It’s totally OK to be a little confused by your Thai menu. Maybe you’d like to know more about that delicious soup you always order or you need to impress the new special friend who’s coming over for takeaway night? Never fear, the answers are here. Check out this cheat sheet for Thai ordering.

It still doesn’t hurt to have this on hand.

Do a sneaky double check of this list before you jump online to order and you’ll be able to choose your foods like a pro.

Traditionally the Thai people have been pretty straightforward about naming their foods (not like us English speakers. Really, how is someone learning English meant to work out what hotdogs or French fries are?). This means, once you know a few words you can usually get an idea of what it is you’ll be eating.

Just make sure what you’re actually after is available in Thai form


Neua sat Meat Kai/ Gai Chickenâ?¨
Plaa Fishâ?¨ Muu Porkâ?¨
Neua Beef Phak Vegetables
Goong Prawns Khao Rice
Kaphrao Basil Nuum Milk
Gratium Garlic Khai Egg
Khing Ginger Phrik Chilli

We know Liz. New languages are hard, but you’ll get there.

Cooking method

Phat/Pad Fried or stir-fried  Thawt Deep-fried
Yaang Grilled Tom Cooked in water (boiled or prepared as soup)
Neung Steamed  


Khum Bitter Wan Sweet
Kem Salty Pet Spicy
Gleua Salty  

With this quick vocab lesson, you can now understand some of the more popular items on the menu.

Khao phat
= fried rice

Tom Yum Goong = boiled prawn salad= vegetable and prawn soup

Kai phat = fried chicken

Mu phat sato = Fried pork and sato beans

Mu wan = spiced (with sweet spices) pork

Khao man gai = Chicken with rice

Yam Neua = Beef salad

Phat Kaphrao = Fried basil and meat (usually beef or fish)

You got it!

Granted, there are some foods that are given their own special names, like laab (laap, larp, larb- it’s actually all the same), but at least you’ll be able to know which meals to order your vegetarian friends or that mate who’s just had his tonsils out.

Celebrate your knew knowledge and order yourself some Thai food now.

*Please note the EatNow team are not Thai speakers, and have just done some research on the information available online. If you do speak Thai and have some further insight on these dishes, feel free to Facebook us.