10 DeliciousThai Dishes That Are Rarely Found In Western Thai Restaurants

I am grateful to my guest today ”Kung” for sparing some time to talk about her favourite Thai food dishes. In fact not only today, but over the coming weeks she will not only be talking more about Thai food, but also about travel and culture within Thailand.

Trevor: Can You Give Us Your Full Name Please

My name is Bussaba Chumnumporn ( บุษบา ชุมนุมพร ), but my nickname is Kung.

Kung work

Trevor: Can You Tell Us A Little Bit About Yourself 

Kung: I am 38 years old and my home town is Lopburi. I lived in Lopburi for 15 years of my life up until grade 9 education and then I left home to study in Bangkok. On completion of my studies I made Bangkok my home and did not return to Lopburi. I do however return home once in a while to visit family and friends of course.

Trevor: Can You Tell Us A Bit About Your Work

I am self-employed  and my work is making premium bags from spunbon, cotton, canvas, calico,etc and packaging under order from customers. It’s  just a small business now, but 11 years ago I employed 9 ladies. Now I prefer to work alone. When I receive orders from customers I buy the materials…spunbon, cotton etc. The next step is to bring the fabric to the cutting factory for cutting by pattern of my order. After that I bring it all to the paint screen factory to screen, before finally the sewing takes place.

For more information or to place an order Kung can be contacted on her facebook page


Trevor: What Are Your Three Favourite Thai Dishes?

Kung: It’s very difficult for me to select my top 3 very favourite Thai dishes. I am a woman who enjoys her food very much so this is a difficult job.When my friends call me to go shopping I am generally not interested, but when they call me to have lunch or dinner I ask only two questions. Where and when?

Thai food has two different styles for main courses.There is the style of dishes with rice and the single stand alone dishes without rice.

First I will give you my 3 favourite dishes with rice.

(You only gave me the choice of three dishes, but this way I can choose six ha ha)

1)  Nam Prik Kapi น้ำพริกกะปิ
When Thai  people have Nam prik with rice we always have a side dish to dip in to the Nam prik. some people like to use fresh vegetables as the dip,but my favorite side dish for dipping into Nam Prik Ka Pi is listed below.

Nam Prik Kapi


Favourite Dipping Dishes

Fried eggplant with eggs – (photo below), Consists of eggplant, eggs, tempura flour, soy sauce and vegetable oil. In Britain and in France the eggplant is actually known as an aubergine. After cutting up and blending together, the ingredients are then fried until golden brown on each side. You are now ready to dip into your Nam Prik Ka Pi.

Fried eggplant (aubergine) with eggs (มะเขือทอด)

image (1)

Fried cha om with eggs (photo below),consists of cha-om, eggs, soy sauce and vegetable oil. Cha om is a Thai vegetable or more specifically a species of acacia which is native to south and south-east Asia. It’s a shrub or small tropical tree. If you cannot get cha-om where you live then the next best thing to use would be either water crest leaves or very well chopped up broccoli.

Fried cha om with eggs (ชะอมทอดไข่)

image (11)

Thai people love nothing more than munching their way through a bowl of pork rinds or as they are known in the UK …. pork scratchings. This is pure delight to most Thais and complete with the Nam Prik Kapi dip it;s the next best thing to heaven.

Khaep Muu (แคบหมู)

image (4)

2) Boiled Mackerel soup with coconut milk and lotus stem (ต้มกะทิสายบัว)

This is a very traditional Thai menu and made more complete of course with the addition of Thai jasmine rice. The dish in itself is not extremely hard to cook and consists of mackerel, lotus stem, coconut milk, red onions, white pepper, fish sauce, tamarind juice and shrimp paste. This dish has three flavours that being sweet, sour and salty.

image (12)

3)  Fried Curry Chicken (ไก่ผัดพริกแกง)

I like this dish because it’s very delicious. It has sweet and tender chicken pieces and is not too hot in the form of spicy from too much chilli. When you have the taste of this dish in your mouth you close your eyes and say ” ohhh heaven!!!”. My mom loves to eat this dish with cucumber, you can adapt to use minced pork instead of chicken if you want and that is also delicious.  The ingredients include chicken, dried red chilli, garlic, shallots, galangal, lemon grass, fish sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar.

They have this dish in my home town of Lamnarai, Lopburi. When ever I go back home I always have this dish and have done since I was a child.

fried curried chicken

Now my favourite stand alone dishes

4)  Mi Krob Rad Na (หมี่กรอบราดหน้า)

Tasty crispy fried noodles with pork in gravy. A great little dish for lunch and absolutely full of flavour. You will find that a number of these dishes might well not be found in western Thai restaurants, but now you are getting to the heart of Thai cuisine.

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5)  Kanom Jeen Namprik (ขนมจีนน้ำพริก)

Kanom Jeen are the rice noodles and these are more often than not served with curry. The two popular types of curry to serve with Kanom Jeen are Nam prik and Nam Ya. Nam Prik is made from shrimps and is the sweet one, whilst Nam Ya (featured below) is made from fish and is the spicy one. Besides the rice noodles and the curry you are sure of a good helping of fresh vegetables to go with it.

image (7)

Kanom Jeen Nam Ya (ขนมจีนน้ำยา)

This dish although hot does have a sweet taste and in fact you can eat Kanom Jeen with many different curries. It’s delicious with fish curry though  eaten over a bed of thin rice noodles.This dish is a little on the hot and spicy side, because of the red chillies…. So go careful.

image (8)

6) Khao Kluk Kapi  (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ)

My mom she had very good skills at cooking this dish. Before my mother got sick she had a little restaurant in the village that we lived in called ‘daamsang’ (ร้านอาหารตามสั่ง).The restaurant did not have khao kluk kapi (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ) on the daily menu, it was a special dish that was used only some days. The customers loved it. I also used to help my mother in the restaurant.

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Trevor: By the way Kung, 3 dish choices turned into 6 that turned in to 10 ha ha, but all very enjoyable and thank you. We look forward to hearing more from you soon on Thai food.

All photos were kindly provided by Khun Bussaba Chumnumporn

For further information about Thai food, travel and culture please visit



8 thoughts on “10 DeliciousThai Dishes That Are Rarely Found In Western Thai Restaurants

  1. Thank you Ingeborg.They are certainly dishes that are perhaps not so well known to the western world, but they are truly Thai. I know you enjoy trying to cook Thai dishes as well, but first of course you will look forward to sampling these dishes in Thailand.

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