. Sometimes mistakenly called "lesser galangal". In Thai cuisine, it is eaten raw in salads, added to mixed vegetable soups and curries, especially those made of fish. It is also pickled.
krachetกระเฉดWater Mimosa
Neptunia oleracea. Water Mimosa is a popular Thai vegetable that is most often cooked in spicy salads or fried with meats. It is particularly delicious in Gaeng Som soup.
krachonกระชอนStrainer, sieve
As in, gradook moo กระดูกหมู, which is "pork bone" or spareribs.
krapao plaกระเพาะปลาFish Maw
Krapao pla is the air bladder of a fish. It is fried to preserve it, and it is soaked in water to reconstitute it.
Tin can.
krathaกระทะFrying pan
A Thai frying pan is made of cast iron and has a round bottom.
krathinกระถินLead Tree
Leucaena leucocephala, also known as Horse Tamarind, Jumbie Bean, Leucaena, Wild Mimosa, Wild Tamarind, and White Popinac. Lead Tree is a type of mimosa tree. In Thailand, the young shoots found on the top of the tree are eaten. Young pods are also cooked and eaten as vegetables. Seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee, and when cooked can be eaten like popcorn.
krathiam กระเทียมGarlic
Allium sativum, sometimes pronounced "grow-tee".
krathiam chiao (gratium jiaw)กระเทียมเจียวFried Garlic
A convenient delicious topping for noodles and rice dishes.
krathiam dongกระเทียมดองPickled Garlic
Amomum xanthoides Grown in South Eastern Thailand,Cardamon has been used since ancient times. These aromatic pods can be either green, white or black, and are used in a variety of sweet and savoury Thai dishes, especially in curries.
krin chit saenwitกริลชีสแซนวิชGrilled Cheese Sandwich
krongกรองTo strain, filter, sift.
kuaitiao (guay dtiow)ก๋วยเตี๋ยวRice Noodles, Rice Stick Noodles
Kuaitiao, from a Chinese word, are opaque ribbon-like rice noodles. They are called "gway tee-ow" in Thai, "chow fun" in Chinese, or "ban pho" in Vietnamese. Pre-soak in warm water to soften, before frying or adding to soups. These noodles are used to make Pad Thai
kuaitiao sen lekก๋วยเตี๋ยวเส้นเล็กThin Rice Noodles
Resembling spaghetti, these noodles are sold both fresh and dried. The city of Chanthaburi is famous for dried sen lek noodles, which are sometimes called Jantoboon noodles after the nickname for the town.
kuaitiao sen yaiก๋วยเตี๋ยวเส้นใหญWide Lane Noodles, Rice River Noodles
Sold both dried and fresh, although the latter form is more popular. When fresh they tend to be rather sticky and need to be separated before cooking.
kung (goong, gung)กุ้งGeneric term for shrimp or prawn
In the USA, people commonly call large shrimp "prawns", but that's not correct because some prawns can be smaller than shrimp. Some people think shrimp are saltwater and prawns are freshwater. That's not correct either. This is the difference:
  • The structure of the gills is different between shrimp and prawns. If you turn a shrimp over and look at its "belly", the side plate of the second segment of the abdomen overlaps the segments in the front and behind. If you do the same to a prawn, all of the abdominal side plates overlap like tiles from the front.
  • Shrimp "brood" their eggs like a chicken (the eggs are held in their swimming legs — See Prawns don't brood — They just shed their eggs into the current.
In Thailand, there are mainly three types of prawns served in restaurants: White Prawns, Tiger Prawns, and Spiny Clawied Prawns.
kung chae buaiกุ้งแชบ๊วยWhite Prawn
Penaeus merguiensis. Also known as Banana Prawn, it has a white body with small rust-colored dots. Fully grown, they obtain a length of 20 cm (8 inches) or more, but they are harvested before they reach half that size. The small ones are sorted and sold as กุ้งชีแฮ้. This is the prawn that is found in recipes that just indicate "prawns".
kung foi (goong fawy)กุ้งฝอยSmall Prawn
Macrobrachium lampropus. Small prawns grown in still, fresh water.
kung haeng (goong haeng, gung haeng)กุ้งแห้งDried Shrimp
Shelled, salted, and sundried shrimps. Add to Pad Thai noodles for an authentic Thai taste. Mildly salty, with a fragrant aroma, pre-soak in warm water before adding to salads or grind or chop and add to chile pastes, soups, stir fries, sauces, or as a topping.
kung hinกุ้งหินRock Lobster
hin หิน, means "rock" in Thai. Also called gang, กั้ง.
kung kam kramกุ้งก้ามกรามRiver Prawns, Spiny-Clawed Prawn, Giant Freshwater Prawn, Freshwater Lobster
Macrobrachium rosenbergii. I've also seen them called goong maae nam, กุ้งแม่น้ำ, literally "river prawns". These are the prawns with the long second walking leg and a large spiny pincher. Spiny-clawed prawns with blue bodies are more tender when broiled or baked than those with grey-green bodies. Smaller spiny-clawed prawns are called goong naang กุ้งนาง.

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kung kuladamกุ้งกุลาดำTiger Prawn
Penaeus monodon. It has black and white stripes — I've seen tiger prawns called goong laay, กุ้งลาย, striped prawns. These are giant among Asia prawns. The females grow to over 30 cm (1 foot) long.
kung mang kanกุ้งมังกรLobster
kung nae namกุ้งแน่น้ำRiver Prawns
(see goong gaam graam กุ้งก้ามกราม).
la iatละเอียดFine, powdered
A usage of the word is sap la iat, สับละเอียด (finely chopped).
laeแล่To slice
To slice, to cut, to carve
[is] crushed, [is] broken into pieces.
lalaiละลายTo dissolve or melt.
lam yaiลำไยLongan
Euphoria longana is a small, round, undistinguished-looking fruit. The brittle light brown skin encloses delicious translucent, juicy soft flesh around a single large, black inedible pit. The Chinese name for this fruit is long yan rou, which literally means "dragon eye flesh". In the grocery markets, Euphoria fruits are simply known as longans.
Clean, wash or rinse, as in ล้างไก่ (clean chicken).
lao alakunเหลาองุ่นWine
Also spelled phonetically like the English word, lao wai, เหลาไวน์. Red wine is lao wai daeng เหลาไวน์แดง, or simply wai daeng, ไวน์แดง. White wine is lao wai khaao, เหลาไวน์ขาว, or simply, wai khao, ไวน์ขาว.
laoเหลาAlcohol, liquor
lapลาบMinced meat salad, ground meat, chopped meat, minced meat
lokลอกTo peel a fruit or vegetable
lon (lohn)หลนStew or simmer
Stew or simmer, as in Pu Lon (Crab Dip) ปูหลน.
luakลวกBlanch (vegetables), soft-boil (an egg)
Don't you wonder why blood appears in a food glossary? I once had lap pat (ground duck salad) with the fresh duck blood poured over it.
luk (look)หินA small ball or a fruit
luk chan (look jan)ลูกจันNutmeg
luk chin (look chin)ลูกชิ้นMeatballs
luk krawanลูกกระวานCardamoms
Amomum krevanh, appear like minature unhusked coconuts. The off-white bulb-shaped capsules reach about 1 cm in length and slightly more than this in diameter. Inside is a densely-packed cluster of angular, dark brown seeds, which are aromatic and have a slightly hot taste.
luk phak chiลูกผักชีWhole Thai Coriander Seeds
luk saliหินสาลี่Pear
Chinese Pear

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ma fueangมะเฟีองCarambola Fruit
ma khaenมะแข่วนมะแข่น in Lao, Zanthozylum limonella Alston — An acrid pungent spice from Northern Thailand used in making Lap.
ma kham piakมะขามเปียกTamarind Paste
Literally, wet/moist tamarind
ma khamมะขามTamarind
Tamarind is a large evergreen tree that grows in the tropics. It is native to Asian and, probably, to Africa. The tree may grow 75 feet(23 meters) tall. It ha leaves that consist of 10-18 pairs of leaflets and small, pale yellow flowers. The tamarind tree produces brown pods that are 2 to 6 inches(5 to 16 centimeters) long. The pods contain an acidic pulp that may be eaten fresh or used to make jams, sauces, syrups, and drinks. The seeds of the tamarind may be roasted and eaten. The tamarind grown as a shade tree in southern Florida, U.S.A
ma khuea มะเขือEggplant
Solanum spp., are eaten with nam prik.
ma khuea fuangมะเขือพวงPea Eggplant
Solanum torvum, small pea-sized green eggplants with smooth skin. The young fruit is eaten as a fresh vegetable, put in nam prik, or used in curry, green curry, and kaeng kai.
ma khuea muangมะเขือม่วงPurple Eggplant
Solanum melongena
ma khuea pro (makhuea poh)มะเขือเปราะThai Eggplant
Solanum melongena, also known as Brinjal, Thai eggplants are small and round and a a creamy white color with green stripes. They are eaten as a fresh vegetable with nam prik, or used in curry and in Gaeng Paa (Jungle Curry) แกงป่า
ma khuea sidaมะเขือสีดาCherry tomato
ma khuea thetมะเขือเทศTomato
ma khuea yaoมะเขือยาวEggplant
A long, thin, green eggplant.
ma kokมะกอกHog Plum
Spondias pinnata, also known as Thai olives, ambra in Laos, and buah amara in Malaya. Thai olives are similar in size and shape to the green olives most people know. The astringent and tart tropical green olive is most frequently pickled, to be nibbled on any time of day dipped in or sprinkled with a mixture of crushed chiles, salt and sugar. It is also frequently sliced up and pounded into a spicy green papaya salad.
ma krutมะกรูดKaffir Lime
Citrus hystrix.
ma muang มะม่วงMango
Pronounced "ma-moo-ung". There are several varieties of mango in Thailand including Kiao Sawoei, Nam Dorkmai, Choke-Anan, Ok-Rong, and Apple Mango. The mango in the picture to the right appear to be Nam Dorkmai mangos. The ripe fruit is often eaten with sticky rice.

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ma muang dongมะม่วงดองPickled Mango
ma muang himaphanมะม่วงหิมพานต์Cashew Nut
mamuang means "mango", but in the full formal Thai language mamuang himaphan is a cashew nut; the logic is as follows: himaphan refers to the Brahministic equivalent of the Garden of Eden, and the bean in which the cashew nut grows is similar to a small mango, hence the cashew is the "mango of paradise".
ma naoมะนาวLime
Also used for lemon which is not commonly available in Thailand.
ma prangมะปรางMarian Plums
Bouea burmanica, Bouea macrophylla. Small tree with edible orange fruit that looks like a small mango or apricot. Also called ma yong, มะยง. Maprang fruits, especially the sweet varieties, are consumed fresh or eaten cooked in syrup. Entire immature fruits are chopped and used as an ingredient in the spicy condiment sambal, and are pickled to prepare asinan. Young leaves are also consumed in salads and eaten with sambal.
ma prao มะพร้าวCoconut
maeng kaphrun (maeng gaproon)แมงกะพรุนJellyfish
Dried jellyfish has little taste but is valued for its crunchy texture. It is the salted and sundried skin of the mantle of the jellyfish
mai sai saiไม่ไส่ไส้Without intestines :)
malako (malakaw)มะละกอPapaya
Originally a native of Mexico, the papaya has been grown in Southeast Asia since the 16th century and the long yellow or orange fruit, rich in Vitamins A and C, is a well-established component of Thai cuisine. In perhaps its most popular use, green papayas are sliced into thin strips and ground together with dried shrimp, garlic, and hot chilies to produce a fiery salad called som tam.

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man มันYam, potato
Also means oil, fat or grease
man farang มันฝรั่งPotato, an Irish potato
man farang obมันฝรั่งอบBaked potato
Southern Thailand is the home of the mangosteen, which appears on markets in May and continues through most of the rainy season. This delicious fruit has a thick, dark-red skin, inside which are creamy white segments with a sweet, slightly tart flavor; as a general rule, the more segments a mangosteen has, the fewer seeds one will find. A knife is used to slit the skin around the middle, after which it opens easily and the flesh can be eaten with a fork as a memorable after-meal treat.

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masamanมัสมั่น"Musselman" or Islamic origin
As in Gaeng Massaman Kaa (Curry Paste) แกงมัสมั่นข่า
mat tadมัสตาร์ดMustard
Spelled phonetically like the English word. Also spelled, มัสตาด.
met เม็ดSeed, kernel
mi lueangหมี่เหลืองYellow noodles
miangเมึ่ยงA savory
A savory wrapped in leaves, like hors d'oeuvre.
min มิ้นท์Mint
mo หม้อCooking pot
An earthen pot or kettle.
mo faiหม้อไฟFire pot
A hot pot, usually has a fire beneath to serve steamed fish and squid dishes with lime.
mo kaengหม้อแกงSoup pot
mo khaoหม้อข้าวPot for cooking rice
mo tunหม้อตุ๋นSteaming pot
mu (moo)หมูPork
Pronounced "moo".
mu hanหมูหันPig suckling roasted over an open fire.
mu paหมูป่าWild boar
mu sam chanหมูสามชั้นPork Belly
Literally, three layer pork — This is the same cut of pork that is used for making bacon, with a layer of red meat, fat and skin. Pork belly is regarded as one of the tastiest cuts of the animal despite its fatty content and it is a particular favorite, whether fried until crisp or slowly cooked with five-spice powder. The long cooking method makes the pork particularly tender and also helps render much of its excess fat. Cooked this way, it is often served with plain boiled rice and vegetables. Pork belly is often used minced as a secret ingredient in other dishes to provide flavor and moistness. It is often combined with prawns (shrimp) in prawn cakes and also with beef to give certain lightness.
mu yangหมูย่างWhole pig roasted over an open fire.
mu yongหมูหยองShredded pork, dried and preserved.
nam น้ำWater, liquid, juice
If you want water to drink, you can't just ask for "water", น้ำ — You need to be specific and ask for nam blao (plain water) น้ำเปล่า, nam duem (drinking water) น้ำดื่ม, or nam yen (cold water) น้ำเย็น
nam aep benน้ำแอปเปิ้ลApple juice
nam chanน้ำจัฌฑ์Alcohol, liquor
nam chaน้ำชาTea, hot or cold
nam chimน้ำจิ้มSauce, Dip
nam duemน้ำดื่มDrinking Water
Sometimes, you might hear nam gin, น้ำกิน.
nam ginน้ำกินDrinking water
nam gokน้ำก๊อกTap Water
nam kaeng (nam geeng, nam gaeng)น้ำแกงSoup, or the liquid part of curry
nam katiน้ำกะทิCoconut milk
nam khaengน้ำแข็งIce
Pronounced "nam kang".
nam khemน้ำเค็มBrine, Salt Water
nam khingน้ำขิงGinger Ale
nam khuatน้ำขาวSoft drink
Literally bottled water/liquid.
nam ma kham piakน้ำมะขามปียกTamarind Juice
nam ma khuea thetน้ำมะเขือเทศTomato juice
nam ma praoน้ำมะพร้าวCoconut juice, coconut milk
nam man hoi (nam muen hoi)น้ำมันหอยOyster sauce
Sweetened soy sauce with oyster extract added
nam man ngah (nam muen ngah)น้ำมันงาSesame Oil
nam man puetน้ำมันพืชVegetable Oil
พืช ("puet") means vegetation or plant in Thai.
nam man tuaน้ำมันถั่วPeanut Oil
nam manaoน้ำมะนาวLemonade
Literally "lime juice".
nam maoน้ำเมาAlcoholic beverage
nam mawFermented Sausage
nam nomน้ำนมMilk
nam oiน้ำอ้อยSugarcane juice
nam phrik น้ำพริกHot Chili Paste Sauce
A watery sauce of shrimp paste and chili used as a condiment
nam phrik pao (nam prik phao, nam prik pow)น้ำพริกเผาRoasted Chile Paste in Bean Oil
An excellent accompaniment to steamed jasmine rice. Made primarily from roasted red chilis and ground dried shrimp, it has a wonderful mellow taste. It is often added to 'tom yum' soup.
nam phrik sirachaน้ำพริกศรีราชาChili Garlic Sauce. View Additional Information.
nam pla น้ำปล่าFish Sauce (pronounced "nam plah")
nam pla phrik น้ำปล่าพริกFish Sauce with thinly sliced prik ki nu
nam pla phrik ma naoน้ำปล่าพริกมะนาวChili fish sauce
This sauce is made by mixing 2 tablespoonfuls of fish sauce, 2 teaspoonsful of lime juice, and I teaspoonsful of chiles. It is used as a sauce to accompany fried foods or as a condiment with rice.
nam pon la maiน้ำผลไม้Fruit Juice
nam puengน้ำผึ้งHoney
"pueng" means "bee", so nam pueng is liquid from a bee.
nam salatน้ำสลัดSalad dressing, mayonnaise.
nam sapparotน้ำสับปะรดPineapple juice
nam si ioน้ำซีอิ๊วSoy sauce
nam som น้ำส้มOrange juice or any citrus juice
nam som ma khamน้ำส้มมะขามTamarind juice
Made by mixing some of the fruit with water and squeezing out the juice
nam som sai chuน้ำส้มสายชูVinegar
nam sup (nam soop)น้ำซุปChicken Stock
nam tan น้ำตาลSugar
The sugar palm tree is call dton dtan, ต้นตาล, "nam dtan" is the liquid from the palm tree.
nam tan kruatน้ำตวลกราดRock sugar
nam tan ma praoน้ำตาลมะพร้าวCoconut palm sugar
nam tan pepน้ำตาลปี๊บPalm Sugar
Made from the sap of the sugar palm, or palmyra palm, Borassus Flabellifera, called taan in Thai. The sugar is a light golden brown paste or dried cake with a distinctive flavor and fragrance. It is put up in five-gallon kerosine cans, called peep in Thailand.
nam tan sai น้ำตาลทรายGranulated Cane Sugar
Colors range from white to reddish and textures from fine to coarse. Some people find the reddish sugar tastier than the more refined white.
nam tan sai daengน้ำตาลทรายแดงGranulated Brown Sugar
Less refined than nam tan sai.
nam tan sotน้ำตาลสดPalm Juice
Coconut juice taken from a tender coconut when it was still green.
nam to nikน้ำโทนิกTonic water
A very handy word when you need a vodka tonic or "wot-ka to-nik", วอดก้าโทนิก.
nam wan น้ำหวานSoft drink, flavored syrup
nam yenน้ำเย็นCold Water
nang หนังAnimal hide, skin, flesh
nang muหนังหมูPork Skin
Used as it is or deep-fried, pork skin is a Thai specialty. It is made by removing all the hair and fat from the skin, which is then scraped clean, boiled until tender, and then sliced. It can be found in the frozen food section of Asian stores. It can be used in soup or stir-fried with vegetables.
naหน้าGarnish, topping
ngahงาSesame Seeds
Sesamum indicum, has small oval seeds which are white and have dark hulls. They are usually sold hulled.
ngah khaoงาขาวWhite Sesame Seeds
ngah damงาดำBlack Sesame Seeds
The fruit is called luk ngaw ลูกเงาะ. Ruby red and covered with fine green-tipped hairs, the rambutan is one of the most attractive Thai fruits and also one of the most delicious when eaten at the peak of ripeness between May and September when it is most plentiful. Thai rambutans are noted for their sweetness and considerable quantities are exported both fresh and canned; the main growing areas are Chanthaburi and southern provinces such as Surat Thani.

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no maiหน่อไม้Bamboo Shoots
nok นกBird
nok grataนกกระทาQuail
nuea (nua-wua)เนื้อBeef, or the meat of any animal
If not specified, hope it is cow meat!
nuea botเนื้อบดGround meat
Pronounce "bote".
nuea gaeเนื้อแกะLamb meat
nuea kaiเนื้อไก่Chicken meat
nuea luk wuaเนื้อลูกวัวVeal or calf meat
nuea muเนื้อหมูPig meat (Pork meat)
nuea patเนื้อเป๊ดDuck meat
nuea plaเนื้อปลาFish meat
nuea san naiเนื้อสันในTenderloin
Literally meat inside backbone. The loin is located on both sides of the backbone starting at the shoulder and continuing back to the hind leg. The tenderloin comes from the center cut or the middle section of the loin. The tenderloin is a narrow muscle that runs along the bottom edge of the loin, starting approximately in the middle and extending back to the leg. It is a very tender, lean, and boneless cut, which can be roasted, braised, pan-fried, grilled, or broiled but must not be overcooked. It is sometimes cut into smaller pieces, such as cutlets, medallions and scallops, before cooking. The tenderloin is not always removed as a separate cut and may be cut so that sections are left in the chops or roasts.
nuea san nokเนื้อสันนอกSirloin
Literally meat outside backbone. The loin is located on both sides of the backbone starting at the shoulder and continuing back to the hind leg. The sirloin is the section of the loin closest to the rump.
nuea sapเนื้อสับMinced meat
nuea tunเนื้อตุ๋นSteamed beef
nuea yangเนื้อย่างRoast Beef (or roast meat)
อกไก่ (ok kai) is chicken breast.
oi (awy, eoy)อ้อยSugarcane
ongkuliองคุลิAn old unit of measure from the tip of your index finger to the first joint
It is named after Ongkuliman, องคุลิมาล, an ancient villain in Buddhist scripture. Ongkuliman was deceived by his teacher and told that the only way he will attain enlightenment is to kill 1,000 people. He tries to kill only bad people, and to keep track of his victims, he cuts off a finger from the right hand of his victims. He wears the fingers around his neck to keep track of them (thus earning the name Ongkuliman, "the wearer of a garland of fingers". Eventually, he meets Buddha and he becomes a Buddhist monk. How does this relate to Thai food? — It is how you measure the depth of the water in the rice pot when steaming rice (regular pot or rice cooker, it doesn't matter). Pour in water until you can touch the rice on the bottom with the tip of your index finger and the water comes up to your first joint — One ongkuli.
op (awb)อบTo bake, roast, broil. To cook in the oven.
op choei (awb cheeuy)อบเสยCassia
Cinnamonum cassia, Cassia is often mistaken as true cinnamon, Cinnamonum zeylanicum, but true cinnamon is almost never used in Thai cuisine. True cinnamon is the dried bark of a tree native to Sri Lanka that is tightly rolled into thin pale reddish-brown sticks. It has a delicate fragrance and sweet flavor. Cassia is indeginous to China and it is dark brown, thicker, with a strong flavor than true cinnamon.
ouaอั่วA bean curry
Wild, as in wild boar หมูป่า (mu pa) or wild mushrooms เห็ดป่า (het pa).
paeng แป้งFlour
A generic term for flour, powder, meal or starch
paeng hoแป้งห่อSpring Roll Wrappers
Literally, "flour wrapping", also called rice paper. Made from a mixture of rice flour, water, and salt these are rolled out by machine to paper thinness and then dried in the sun. They are used extensively for wrapping Thai fresh spring rolls and deep fried spring rolls. Deep fried spring rolls are wrapped with crispy fresh lettuce and herbs and finally dipped in a sweet, sour hot sauce.
paeng khao chaoแป้งข้าวเจ้าRice flour
paeng khao potแป้งข้าวโพดCorn flour
paeng kiaoแป้งเกี๊ยวWonton Wrappers
These wafer-thin wrappers are made from egg and wheat flour. They are available both fresh and frozen.
paeng saliแป้งสาลีWheat flour
paesaแป๊ะซะA whole fish
Usually pla chon, ปลาช่อน, steamed and eaten with a sauce.
panaengพะแนง, แพนงDry Curry
A dry curry cooked in a pan rather than a pot, like Panaeng Nuea (Stir-Fried Beef Curry) พะแนงเนื้อ or Panaeng Kai (Penang Curry with Chicken) แพนงไก่.
pha ผ่าSlit, cut open, cleave, split
pha loผะโล่Chinese Five Spice Blend
Pong pae-lo, ผงผะโล้, is Chinese Five Spice Powder. It is made from cinnamon, coriander seed, bay leaves, anise and allspice.
phak ผักVegetable
phak bung ผักบุ้งGeneric term for Swamp Cabbage, Water Spinach, Water Morning Glory, Water Convolvulus
phak bung thaiผักบุ้งไทยThai Water Morning Glory, Thai Water Convolvulus
Ipomoea Aquatica. Thai water convovulus is an annual aquatic plant that spreads its stems on the water surface. The stem is succulent, crisp, green in color and segmented. The leaves are heart-shaped and commonly used in kaeng teop, sour spicy soups, fried with pork, used in yen ta fo and eaten as a fresh vegetable with nam prik.
phak chi ผักชีCilantro
Coriandrum sativum, is of the parsley family. The leaves and stems are eaten fresh and used frequently as a garnish. The root and the seeds are ingredients in many dishes.

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phak chi farangผักชีฝรั่งSawtooth Coriander, Stink Weed, Long Leaf Cilantro
Eryngium Foetidum. Sawtooth Coriander has been cultivated in Europe since the 17th century and is thought to be introduced to Southeast Asia by China. It is an annual plant with a short clumpy stem. The leaves are long-shaped, about 3 to 4 inches and 1/2 inch wide with dark green, with jagged edges. They are smooth and have a pleasant fragrance and a characteristic slightly sour taste with a hint of cilantro and mint. The leaves are eaten as a fresh vegetable and used to give fragrance to foods. They are often added to strong smelling dishes to mask unpleasant odors.
phak chi laoผักชีลาวDill
Literally "Laotian Cilantro". Commonly seen with street food vendors to add a taste to soups.
phak guang tungผักกวางตุ้งCantonese Vegetable
Literally, "Guangdong vegetable", Guangdong is located in Canton, Chinese. Also know as yao choy, yu choi, edible rape, green choy sum or sarsun (in India). It has long stalks, skinny leaves, and yellow flowers. It is a little more bitter than bok choy.
phak khanaผักคะน้าChinese broccoli, Chinese Kale
Brassica alboglabra, also known as as gai lohn, kai lan, and Chinese kale. The plant resembles regular broccoli, although the leaves appear to be a bit broader and the stems somewhat longer than broccoli. The flowers form first into diminutive heads and then elongate rapidly into flower stalks bearing yellow flowers.

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phak kat (phak kard)ผักกาดLettuce
I've also seen lettuce referred to as สลัด, "Salad".

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phak kat chinผักกาดจีนChinese White Cabbage
Brassica pekinensis also called ผักกาดขาว, pak gaat kao. The leaves of Chinese cabage are light green and crinkly. Chinese cabbage is commonly used for soups, fried, or eaten as a raw vegetable with laab or nam prik.

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phak kat dongผักกาดดองPickled Cabbage
Chopped crunchy white cabbage is pickled in vinegar, salt and sugar for minimum of 3 days. It is served as a relish or added to dishes while cooking to give a salty, slightly sour flavor.
phak kat homผักกาดหอมRomaine Lettuce
Lactuca sativa. Literally means "vegetable like cabbage pleasant-smelling".
phak kat kaeoผักกาดแก้วIceberg Lettuce
phak kat khiao pliผักกาดเขียวปลีChinese Mustard Green
Brassica juncea. Also called Leaf Mustard or Mustard Green
phak khom ผักโขมChinese Spinach
Amaranthus lividus, Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus oleraceus, also known as Green Amaranth. It is similar to spinach, only it's prettier, tastier, and more nutritious.

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phak khom ผักขม"Spinach"
Amaranthus spinosus. also known as spiny amaranth, prickly amaranth or thorny amaranth.
phak khom gaeo bai yaiผักโขมแก้วใบใหญBig Leaf Spinach
phak khom gaeo ton onผักโขมแก้วต้นอ่อนYoung Spinach
phak klai kalam dokผักคล้ายกะหล่ำดอกBroccoli
Literally, "vegetable resembling cauliflower flower". Also spelled phonetically like the English word, "brawk-koh-lee", บรอกโคลี.
phak nam daoผักน้ำเด้าBottle Gourd
phak phaiผักไผ่Vietnamese Cilantro
Polygonum odoratum, also known as Vietnamese mint, Vietnamese coriander, Cambodian mint and hot mint. The Vietnamese name is rau ram, while in Malaysia and Singapore it is called daun kesom or daun laksa (laksa leaf).
phak puai langผักปวยเล้งSpinach
Spinacia oleracea, also just called ปวยเล้ง, puai lang.

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phak tam luengผักตำลึงIvy Gourd
The young, unripe fruit of the ivy gourd, luk tam lueng, ตำลึงลูก, is usually eaten pickled, with nam prik, or used in sour spicy soups. The leaves and young shoots are used in soups, kaeng liang, noodles, or fried.
phak wanผักหวานSweet Vegetable
Forest tree, or Melientha suavis Pierre - the leaves and flowers are used, and are slightly sweet. It is usually eaten in soups.
It literally means "to burn, to heat, to set fire to".
phasomผสมTo mix, combine, blend
phat (pad, pat)ผัดFry, fried, usually stir-fried
To cook (a mixture of meat and vegetables) in a pan with a little oil.
phat khi maoผัดขี้เมาSpicy Fried Noodles
phat mamaFried Yellow Instant Noodles
phat phakผัดผักFried Vegetables
phat si ioผัดซีอิ๊วFried Noodles with Soy Sauce
phet (pet)เผ๊ดSpicy, hot taste
phew ma khrutKaffir Lime Leaf, Dried
phiset"Special", big serving
phlaพล่าRaw meat salad
A dish made of slices of prawn or rare meat, green vegetables and lime juice. Also, to slice meat or prawns for making the dish — Like a dish I saw called phla mu pa, พล่าหมูป่า, which was described to be spicy pork cooked with chile.
phon la maiผลไม้Fruit
Pronounced "pohn-lah-my".
phong ผงDust, powder
phong chu rotผงชูรสMSG - Monosodium Glutamate
No MSG please: Mai sai pong choo rot na krap/ka, ไม่ใส่ผงชูรสนะครับ/คะ (Remember, krab ครับ, for a man, and ka คะ for a woman.
phong kareผงกะหรี่Curry Powder
phong klueaผงเกลือGranulated salt.
phrik พริกChile pepper
phrik cha-la-be-noพริกจาลาเปโนJalapeno Chile
phrik chi faพริกชี้ฟ้าChile Spur Pepper
Capsicum annuum acuminatum.
phrik daengพริกแดงRed pepper
phrik ha-ne-na-rohพริกฮาเนนาโรHabanero Chile
phrik haengพริกแห้งDried red chiles
phrik kap kluea, prik gap glueaพริกกับเกลือMixture of Sugar, Salt and Crushed Chile
Very common to see the street vendors sell it with fresh fruit
phrik khiaoพริกเขียวGreen pepper
phrik ki nu (prik kee noo)พริกขี้หนูThai chiles
Capsicum minimum, small red or green fiery "bird" or mouse dropping chile. View Additional information
phrik lueangพริกเหลืองYellow pepper
phrik ponพริกป่นChile powder, ground chile. View Additional Information
phrik srirachaพริกศรีราชาThai Hot Sauce
Used like Tabasco to add heat to dishes, but it is less sour with a more sweet, garlic taste. Add this chile sauce to Pad Thai, fried chicken, or fried rice. Also called 'Sot Phrik'. View Additional Information.
phrik thai พริกไทยBlack pepper
Piper nigrum
phrik thai khaoพริกไทยขาวWhite Peppercorns
phrik thai onพริกไทยอ่อนGreen Peppercorns
Literally, "young prik thai".
phrik yuat (prik yuet)พริกหยวกGreen bell pepper, sweet pepper
phrik yuat daengพริกหยวกแดงRed Bell Peppers
phuak (phuek)เผือกTaro
Colocasia esculenta
As in pik kai, ปีกไก่, a chicken wing.
ping (bing)ปิ้งGrill, Toast
pla ปลาFish
pla buekปลาบึกGiant Mekong Catfish
pla chalametปลาจะละเม็ดPomfret
Also called butterfish, it is a prized marine food fish. There is the Silver Promfret (pla jalamet khao) ปลาจะละเม็ดขาว, and the Black Promfret (pla jalamet dam) ปลาจะละเม็ดดำ.
pla chikhakShad
pla chon ปลาช่อนStriped Snakehead, Mudfish
Snakehead is a very popular food fish in Thailand. It has a tasty, almost boneless meat. It grows to more than 3 feet in length and can weight more than 15 pounds. Snakeheads have large heads with sharp teeth for eating just about anything. It will feed on other fish, frogs and even birds or rats!
pla chon thaleปลาช่อนทะเลCobia
Rachycentron canadus
pla dipปลาดิบSushi, raw fish
pla duk ปลาดุกCatfish
pla duk thaleปลาดุกทะเลStriped Sea Catfish
pla insi ปลาอินทรีMackeral
pla insi chudปลาอินทรีจุดKing Mackeral
Scomberomorus guttatus Indo-Pacific king mackeral popularly (spotted) seer fish
pla insi pangปลาอินทรีบั้งSpanish Mackeral
Scomberomorus commerson
pla kabokปลากระบอกMullet
Members of the family Mugilidae.
pla kadtekปลากะตักAnchovy
Stolephorus indicus. Indian Anchovy, also called pla sai dtan ปลาไส้ตัน. Used to make nam pla.
pla kao (pla gaw, pla gao)ปลาเก๋าGrouper
pla kapong ปลากะพงFish of the bass and perch family
pla kapong daeng ปลากะพงแดงRed Snapper
Lutjanus family
pla kapong daeng gled haangปลากะพงแดงเกล็ดห่างJohn's Snapper
Lutjanusi johni
pla kapong daeng na tangปลากะพงแดงหน้าตั้งEmperor Red Snapper
Lutjanus sebae
pla kapong khaoปลากะพงขาวSea Perch, Giant Seaperch
Lates calcarifer, as in Kapong Khao Priao Wan (Sweet and Sour Fish) กะพงขาวเปรี้ยวหวาน.
pla kradiปลากระดี่Gourami
pla krapongปลากระป๋องCanned Fish
pla kratingปลากระทิงArmed Spiny Eel
Mastacembelus armatus, a fresh-water eel in Thailand.
pla kutsalatปลากุดสลาดSnapper
Lutjanus waigiensis and L. fulvus, also called flame-colored snapper, blacktail snapper, and waigeu snapper.
pla laiปลาไหลEel
pla maaปลาม้าSoldier Croaker
Nibea soldado
pla muek (pla muk, plamuek)ปลาหมึกGeneric term for squid and cuttlefish
pla muek kluaiปลาหมึกกล้วยBanana Squid
Loligo formosana, also called Splendid Squid - A species of squid found in Southeast Asia.
pla muek lotปลาหมึกหลอดTube Squid
pla muek kradongปลาหมึกกระดองCuttlefish
Sepia pharonis - A commercially important cuttlefish from the Indo-West Pacific area.

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pla muek yakปลาหมึกยักษOctopus
Literally, a gigantic monster squid.
pla ninปลานิลTilapia
pla o ปลาโอGeneric term for tuna or tunny
pla o khaoปลาโอขาวFrigate Mackeral
Auxis thazard
pla o khrip luengปลาโอครีบเหลืองYellowfin Tuna
Thunnus albacores
pla phatปลาผัดStir-Fried Fish
pla ratปลาแรดGiant Gourami
Osphronemus goramy
pla raปลาร้าFermented Fish Paste
Also known as pickled mud fish or pickled gouramy fish. To make pla ra, the fish is cleaned and cut into pieces. Then it is mixed with salt and rice bran. The mixture is then stuffed into a big water jar, topped with a piece of wood to prevent the fish from becoming bloated, and left for 2 to 3 years before being eaten. It is often added to som tum and can be heated with chiles and other spices before serving with rice, fresh or steamed vegetables, or with curry. Heat on stove and mix with chile and other spices before serving.
pla sabaปลาซาบะMackeral
pla sadin, pla saa diinปลาชาร์ดึนSardine
pla saen monปลาแซลมอนSalmon
Spelled phonetically from the English word.
pla samliปลาสำลีTrevally
Seriola nigrofasciata, Black Banded Trevally
pla ta diaoปลาตาเดียวHalibut
pla taphianปลาตะเพียนCarp
pla thotปลาทอดFried fish
pla tu ปลาทูMackeral
Rastrelliger brachysomus. Also called Short-Bodied Mackeral. They are about 5 to 7 inches long and have a flat body. The back is bluish silver with silver belly.
pla tunaปลาทูน่าTuna
"Tuna" is spelled phonetically.
pla yi sokปลายี่สกJullien's golden carp
Probarbus jullieni, a river fish found in Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. It can grow to 5 feet long and weigh as much as 150 pounds. It prefers deep, clear water with sand or gravel substrate and abundant mollusc populations. It feeds at night on aquatic weeds, small molluscs and crabs.
pling thaleปลิงทะเลSea Cucumber
Sea cucumber, also called a trepand, sea slug, or bêche-de-mer, is considered a delicacy in Far East countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, and Indonesia. It is also highly valued for its supposed medicinal properties. The flesh of the animal is "cleaned" in a process that takes several days. The food item is often purchased dried, and then rehydrated before use. The product is used in soups, stews and braised dishes due to its gelatinous texture.

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po pia thotปอเปี๊ยะทอดSpring Rolls
poi kakโป๊ยกั๊กStar Anise
pokปอกTo peel
To peel, to skin, to pare
prakop ahanประกอบอาหารTo cook or prepare a meal
priao (briao, priaw, briaw)เปรี้ยวfermented; sour; acidic; tart; [of taste] sharp
priao wan (priaw wan, briaw wan)เปรี้ยวหวานSweet and sour taste
pu (bu, boo, poo)ปูCrab
Pronounced "boooo", with a very long "oo" sound.
pu khemปูเค็มPickled Crabs
Bu Kem are relished and find their way into a number of popular Thai dishes. Small crabs of various species are packed in salt and sold by the piece in the market.
pu maปูม้าBlue Crab
Portunus Pelagicus. Also called Blue Swimming Crab, Flower Crab or Sand Crab. These crabs are greenish grey marked with white blotches and have bluish claws. They are indigenous troughout the Indic and West Pacific Oceans — From Japan, and Philippines troughout Southeast and East Asia, to Indonesia, the East of Australia, and Fidji Islands, and westward to the Red Sea and East Africa. I have seen blue crabs identified as ปูม้าเป็น, bu maa pen (live blue crabs - เป็น means "alive"), in Thailand
pu naปูนาField Crab
Small freshwater crabs sometimes added to som tum (Green Papaya Salad).
pu nimปูนิ่มSoft-Shelled Crab
pu sammaeปูแสมSmall Saltwater Crab
I think these are the crabs used to make Pu Choop Paeng Thot (Crunchy Fried Crabs) ปูชุบปังทอด
pu thaleปูทะเลSea Crab
Scylla Serrata. Also called Mud Crab, Black Crab or Mangrove Crab. These crabs have drak grey shells and reddish claws. They are indigenous throughout the estuaries and mangroves of Africa, Australia and Asia. They are among the tastiest crab species and have a huge demand in South Asian countries where they are often bought alive in the markets. In the northern states of Australia and especially Queensland, mud crabs are relatively common and generally prized above other seafood within the general public. I've also seen female mud crabs containing rich reddish eggs called ปูไข่, bu kai, or "crab eggs". Mud crabs can be quite large. I've eaten some with claws as big as my hand
rak รากRoot of a plant
The root of a plant, as in raak pak chee, รากผักชี, (cilantro root)
rat na, rad naราดหน้าWide Noodles in Gravy
rat ราดTo pour, cover, top, dress
In Thailand, it is often pronounced as "lawn".
rotรสTaste, flavor
Pronounced "roht". A common dish is "sam roht" สามรส, or three flavors — hot, sweet and sour.
rot maeriโรสแมรีRosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis, also known as nam daang jaak ta-lay นำ้ด้างจากทะเล, or dew of the sea.
ruamรวมTo broil meat
A usage would be thale ruam, ทะเลรวม (broiled seafood).
saenwitแซนวิชSandwich (from the English word)
sai ไส่Add
To put in or add, as in ไส่กะปิ (add kapi).
sai ไส้Intestines
Don't let that necessarily scare you! It also could mean "stuffing" or "filling" (food packed inside other food). Lum sai lek (ลีไส้ล็ก) is a small intestine. Lum sai yai (ลีไส้ใหญ่) is a large intestine or colon.
sai krok (sai grook, sai ua)ไส้กรอกSausage
sak (sahk)สากThe pestle of a mortar and pestle
Good for pounding things! — Also means a "penis", which is also good for pounding things. :)
salat khai saenwitสลัดไข่แซนวิชEgg Salad Sandwich
salat สลัดSalad
As in paeng sali แป้งสาลี which is wheat flour
The long line of the back.
sap สับTo chop, mince
A usage of the word is kratiam sap, กระเทียมสับ (minced garlic), or mu sap, หมูสับ (ground pork).
From the Italian word.
The pineapple is native of Central America (Christopher Colombus discovered it along with the West Indies) and it has been grown in Thailand for several centuries, especially in the sandy soil along the sea coasts. Indeed, so widespread has cultivation been in recent years that today the kingdom ranks as the world's leading exporter of canned pineapple. Besides being eaten fresh or drunk as juice, the chopped fruit is often an ingredient of cooked dishes such as a spicy soup called kaeng khua sapparot and phat sapparot, which is fried pineapple with prawns, chiles, and onions. The main fruiting seasons for Thailand are April to June and December to January but some varieties are on the market year-round.
Mentha arvensis, Thai mint leaves are round, not thick, hairless, and slightly wavy. The stem tends to be dark red. It is easy to grow, and Thais commonly plant it in pots kept near the kitchen, where it can always be easily gathered.
sen mi (sen mee)เส้นหมี่Vermicelli Rice Noodles, Thin Lane Noodles
These noodles are called "may-fun" in Chinese, or "mee hoon" in Malay. Vermicelli rice noodles are excellent pre-soaked in water and added to stir fry dishes. Season with oyster sauce and fish sauce for a quick, inexpensive one-plate meal. These rice flour noodles should not be confused with mung bean vermicelli, which is made with mung bean flour.
Ingredients: Rice flour and water.
si io ซีอิ๊วSoy Sauce
Pronounced approximately "see yew" (also nam si iu)
si io damซีอิดำDark Soy Sauce
A viscous and sweet mixture of soy sauce and molasses
si io khaoซีอิขาวLight Soy Sauce
si io wanซีอิ๊วหวานSweet Dark Soy Sauce
si khrongซี่โครงRibs, rib of an animal, spare ribs
soiซอยTo pare down; to snip or trim in small amounts, to mince, cut, slice into small pieces
som ส้มOrange
Thai oranges are green with a slight amount of orange color. The juice is bright orange and tastes nothing like orange juice in the USA!

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som ส้อมFork
som chitส้มจี๊ดKumquat
Citrus japonica
som oส้มโอPomelo
This is the Thai version of a grapefruit, but with a sweet rather than a sour taste and considerably larger. A number of varieties are grown, with succulent flesh that may be pale yellow, orange, or red, and since the unpeeled fruit can be kept for around a month it is a popular addition to Thai meals. The peak fruiting season is from August to November, but some pomelos are available throughout the year.
som tam (som tam malago)ส้มตำ, ส้มตำมะละกอPapaya Salad
Literally "sour and pound papaya"
sot สดFresh, green; not spoiled; new; newly produced or minted; raw
sot (sawt)ซอสSauce
Spelled phonetically from the English word, "sauce".
sot ma khuea thetซอสมะเขือเทศKetchup
Literally, tomato sauce.
suk สุกRipe, mature, cooked, done, boiled
suk sukสุกๆCooked well done, when refering to meat
suk suk dip dipสุกๆดิบๆCooked medium, when refering to meat
Spelled phonetically like the English word.
sup ฃุบSoup
From the English word, "soup".
sup hua homฃุบหัวหอมOnion Soup
ta khrai (takrai)ตะไคร้Lemongrass
Cymbopgon citratus, is an aromatic grey-green grass.

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taeng แต่งGarnish, adorn, decorate
taeng gwa (taeng kwah, thangkwa)แตงกวาCucumber
Cucumis sativus

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taeng gwa yi-punแตงกวาญี่ปุ่นJapanese cucumber
taeng mo (thangmo)แตงโมWatermelon
Sweet and refreshing, ruby-red chunks of watermelon are an essential part of nearly every fruit platter. In Thailand, pieces of watermelon are often dipped into salt before eating; the delicious juice is also extracted and widely sold as a beverage.

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taeng mo khiaoแตงโมเขียวGreen melon
Cucumis melo, also know as Japanese melon, muskmelon, cantaloupe, honeydew or sugar melon.
taeng ranแตงร้านLong cucumber
Spelled phonetically like the English word, but the thanthakat character, ์, means the consonant is not pronounced.
takตักTo ladle, to spoon, to scoop up, to dip
tao เตาCooking stove, oven
tao chiao nam (dao jiow nam)เต้าเจี้ยวน้ำSoybean Paste
Preparation made with fermented soybeans and flour
tao chiao เต้าเจี้ยวFermented Soybeans
A brew of soybeans and salt.
tao hu (tao huu, thao hoo, dao hoo)เต้าหู้Soybean Curd, Tofu
Commonly called tofu, it is made salted and unsalted in solid or soft forms. The solid curd has a cheesy consistency and is sold in blocks about 4 inches square.
tao hu khao chanit onเต้าหู้ขาวชนิดอ่อนSoft or Silken Tofu
tao hu lueangเต้าหู้เหลืองYellow Tofu
Yellow on the outside and white inside.
tao hu yiเต้าหู้ยี้Fermented Bean Curd
Small cakes of the solid curd put up in a red pickling solution. It is sold in the market by the cake and by the jar.
tao siเตาซี่Black Bean Sauce
tatตัดTo cut
thale (talay, ta lee, thelah)ทะเลSeafood
thit chuทิชชู่Literally translated "tissue", toilet paper
thot (tot, tawt, tawd, taud, tod, tort)ทอดTo fry, to fry in deep fat, deep fry
thupทุบTo beat or pound
The beginning word for many Thai dishes, usually in the form of a clear soup including Tom Yam ต้มยำ, Tom Som ต้มส้ม, Tom Ka ต้มข่า, and Tom Klong ต้มโคล้ง.
ton ต้นPrefix used for many plant names
Garlic, for example, is "kratiam", กระเทียม and the garlic plant is "ton kratiam", ต้นกระเทียม.
ton homต้นหอหGreen Onions, Spring Onions
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Pronounced "toh".
tua ถั่วNut or Bean
Sometimes a peanut is simply called "tua".
tua khaekถั่วแขกFrench Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris
tua li song khuaถั่วลิสงคั่วRoasted peanuts
tua li song ถั่วลิสงPeanuts
tua lin taoถั่วลันเตวSugar Pea
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tua lueangถั่วเหลืองSoy Bean
Glycine max
tua ngok (tua-nork)ถั่วงอกBean Sprouts
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tua phak yaoถั่วฝักยาวLong Beans, Yard Long Beans
tua puถั่วพูWing Beans
tuai ถ้วยCup
tuai chamถ้วยชามDish
tuai gaeoถ้วยแก้วDrinking glass
tuai kafaeถ้วยกาแฟCoffee cup
tuai tuangถ้วยตวงMeasuring cup
tunตุ๋นDouble steam, [Chinese cooking] to cook by steaming, to steam
wan (waan, wahn)หวานSugary, Sweet Taste
wunsenวุ้นเส้นMung Bean Noodles
These noodles are made from the startch of mung beans, the beans commonly used for bean sprouts. In Thai language, wun (วุ้น) refers to the properties of gelatin, jello or jelly-textured, and sen (เส้น) means noodle, or literally a filament or string. For example, pork skin simmered until tender is a type of "wun". Mung bean noodles are glass, cellophane, green bean thread, dried bean thread, or "fun-see" in Chinese. These noodles are sold dry, and stiff like nylon fishing line in texture. They are reconstituted when boiled, then used in soups, stir-fries or spring rolls. They are called "cellophane noodles" or "glass noodles" because of their appearance when dried, resembling cellophane, a clear material or a translucent light gray or brownish-gray color. Don't confuse them with rice vermicelli which are made from rice flour and are white rather than clear.
yamยำThai Spicy Salad
Literally tossed, mixed together
yangย่างGrilled, roasted, baked, barbequed
As in kai Yang Isan (Barbequed Chicken) ไก่ย่างอีสาน or Pla Muek Yang (Barbequed Squid) ปลาหมึกย่าง.
A typical usage is kratiam sap yap, กระเทียมสับหยาบ or coarsely chopped garlic.
yatยัดTo stuff
It is very common to see "yat sai" ยัดไส้ to indicate "stuffed" as in Pik Kai Yat Sai Kunng (Shrimp Stuffed Chicken Wings) ปีกไก่ยัดไส้กุ้ง, Khai Yat Sai (Omelet) ไข่ยัดไส้, or Phrik Yat Sai (Stuffed Bell Peppers) พริกยัดไส้.
Also means early evening between 4:00pm and 6:00pm, as in "kao yen" for evening rice or "dinner".
yira (yiri)ยี่หร่าCumin
Cuminium cyminun
yotยอดSuperb, excellent, best, supreme
As in Kai Phat Yod Khao Pod (Chicken with Baby Corn) ไก่ผัดยอดข้าวโพด

The top ten Thai dishes from 500 restaurants

Dtom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup)99%
Gaeng Keow Waan Gai (green chicken curry)85%
Pad Thai (fried noodles of Thai style)70%
Pad Gaphrao (meat fried with sweet basils)52%
Gaeng Phet Pet Yang (roast duck curry)50%
Tum Kaa Gai (chicken in coconut soup)47%
Yum Neua (spicy beef salad)45%
Mu or gai sa-te (roast pork or chicken coated with turmeric)43%
Kai Pad Met Mamuang Himmaphan (chicken fried with cashew nuts)42%
Phanaeng (meat in coconut cream)39%

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