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Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - The Best Thai Food - My Top 3

Thai Food



When asked what they most enjoy about this country, most Thailand backpackers we get here at Big Blue will mention the incredible food that’s easily available all over the country, from road side stalls to luxurious restaurants. A simple combination of Eastern and Western influences, often enough spice to keep you in the bathroom a lot longer than you expected and that lovely mix of flavours that shouldn’t really work (yet does) there’s something for everyone to love with Thai food, and then when we take into account the different styles of the South, with it’s lovely creamy curries of Indian influence, or my personal favourite the spicy Isan style of the North-East…well it’s easy to see why this dynamic food is so popular all around the world.


These are my top 3 ultimate recommended dishes to try when you’re next here on Koh Tao.


pad krapow chicken

Pad Krapao (Stir-fried meat/fish with chili and holy basil leaves)

Served with rice, this is found all over Thailand and it’s a great one on-the-go with every bus station, food market and train having someone somewhere knocking up a batch. It is normally cooked by stir-frying the basil very quickly with sliced chili, garlic, and your favorite meat which often comes minced – pork is usual when you buy it from food stalls. I love it with fish or beef personally, and you should definitely try it in typical Thai style with a fried egg on top, it really sets off the flavours!

Spice rating: Can often come with a lot of chili, so if you’re not a fan it’s advisable to request it less spicy. In Thai you say ‘nik noy pet’ which means ‘little bit spicy’.



som tam

Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

Som Tam is a type of salad. Papaya is a disgusting fruit. Mixed together should be something unfit for human consumption, but instead you end up with a delicious dish full of everything Thai food should be – spicy, sour, sweet, fishy…it’s really quite amazing!

It is mostly made of shredded unripe papaya, which is crisp and unsweet, mixed with garlic, chili, sour lime, palm sugar, and a bit of fish sauce. It’s often served with green beans, dried shrimp, tomato or green beans depending on the chef, and very often can be bloody spicy! Can be ordered with seafood usually, I really like it with crab which comes with the added bonus of being able to order ‘som tam poo’, as we all secretly want to order poo right?


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Panang curry

One of the most popular Thai dishes, and easily one of the most ordered here at Big Blue, Panang (also spelt ‘phanaeng’ and other slight variations) is a plate of warm cooked rice topped with an incredible thick curry tasting of coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, chili and more!It has a lovely mix of tastes, giving off salty, sweet and creamy all at once, and usually comes only mildly spiced, so is a good one for those of you who prefer not to sweat all over your food.

It’s usually mixed with beef, pork or seafood, but I recommend the classic Panang Gai, which is with chicken.



Bon appetit!



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