Top 10 Best Lunch Dishes in Thailand (And How to Make Them)647
BY Guinness Bear

Top 10 Best Lunch Dishes in Thailand (And How to Make Them)

Thailand has captured our hearts with its fresh and savory food, warm hospitality, rich culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Thai cuisine has always held a special place in our hearts, and preparing Thai-inspired and traditional Thai lunch dishes at home allows us to recreate the vibrant flavors and aromas that we love from our favorite Thai restaurants.

From aromatic curries to spicy stir-fries, each dish represents a unique blend of ingredients and techniques that will definitely transport you to the bustling streets of Thailand. Whether you're a fan of Thai cuisine or simply expanding your culinary horizons, this article will guide you through various lunch options that showcase Thailand's diverse and delicious flavors. Now, make sure you get your taste buds ready for a lunchtime adventure.



Best Lunch Dishes in Thailand

Our previous article explored the different breakfast dishes you can try while in Thailand. Below, as the clock strikes noon, we'll explore the different recommended lunch dishes and how to make them:


#1 Pad Thai

Pad Thai White Plate with Lemon Wooden Table

Pad Thai is a renowned and beloved dish in Thailand, found in street stalls and high-end restaurants alike. This hallmark dish features stir-fried rice noodles and a delightful array of ingredients, including fresh prawns, crisp bean sprouts, eggs, tofu cubes, onions, and finely shredded peanuts. A little squeeze of lime juice adds the perfect finishing touch to this flavorful meal.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Pad Thai:
    • Cook the rice noodles accordingly (check the package directions, if needed).
    • Lightly cook the pork in oil over high heat, either in a large nonstick pan or wok.
    • Once cooked, set it aside, and add the garlic to the pan.
    • Continue cooking until the shallot becomes soft.
    • Create a well in the center of the onion mixture and crack an egg into it. Allow the egg to set, then stir-fry for another minute or two.
    • Combine the coleslaw mix, green onions, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce, lime juice, and peanuts in a separate bowl.
    • Return the mixture to the pan with the cooked pork and cook until everything is heated.
    • Drain the cooked noodles and stir in the pork mixture.
    • Garnish with cilantro, peanuts, lime wedges, and bean sprouts.


Now, you're ready to indulge in the delightful flavors of Pad Thai. Stir-fried rice noodles, succulent prawns, crunchy bean sprouts, eggs, tofu, onions, and peanuts combine to create a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Don't forget to squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish for a burst of tanginess.



#2 Pork Satay

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce Pickles

Pork Satay is a delicious Thai dish that combines the richness of sesame oil and Thai chili sauce with the creaminess of peanut butter. The addition of cilantro adds a refreshing touch to this flavorful dish.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Pork Satay:
    • In a small bowl, proceed in mixing the first seven ingredients, reserving a quarter cup as a dipping sauce. Toss the pork in the remaining sauce, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
    • After marinating, make sure you remove the excess marinade from the pork. Sauté the pork pieces on skewers using wet wooden or metal skewers. Arrange the skewers on a greased baking sheet.
    • Grill the skewers 3 to 4 inches from the heat source for around 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until the meat juices drain quickly.
    • Mix peanut butter and water in a separate small dish until smooth for the sauce. Stir in lime juice and the reserved soy sauce mixture. Serve the sauce alongside the skewers for dipping.


Note: If desired, you can garnish the dish with fresh cilantro and red chilies. Pork Satay is a great finger food option for parties, and it pairs perfectly with the peanut dipping sauce. Enjoy this flavorful Thai dish and savor the combination of savory pork and the aromatic flavors of the sauce.



#3 Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing is a vibrant and refreshing dish that combines the freshness of salad greens with the rich and nutty flavors of a creamy peanut dressing. The crunchy peanut topping adds a layer of texture and taste to this delightful salad.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing:
    • In a large bowl, stir the salad greens with the other six ingredients, ensuring they are well mixed.
    • In a separate small dish, whisk together the eight ingredients for the dressing until smooth. Coat the salad by adding the dressing and mixing it thoroughly.
    • If desired, divide the salad mixture among four dishes and garnish with peanuts and jalapeño slices.

      (Note: For an extra flavor and texture, you can customize this salad by adding fresh mango, shredded chicken, or roasted cashews. Feel free to adjust the dressing ingredients accordingly to suit your taste preferences.)


Enjoy the freshness and flavor of this Thai salad with its creamy peanut dressing. The combination of crisp salad greens, the creaminess of the dressing, and the delightful crunch of peanuts creates a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. It's a perfect dish for any light and refreshing meal or even as a side dish to complement your favorite protein.



#4 Larb Gai

Vertical Shot Thai Style Larb Gai 3D Illustrated

Larb Gai is a delicious Thai chicken salad that combines ground chicken, chilies, mint, and basil to create a burst of flavor. This versatile dish can actually be served as a main course or an appetizer in lettuce cups. For a heartier variation, it can also be served over rice.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Larb Gai:
    • Over medium heat, crumble the chicken in a large skillet and sauté it for 8-10 minutes until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid.
    • In the same skillet, proceed to heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and chilies, and simmer until they become soft. Saute the garlic for an additional minute.
    • Mix the cooked chicken, lime juice, fish sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha in the skillet. Heat the mixture thoroughly while stirring occasionally.
    • Gently incorporate the mint and cilantro into the mixture.
    • Serve the Larb Gai with rice or, if preferred, in lettuce cups for a lighter option.

      (Note: Larb Gai can be customized to suit personal preferences. Add toasted rice powder, red onions, or carrots for flavor and texture. Garnish with peanuts and jalapeño slices for added crunch and heat.)

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of Larb Gai, a Thai chicken salad that combines the freshness of herbs with the savory goodness of ground chicken. Whether enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer, this dish will impress with its bold and aromatic taste.



#5 Slow-Cooked Thai Drunken Noodles

Slowcooked Thai Drunken Noodles Thai Food Photo

Slow-Cooked Thai Drunken Noodles, also known as Pad Kee Mao, is a delicious and flavorful dish that can usually be prepared in a slow cooker. This dish combines the bold flavors of pork, onion, corn, peppers, mushrooms, and a savory sauce to create a satisfying meal.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Slow-Cooked Thai Drunken Noodles:
    • With a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker, place pork, onion, corn (optional), peppers, and mushrooms.
    • In another separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic, Sriracha, and ginger until well combined. Pour the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
    • Cover the slow cooker and simmer on low heat for 5-6 hours, or until the pork is cooked and the vegetables are tender.
    • While the dish is cooking, proceed to prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Using cool water, drain the noodles and rinse them.
    • Stir in the cooked noodles and peas once the slow cooker ingredients are cooked.
    • Let the mixture sit for around 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
    • Serve the Slow-Cooked Thai Drunken Noodles garnished with fresh basil leaves.

      (Note: This dish can be customized to suit personal preferences. Add vegetables such as broccoli, baby corn, or carrots. Substitute the protein with chicken, turkey, beef, or tofu. Adjust the spiciness level by adding more or less Sriracha according to taste.)

Enjoy the rich and flavorful Slow-Cooked Thai Drunken Noodles, a dish that combines aromatic spices and tender meat in a convenient slow cooker preparation. It's a perfect option for a busy day when you want a delicious Thai-inspired meal at home.



#6 Thai-Style Green Beans

Spicy Long Bean Salad Thai Food

Thai-Style Green Beans is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines the nuttiness of peanut butter, the savory soy sauce, and the sweetness of hoisin sauce. This simple and tasty dish is perfect as a side or part of a larger Thai-inspired meal.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Thai-Style Green Beans:
    • Mix peanut butter, red pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce until well combined in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.
    • In a small skillet, sauté shallots and ginger in oil over medium heat for around 2 minutes or until they become crisp.
    • Stir in the green beans and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender.
    • Add the sauce to the skillet, and then coat the green beans well.
    • If desired, top the dish with peanuts and cilantro for added flavor and garnish.

      (Note: This dish can be customized to suit personal preferences. You may also adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to control the spiciness level. Feel free to add other vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms, for additional variety.)

Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of Thai-style green Beans. The combination of nutty peanut butter, savory soy sauce, and sweet hoisin sauce creates a delightful flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the crisp-tender green beans. This dish is a great addition to any Thai-inspired or standalone side dish.



#7 Thai Shrimp Soup

Shrimp Soup Bowl Seafood Soup with Shrimps Prawns Traditional Thai Cuisine Spicy Shrimp Soup Curry

Thai Shrimp Soup is a quick and flavorful dish that combines coconut milk's richness, lime juice's tanginess, and the aromatic flavors of ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste. This soup is a delightful blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors to satisfy your taste buds.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Thai Shrimp Soup:
    • In a Dutch oven or large pot, sauté the onion in oil until softened.
    • Add water, ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, curry paste, lemongrass, and broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
    • Reduce the actual heat and add lemon juice to the pot.
    • Carefully add the shrimp and edamame to the pot, and simmer uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink.
    • Return the pot to the burner and heat through.
    • Stir in corn, bamboo shoots, coconut milk, cilantro, zest, lime juice, and curry powder.
    • Remove and discard the lemongrass.
    • If desired, garnish the soup with additional cilantro and serve immediately.

      (Note: This recipe can somehow be customized to suit personal preferences. You can then adjust the spiciness by adding more or less curry paste or Sriracha sauce. Feel free to add other vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms, for added texture and flavor.)

Enjoy the quick and flavorful Thai Shrimp Soup, a perfect combination of succulent shrimp, aromatic herbs, and creamy coconut milk. This satisfying dish can be truly enjoyed as a light meal or as part of a larger Thai-inspired feast.



#8 Vegetarian Pad Thai

Pad Thai Vegetarian Dish Black Dishes White Background Thai Dish

Vegetarian Pad Thai is a simple and flavorful dish featuring fresh vegetables and zesty spices. It is a vegetarian twist on the classic Pad Thai, offering a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Vegetarian Pad Thai:
    • Cook the noodles accordingly (you may read the package instructions if needed)
    • Drain the noodles, rinse them thoroughly, and drain again.
    • In a large skillet or wok, sauté garlic and green onions in oil for about 2 minutes.
    • Remove the skillet from heat.
    • Return the skillet to medium-low heat. Add needed eggs and stir occasionally until they are no longer runny.
    • Add the cooked noodles, sauce, and carrot mixture to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
    • Toss in bean sprouts and mix well.
    • If desired, garnish the dish with cilantro and peanuts.
    • Cut into wedges and serve.

      (Note: This recipe can be changed to suit personal preferences. For variety, you may add vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, or mushrooms. You can also adjust the level of spiciness just by adding more or less red pepper flakes or chili sauce according to taste.)

Enjoy the freshness and speed of Vegetarian Pad Thai, a delightful dish that combines the vibrant flavors of fresh vegetables and zesty spices. This dish is definitely perfect for a quick, enjoyable meal that will surely satisfy your taste buds.



#9 Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce

Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce Thai Food

Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce is a quick and delicious dish that can actually be made in no time. These skewers are packed with delicious flavors and taste just like takeout. The sesame dressing helps keep the chicken juicy and adds a delightful nuttiness to the dish.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, coat the chicken with salad dressing. Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
    • Drain and discard the marinade.
    • Thread the chicken onto metal, or you may also soak wooden skewers.
    • Broil the skewers, greased side down, for around 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink, flipping once. Alternatively, you can grill the skewers over medium heat.
    • Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, and pepper flakes in another small bowl to make the creamy satay sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro.
    • Drizzle the sauce over the cooked chicken skewers before serving.

      (Note: This recipe is sourced from Kathi Jones-DelMonte from Rochester, New York. You can customize the dish by adding spices or herbs to the marinade or adjusting the sauce's spiciness according to your taste preferences.)

Enjoy the quick and flavorful Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce. All these skewers are perfect for a quick and satisfying meal, and the creamy satay sauce adds a deliciously rich and tangy element to the dish. Serve them as an appetizer or a main course with your favorite sides.



#10 Thai-Style Brisket

Thai Style Grilled Pork with Rice Vegetable Meal Meat Dinner Lunch Main Dishes

Thai-Style Brisket is an innovative and flavorful dish that combines the richness of brisket with the bold flavors of Thai cuisine. The combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, crunchy-tender veggies, and spices gives this dish a unique Thai flavor that will satisfy your taste buds.

  • Here's a simple guide on how to make Thai-Style Brisket:
    • In a large pan, proceed to heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
    • Sear the brisket on all the sides until browned.
    • Transfer the seared brisket to a 5-quart slow cooker.
    • Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, and pepper in a small bowl.
    • Pour all the mixture over the brisket into the slow cooker.
    • Cover the slow cooker, and you may cook on low for around 8-9 hours or until the meat is tender.
    • Once the brisket is cooked, you may remove it from the slow cooker and keep it warm.
    • In a separate pan or wok, sauté onions, peppers, and carrots in olive oil until they are crisp-tender.
    • Optionally, garnish the dish with peanuts.
    • Add the cooking juices from the slow cooker to the sautéed vegetables and stir thoroughly.
    • Thinly slice the cooked brisket against the grain.
    • Spread rice on a large dish and arrange the sliced brisket and vegetable combination on top of the rice.

      (Note: This recipe offers a unique twist on traditional brisket preparation by incorporating Thai flavors. You can also adjust its spiciness level just by adding more or less pepper flakes according to your preferences.)

Enjoy the innovative and flavorful Thai-Style Brisket, a dish that combines the tenderness of brisket with the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine. This dish will satisfy your cravings and impress your guests with its delicious and unique flavor. Serve it with rice or your favorite side dishes for a complete meal.



Indulge in Lunch Delights While in Thailand

Top 10 Best Lunch Dishes in Thailand (and How to Make Them)

Well, you've gotten every lunch dish you love—and more. Whether you're exploring street food stalls or dining in upscale restaurants, the flavors and textures of every dish are sure to leave a lasting impression.

So, if you're planning a trip to Thailand or looking to recreate these lunch delights at home, save this list to your pinboard or bookmarks to make your go-to lunch dish whenever the craving strikes.



Written by
Guinness Bear

Hi! I'm Guinness Bear, your go-to travel companion, always on the move to uncover the most breathtaking destinations. Join me as I share my recommendations for must-visit spots and memorable experiences. Dive into my immersive "Top 10" series, and let's explore the world together!


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