30 Best Thai Side Dishes


Quick Answer: What are the best Thai side dishes?

Some of the most delectable Thai side dishes are— rice delights like Thai Coconut Rice, Thai Mushroom Fried Rice, Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, and Sticky Rice with Mango; healthy salads like Thai Green Papaya Salad, Thai Cucumber Salad, and others. Read to explore more!

Here are 30 lip-smacking Thai side dishes that are bound to leave you speechless!

Each of these side dishes has a rhythm of flavors that reciprocate the culture of Thailand. Do yourself a favor and dig into these dishes at least once in your lifetime.

I went to Thailand on a business trip once and the food there converted such a trip into a delicious vacation.

I befriended a couple of local chefs there and with their incredible insight I have put together this list of the most popular side dishes present in Thai cuisine.

So let’s get to it!

RecipieTotal Calories
(per 100g)
Total Preparation
Thai Coconut Rice19035 min
Thai Green Papaya Salad5120 min
Thai Cucumber Salad16.4
20 min
Saucy Thai Green BeansNA20 min
Thai Tomato Salad
NA5 min
Thai Chopped SaladNA20 min
Stir-Fried Water Spinach7720 min
Thai Slaw
1135 min
Thai Peanut Sauce3095 min
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wrap10820 min
Thai Corn Fritters37745 min
Spring Rolls16545 min
Thai Mango Salad14020 min
Tod Mud Pla25420 min
Thai Chicken Salad Wonton CupsNA35 min
Thai Mushroom Fried RiceNA30 min
Tom Yum Soup4935 min
Thai-Style Fried Peanuts54010 min
Coconut Creamed SpinachNA40 min
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice11220 min
Spicy Thai SaladNA10 min
Sticky Rice with Mango30790 min
Thai Stir-Fried Noodles36720 min
Thai Roasted Green Peas
438100 min
Pad Thai Noodle Salad20130 min
Crispy Fried Pork Ribs23383 min
Thai Dumplings16745 min
Thai Orange Fish Soup
NA45 min
Thai Pork Stir-Fry270.630 min
Spicy Thai Basil PotatoesNA45 min

1. Thai Coconut Rice

Total calories (per 100g): 190
Total preparation time:
35 minutes

When served on the table, it fascinates everyone with its sweet flavor and delightful aroma.

Thai Coconut Rice is one of the most popular dishes of Thai cuisine that is loved for its smooth flavor and tender texture.

It is crafted from special Thai jasmine rice and full-fat coconut milk.

When these ingredients combine they form the perfect rice that pairs beautifully with coconut-based curries.

Here is a simple recipe by Pailin’s Kitchen

2. Thai Green Papaya Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 51
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

This one is a Thai classic!

Thai Green Papaya Salad, or as it is traditionally known as Som Tam, has refreshing flavors and is perfect for dreary summer lunches.

Made from shredded unripe papaya and other veggies— this salad owes its flavors to the dressing made from garlic, tamarind juice, fish sauce, and Thai seasonings.

It is a salsa of savory, sweet, spicy, and sour flavors.

Check out this quick recipe by Pailin’s Kitchen

3. Thai Cucumber Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 16.4
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

If you are looking for a salad that will drive the cruel summer’s heat, then this Thai salad is an excellent option for you.

Thai Cucumber Salad garners all the attention from its delectable dressing.

Sweet, sour, and tangy— the dressing is prepared from orange juice, rice vinegar, red pepper, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

Here is a quick recipe by Rahat’s Global Cuisine

4. Saucy Thai Green Beans

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Indulge yourself in this charismatic side dish that is not just delicious but very healthy and simple.

Made on a stovetop in less than 30 minutes, Saucy Thai Green Beans are known for their crunch and lip-smacking peanut sauce.

The sauce is crafted from creamy peanut butter mixed with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and salt.

Check out this easy recipe by Ambitious Kitchen

5. Thai Tomato Salad

Total preparation time: 5 minutes

This Thai side dish is easy to put together is jam-packed with flavors.

Thai Tomato Salad is made with luscious ripe tomatoes, which are cut into bite-size, and then tossed flavorful dressing.

The fish sauce used in the dressing adds a savory flavor to the combination of lime juice, red chilies, and cilantro.

This pairs up well with almost every main dish.

Here is a simple recipe by The Wanderlust Kitchen

6. Thai Chopped Salad

Total preparation time: 20 minutes 

Thai Chopped Salad is a salad of abundant texture and flavors and is a versatile side dish that can be paired with anything. 

Usually, it is prepared by throwing together mixed greens, shredded carrots, chopped purple cabbage, sweet peppers, green onions, and peanuts or cashews. 

These ingredients are then drizzled with a delicious peanut dressing or a garlic sesame dressing. 

It’s a crunchy side with sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.

Check out this easy recipe by Pinch of Yum

7. Stir-Fried Water Spinach

Total calories (per 100g): 77
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

Known as Pak Boong, water spinach is a special Thai vegetable; popularly cooked in stir-fry style.

Stir-Fried Water Spinach has an intense flavor scheme and a delightful crunch to it but it is loved for the after-taste it leaves.

One of the key elements in its recipe is fermented soybean paste— this is what accentuates all the flavors and delivers the famous after-taste.

Here is a quick recipe by Pailin’s Kitchen

8. Thai Slaw

Total calories (per 100g): 113
Total preparation time:
5 minutes

Thai Slaw delivers a gratifying taste with a gorgeous blend of sweet and sour flavors.

Ideal for summer picnics or potlucks, this colorful slaw derives its flavors from the crunchy shredded cabbage and carrots, drizzled with a typical Thai dressing.

Lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, honey, and sesame oil are generally used to make the dressing.

Throw some peanuts in the mix for an authentic experience.

Check out this yummy recipe by Allrecipes

9. Thai Peanut Sauce

Total calories (per 100g): 309
Total preparation time:
5 minutes

A perfect side dish for a platter of veggies and crackers, this sauce is generously used in various Thai dishes.

It is made from whisking together creamy peanut butter with coconut milk, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and some fish sauce.

Creamy and savory, this Thai Peanut Sauce also has a spicy kick for a wholesome flavor palate.

Here is a quick recipe by Allrecipes

10. Thai Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Total calories (per 100g): 108
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

It forms a filling meal when paired with a plate of rice— Thai Chicken Lettuce Wrap is appetizing yet healthy.

Ground chicken is used for the filling and is stir-fried with Thai aromatics and a special sauce made essentially from peanut butter, fish sauce, and lime juice.

This mix is then filled in a soft but crisp lettuce leaf and served on a bed of cooked white rice.

Check out this easy recipe by Seven Spice Life by Lisa K

11. Thai Corn Fritters

Total calories (per 100g): 377
Total preparation time
: 45 minutes

These are excellent vegan side dishes.

Thai Corn Fritters are flavored from fish-free Thai curry paste and Kaffir lime leaves or Thai basil— they are addictively crispy and have a hint of spicy tone.

With an enticing aroma, these fritters have an impeccable balance of flavors.

DIY recipe—

12. Spring Rolls

Total calories (per 100g): 165
Total preparation time:
45 minutes

Served with a peanut sauce as a dip, these aren’t your regular spring rolls.

Fried until the attainment of a golden hue, Thai Spring Rolls are filled with noodles, mushrooms, shredded carrots, and chicken— all mixed with delectable seasonings.

DIY recipe—

13. Thai Mango Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 140
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

This is one of the most popular summer side dishes in Thailand.

It is made from mixing diced ripe mangoes, bean sprouts, bell peppers, and jalapeno with a spicy Thai dressing.

Top it with some peanut for an extra crunch.

DIY recipe—

14. Tod Mun Pla

Total calories (per 100g): 254
Total preparation time
: 20 minutes

Tod Mun Pla is a traditional Thai fish cake that is crafted from firm fish combined with egg yolk, red curry paste, and sugar.

Some recipes use fresh fish paste instead of actual fish which is then flavored with Kaffir lime leaves and red curry paste.

DIY recipe—

15. Thai Chicken Salad Wonton Cups

Total preparation time: 35 minutes

Crunchy wonton cups, delectable chicken salad, and a lovely dressing— these three elements add up to create this flavorful side dish.

Shredded chicken, cabbage, carrot, and shallots are tossed in a Thai-style dressing and then a scoop of it is filled in the baked wonton cups.

DIY recipe here>

16. Thai Mushroom Fried Rice

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

This rice dish is a basket of flavors and textures.

Mushroom and rice go well together but their flavors are elevated when peas and chopped yellow bell pepper are added.

Sherry, shallots, eggs, onions, and basil leaves are its key flavoring agents.

DIY recipe>

17. Tom Yum Soup

Total calories (per 100g): 49
Total preparation time:
35 minutes

Warm and satisfying, this is a popular soup in Thailand.

Tom Yum Soup is a hot and sour variety of soup with rich flavors and an inviting fragrance.

The original recipe consists of shrimps but for the vegetarian version, tofu can be used.

DIY recipe—

18. Thai-Style Fried Peanuts

Total calories (per 100g): 540
Total preparation time:
10 minutes

Fried peanuts are delicious but Thai-style fried peanuts are yummy at a different level.

The peanuts are fried with makrut lime leaves and are flavored with garlic and chili.

Season it with a little bit of salt and you’re good to go.

DIY recipe—

19. Coconut Creamed Spinach

Total preparation time: 40 minutes

Coconut milk is a quintessential ingredient in Thai cooking. 

Coconut Creamed Spinach is packed with umami goodness and filled with lots of fresh flavors contributed by cheese and shallots added to its original recipe.

Top it with some fried shallots and enjoy. 

DIY recipe—

20. Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Total calories (per 100g): 112
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

It is a fried rice with a tropical twist.

Made with jasmine rice and juicy chunks of sweet pineapple, this fried rice owes its maximum flavors to the sweet and savory Thai sauce and veggies used in its recipe.

DIY recipe—

21. Spicy Thai Salad

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

This salad is crafted from carrots, cucumber, onions, bell peppers, peas, and bean sprouts, tossed in a delicious sauce.

The sauce used is made with peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar but the heat of this recipe depends on the addition of red chilies.

DIY recipe>

22. Sticky Rice with Mango

Total calories (per 100g): 307
Total preparation time:
90 minutes

The rice is first steamed to get the sticky consistency and then mixed with coconut milk and sugar. Then it is paired with ripe mango pieces.

This combination is then drizzled with coconut cream and topped with crunchy fried yellow mung beans.

DIY recipe—

23. Thai Stir-Fried Noodles

Total calories (per 100g): 367
Total preparation time:
20 minutes

Thai Fried Noodles, or Pad See Ew, is a popular Thai street food.

These noodles have a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness and are known for a charr-grilled flavor.

It has wholesome flavors with certain shades of savory and sourness.

DIY recipe—

24. Thai Roasted Green Peas

Total calories (per 100g): 438
Total preparation time:
100 minutes

This is a unique delicacy from the Thai exquisite menu.

These roasted green peas are supreme in flavors and texture. It is flavored with authentic Thai spices and is enjoyed for its crunchy bite!

DIY recipe here>

25. Pad Thai Noodle Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 201
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Pad Thai Noodle Salad is an exotic vegetarian side dish with an immense amount of flavors and textures to offer.

It is fashioned from chewy rice noodles that are tossed with tropical fruits and chopped veggies in a flavorful salad dressing.

DIY recipe—

26. Crispy Fried Pork Ribs

Total calories (per 100g): 233
Total preparation time: 83 minutes

This crispy delight is the perfect companion for a plate of roasted veggies or Thai potato-based dishes.

The pork ribs are marinated in a garlic-cilantro marinade and coated in seasoned flour before frying. Serve it with a sweet chili sauce.

DIY recipe—

27. Thai Dumplings

Total calories (per 100g): 167
Total preparation time: 45 minutes

The natives of Thailand incorporated Chinese dumplings into their cuisine and prepared them in their own way.

The filling is made of ground chicken/pork, mixed with shiitake mushroom, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, eggs, and soy sauce. It is best served with a Thai dipping sauce.

DIY recipe—

28. Thai Orange Fish Soup

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

This is a special Thai soup made from combing a flaky white fish and orange juice.

Locally called Geng Som Pla, this soup has the perfect balance between sweet and sour that creates a unique flavor profile.

It’s definitely one of the ‘must have’s from the Thai Menu.

DIY recipe>

29. Thai Pork Stir-Fry

Total calories (per 100g): 270.6
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Thai Pork Stir-Fry is one of the iconic Thai dishes, popular for its wholesome flavor scheme.

It has a savory taste which is countered by the slight sweetness of a special sweet-sour sauce.

It beautifully pairs up with Jasmine rice.

DIY recipe—

30. Spicy Thai Basil Potatoes

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

This dish can double up as a cold salad or a hot side dish.

Flavored with chopped Thai basil, red chili pepper, garlic, shallots, fish sauce, and brown sugar— these potatoes are immensely delicious and tummy satisfying.

Its flavor profile is similar to Pad Gra Pow.

DIY recipe>

The Bottom Line

We hope this wholesome guide gave you a tour of the infamous land of Thai side dishes.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know below.

Do share this guide with your family and friends!

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.