Hot climate countries are known for their hot, spicy cuisines and Thailand might well be the country most famous for its spicy dishes. Eating spicy food is supposed to cool you off in hot weather because chillies make you sweat, plus chilli peppers are good for your health as they’re packed full of vitamin C. Chillies of different types and their variations (fresh, dried, fried, ground) are a requisite for Thai meals. If you can handle the heat, check out some of the spiciest Thai dishes from these great places.
Kua Kling is a classic dry curry dish originating from the south of Thailand made with stir-fried meat, usually mince pork, with a curry paste made of lots of chillies, salt and various spices. Make sure there’s a jug of water close at hand before tucking into this dish. Like many southern Thai restaurants, Khua Kling Pak Sod (Prasanmit) (Bib Gourmand) specialises in southern Thai cuisine and serves this flavourful dish with fresh vegetables (pak sod) to soothe the palates.
Address: Khua Kling Pak Sod (Prasanmit) (Bib Gourmand)
21/32 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok
Another potently hot dish from southern Thailand is gaeng som (yellow curry), commonly called gaeng leung. Gaeng som is a spicy and sour curry soup made with fish, usually ‘pla sam lee’ (black-banded trevally) and bamboo or coconut shoots. This fiercely spicy soup is infused with turmeric, garlic, shallots, and lime juice. Test out your heat threshold by ordering a hot, hearty serving of gaeng lueng at Krua Apsorn.
Address: Krua Apsorn (Bib Gourmand)
59 Soi Sukhumvit 8, Bangkok (Sukhumvit)
Tel: 02-253 5556
Kuay Tiew Mu Tom Yum
Combine Thailand’s famous spicy soup, tom yum, with guay tiew (rice noodles) – the staple of Thai street food, and you get an incredibly delicious dish that is the perfect blend of sweet, salty, sour and spice. Add in ground pork and roasted peanuts and you get a noodle dish bursting with so much flavour, it can only be washed down with a second serving.
Address: Guay Tiew Mu Rung Rueang (Bib Gourmand)
10/3 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok
Pad Prik King
Pad Prik King is another popular stir-fried dry curry that gets its rich dark red colour from hot red chillies that make up the base of its thick paste. Mix in a handful of crunchy long green beans and you get a great complement to this sweet, pungent and salty entrée that is available in most Thai restaurants. Wake up your taste buds with a serving of this dish that’s certain to make you break a sweat.
Address: Baan Suriyasai (Surawong) (Michelin Plate)
174 Surawongse Road, Bangkok
If you’re in Thailand and haven’t tried the country’s world-famous green papaya salad or Som Tum, your trip is incomplete. This refreshing dish is the embodiment of all the flavours in Thai cuisine and the spicier it is, the better it tastes! The perfect accompaniment to sticky rice and Thai grilled chicken, it’s difficult not to be hooked on this spicy hot salad, lovingly pounded in a traditional mortar and pestle for your enjoyment.
Address: Baan Somtum (Sathorn) (Bib Gourmand)
9/1 Soi Pramuan, Si Wiang Road, Bangkok
Gaeng Tai Pla
Another super spicy curry dish from southern Thailand is Gaeng Tai Pla – a piping, pungent, hot thick soup made with fermented fish entrails (pickled fish bladder), vegetables, and an assortment of fresh and dry herbs and cooking spices. This traditional dish dates back to the early 1800s and was developed by local fishing communities as a way to make use of fish guts. If you’re feeling adventurous, help yourself to several spoonfuls of this fiery deliciousness!
Address: Beer Hima (Prachachuen) (Michelin Plate)
12/12 Thetsaban Songkhro Road, Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok