Thailand is famously known for its cuisine and with these best Thai seafood dishes, we’d intend to prove that visit Thailand is more than just eating noodles, rice and curries and inspire you to try some of this deliciousness during your next trip to the land of the smiles. Thailand has twenty-five rivers and the majority of the country has access to either the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea, meaning that there is an abundance of fresh seafood all over the country. The best Thai seafood dishes are:
- Fried Sea Bass with Oyster Sauce/Thai Herbs/Fish Sauce
In our opinion, Fried Sea Bass (Pla Ka Pong Tod) with either oyster sauce, fish sauce or covered in Thai herbs is the most accessible yet best Thai seafood dish Thailand has to offer. The sea bass is either filleted or sliced in half, then deep-fried and served with either oyster sauce, fish sauce or covered in Thai herbs. We prefer the filleted version as the filleted chunks of sea bass are extra crispy and don’t have any fishbone. This is a non-spicy dish that the majority of tourists will absolutely love. Pla Ka Pong Tod can be found in every seafood restaurant in Thailand.
2. Kung thot krathiam phrik thai
Kung thot krathiam phrik thai is a Thai stir-fry consisting of shrimps that are fried with garlic and pepper. In order to soak up more of the flavors, the shrimps are often mixed with the rest of the ingredients that typically include minced garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and ground white pepper before they are stir-fried with the marinating mixture.
This stir-fry dish is typically eaten on a bed of jasmine rice with slices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers on top, but noodles can also be used instead of rice. The typical condiment of choice is prik nam pla, a mixture of bird’s eye chilis, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and lime juice, which is often served alongside rice dishes.
3. Salt-Crusted Fish – Pla Pao
Where the fried sea bass was an accessible Thai seafood dish, is this Salt Crusted Fish a bit more of a new culinary experience for tourists. Pla Pao is usually made with either a red tilapia or a snakehead fish. The red tilapia is by far the tastiest and you can easily recognize this fish by its shape: the tilapia is round, the snakehead fish is thin and long. The fish is stuffed with herbs, such as lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves before it gets coated with a thick layer of salt before it gets grilled. The fish is beautifully soft and moist because of this method. Pla Pao is served with rice noodles, herbs and leaves of cabbage which you wrap up in a package together. You dip it in Thai seafood sauce, which is pretty spicy for foreigners. The result is an amazing flavour explosion in your mouth. Pla Pao can be found as street food and is often served in seafood restaurants in Thailand.
4. Pla duk phat phet
Pla duk phat phet is a Thai fish specialty made with pieces of deep-fried catfish that are stir-fried in a spicy Thai red curry sauce. Apart from fresh Thai red curry paste (nam phrik kaeng phet daeng), the sauce typically contains ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves, chili peppers, garlic, krachai (Chinese ginger), water or chicken stock, and (optionally) lemongrass or galangal.
Fish sauce, oyster sauce, and palm sugar are added to the dish to enhance its flavor, while some versions call for the addition of coconut milk to the sauce. Crispy catfish pieces immersed in a flavor-packed curry sauce are often topped with fried Thai basil leaves and thin crunchy strips of red bell peppers, and are usually accompanied by sticky rice or steamed jasmine rice on the side.
5. Grilled Prawns – Goong Pao
When thinking of Thai seafood dishes, you don’t immediately think of simple grilled prawns. However, Goong Pao (grilled prawns) can be really exciting, especially when you travel to Ayutthaya. Here, you will find prawn farms that farm enormous jumbo prawns. These giant prawns are a real delicacy in Ayutthaya, although you can find them outside Ayutthaya as well. The prawns are sliced in half and grilled over charcoal. The best part of these grilled prawns is the brains as they are full with umami flavour. Like many other Thai seafood dishes, the prawns are served with that typical seafood sauce that is a bit spicy. Goong Pao is often served in seafood restaurants in Thailand, however, Ayutthaya is famous for these prawns. Check out our article about the best restaurants in Ayutthaya to find out which restaurants serve the best Goong Pao.