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The Top Weirdest But Popular Dishes in Thailand To Eat

popular dishes in thailand

When it comes to exploring the culinary world, Thailand stands out with its distinct and diversified delicacies. From lively street food to exquisite restaurant meals, Thai cuisine is known internationally for its robust tastes and fragrant spices, and in this article, we will go on a culinary excursion through Thailand’s interesting food culture, looking into the weird and delectable sides of Thai meals. so here we will explore the most popular weirdest dishes in Thailand.

Exploring Weird & Popular Dishes in Thailand

When delving into the world of Thai cuisine, one cannot help but be intrigued by the unexpected and unusual dishes that might challenge our perceptions of food. Beyond the familiar Pad Thai and Green Curry, Thailand offers a culinary adventure that includes some truly unconventional and eerie delicacies. These dishes, often considered “creepy” due to their unconventional ingredients or preparation methods, provide a window into the rich tapestry of Thai food culture. 

Exploring these dishes is not just about pushing culinary boundaries; it is about embracing a deeper understanding of a culture that celebrates bold flavors, resourcefulness, and a willingness to try the extraordinary.

Below is a list of some of the creepiest yet the best Thai food meals you can eat on your adventurous journey to Thailand:

Khai Mod Daeng


“Khai Mod Daeng” means “red ant eggs omelet” in English. This popular dish in Thailand comprises ant eggs obtained from anthills blended with spices before being cooked into an omelet. Although some may find the notion of swallowing ant eggs unappetizing, locals have relished it for ages due to its unusual texture and taste profile. Red ant eggs, which are considered a delicacy in northern Thailand, are blended with herbs, vegetables, and other spices to make a unique salad. 

This meal delivers a combination of textures and tastes, with the acidic and somewhat sour taste of the ant eggs being the centerpiece. The ants are gathered once a year in the dry season from February to May, and their eggs (kai mod daeng) are among the most treasured foods owing to their rich and pleasant taste and their therapeutic capabilities.

Gaeng Tai Pla:

Gaeng Tai Pla - popular dishes in thailand

Gaeng Tai Pla is another unusual but traditional Thai food. It is a hot southern-style soup made with fermented fish intestines blended with vegetables and spices. Its name is derived from Tai Pla, a salty sauce produced from fermented fish intestines that gives the curry a distinct scent and taste. 

Despite its unpleasant scent, this meal is widely praised for its bold and nuanced taste that displays the rich culinary traditions of southern Thailand. Emphasizing its nutrition, the meal is abundant in protein and calcium from the fish and vitamins and minerals from the veggies. It is heavy in sodium and is not advised for persons with renal disease and diabetes. Gang Tai Pla is a fantastic meal, but due to its intensity and powerful, pungent scents, Kaeng Tai Pla is best served with steaming rice on the side.

Spicy Bamboo Worm Salad (Yam Ruam):

Spicy Bamboo Worm Salad - popular dishes in thailand

For those wanting a unique culinary experience, spicy bamboo worm salad provides a blend of tastes and textures. The worms are frequently marinated, cooked, and then mixed with a variety of seasonings such as herbs, spices, and chili for a spicy flavor. The bamboo worms are first cleaned and then stir-fried until crispy. 

They are then combined with the other ingredients and served with a dipping sauce. Bamboo worms are the larvae of the bamboo beetle. They are located in the bamboo culms, where they feed on the bamboo sap. Bamboo worms are a wonderful source of protein and calcium. They are also thought to have therapeutic benefits, such as stimulating the immune system and increasing circulation. 

The “Yam Ruam” is a spicy and savory meal that is guaranteed to delight your taste buds. The bamboo worms give the salad a distinct texture and taste that is unlike anything else. The chili peppers provide heat, the garlic adds pungency, the lime juice contributes acidity, and the fish sauce adds saltiness. 

The combination of all these tastes makes a wonderfully tasty and memorable dinner. If you are searching for a genuinely unique and authentic Thai eating experience, then you should certainly try Yam Ruam. It is not a meal you will forget easily.

Blood Soup (Luu):

blood soup - popular dishes in thailand

Blood soup, usually cooked with either duck or pig’s blood, is a traditional & popular dishes in Thailand meal that could raise eyebrows and is widely valued in certain parts of Thailand. Blood Soup also referred to as “Luu” in different places, is a traditional cuisine that contains animal blood as a primary component. It is commonly prepared with different herbs and spices to make a tasty and substantial soup. Blood Soup, or “Luu,” is a riveting illustration of how food is deeply intertwined into the fabric of cultural tradition. popular dishes in Thailand – Blood Soup carries cultural importance beyond its culinary appeal. 

In many cultures, ingesting blood is thought to bring specific health advantages, such as increased iron consumption.

Additionally, Blood Soup typically finds its place in traditional festivals and ceremonies. Eating during special festivals ties individuals to their cultural history and acts as a method to sustain and pass along culinary traditions from one generation to the next. Whether welcomed for its traditional origins or altered for modern tastes, Blood Soup continues to elicit interest and respect for the complex tapestry of worldwide culinary traditions.

Goong Ten:

gong ten - popular dishes in thailand

We also have “Goong Ten” or dancing shrimp. This meal includes eating live freshwater shrimp coated in a sour sauce. This unique Goong Ten dancing shrimp dish is a Thai delicacy where the live shrimp are put in a delectable sauce that is made, and they jump about attempting to escape, creating the appearance of dancing. Goong Ten is usually consumed in the Northwest of Thailand, although there are other regions of Asia where you may find it, such as Laos. While the thought of swallowing live fish may be frightening to some, it delivers an exciting and remarkable dining experience for those ready to embrace it. This popular dish in Thailand throw out a wonderful scent topped only by the unexpectedly exquisite tastes of the shrimp mixed with the sour sauce that delivers a great spicy kick.

Century Egg (Khai Yiao Ma)

File:Century egg sliced open.jpeg

Kowloneese, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Century eggs, also known as preserved eggs, hundred-year-old eggs, or the oh-so-fancy pidan, are a traditional Chinese delicacy that has spread its delicious tentacles into various Asian cuisines, including Thai cuisine.

Here’s the deal: century eggs are preserved in a wild concoction of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw. Yup, you heard that right. They’re basically marinating in a magical mixture that transforms their texture, flavor, and appearance into something out of this world.

Now, let’s talk about the taste. Brace yourselves for a flavor profile that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. Century eggs are often described as rich, creamy, and slightly salty. But wait, there’s more. The yolk, oh the yolk! It’s like a custard dream come true – smooth, velvety, and packed with a complex taste that’ll leave you wanting more. Just be warned, ladies, the strong aroma and taste of century eggs can be an acquired taste. But hey, who needs to conform to society’s taste standards?

These incredible eggs aren’t just for show, my bold adventurers. They’re commonly used in Chinese and Thai cuisine to add depth and richness to various dishes. You can enjoy them on their own as a side dish, slice them up and throw ’em into congee (rice porridge), toss them in salads for that extra oomph, or go wild and incorporate them into other dishes to level up the flavor game.

Sa Khu Phat Kaphrao (ผัดกะเพรากบ)

สูตร กบผัดกระเพรา พร้อมวิธีทำโดย achin ns

Picture this: you’re in Isaan, the northeastern region of Thailand, where frogs reign supreme in the wetlands. These slimy critters are the stars of Isaan cuisine, and their unique taste and texture are put to good use in dishes like Sa Khu Phat Kaphrao.

We’re getting aromatic and spicy, ladies. Garlic, chili, and Thai basil (aka “kaphrao” or holy basil) join the frog meat party to create a dish bursting with robust flavors. The holy basil brings its distinct peppery punch, while the garlic and chili add a fiery kick that’ll make your taste buds tingle with delight.

The magic ingredient that brings it all together – fish sauce. Oh, fish sauce, you salty liquid gold. Combined with the frog meat and the flavorful trio of basil, garlic, and chili, it takes Sa Khu Phat Kaphrao to umami heaven.

Sa Khu Phat Kaphrao is more than just a delicious plate of stir-fried goodness – it’s a culinary representation of Isaan’s traditions. The resourceful folks of Isaan know how to make the most out of their surroundings, and frogs happen to be abundant in their wetlands. So why not turn these slimy hoppers into a mouthwatering feast?


Embracing new culinary experiences may often be tough owing to cultural differences or personal prejudices. However, by moving beyond our comfort zones, we open ourselves up to new cultures and enhance our awareness of different cuisines. Trying strange cuisines helps us to transcend limits and find novel tastes that may surprise us.

When delving into the realm of creepy delicacies, it is vital to approach them cautiously while following local norms and sanitary regulations. Make sure you taste these foods at reputed restaurants or stalls recognized for their cleanliness and excellent ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Thailand’s culinary environment is a treasure trove of different and interesting delicacies, some of which could appear unsettling at first look. However, these meals are a monument to the country’s rich culinary culture and the willingness of its people to accept a wide variety of ingredients and tastes. 

By trying odd popular dishes in Thailand meals like Khai Mod Daeng, Gaeng Tai Pla, Spicy Bamboo Worm Salad (Yam Ruam), Blood Soup (Luu), and Goong Ten we extend our palette and get a greater appreciation for Thai cuisine. Combining intense tastes, textures, and scents with cultural importance, Thailand’s creepiest but best meals provide both unique experiences and delightful surprises awaiting anyone courageous enough to try them.  Let’s just say, I’m going to have to leave the testing of these dishes to you guys.  I’ll stick with my drunken noodles. 😉  

No matter the adventure you decide on, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

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About Jill

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Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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