Food is hugely important in Thai culture, with Thais using food as a common conversation starter. There are many popular dishes in Thailand and plenty of regional specialities. While there are no specific breakfast dishes in Thailand, with the same meals eaten at any time of the day, these 10 dishes are commonly available to take away your morning hunger.
Grilled meats, like moo ping and gai yang, make for a convenient, filling, and tasty breakfast on the go. Various grilled meats are available at street food stands, already skewered on a stick to make eating them a breeze. Chicken, pork, fish balls, and pork balls are especially popular. Some meats are seasoned, while others come with different sauces to add to your own taste. The meat is sometimes accompanied by salad or a bag of sticky rice.
Khanom krok is a tasty and sweet Thai item, often eaten as a snack or for dessert. It may also be eaten as a light breakfast, and street vendors whip up plentiful batches early in the morning to feed the hungry. The small gelatinous items are made from a mixture of rice flour and coconut milk, and various fillings may be included. Spring onion is very common, and other fillings may include sweetcorn or chives.
Thai-style deep-fried doughnuts, known as pathongko, are widely available in the morning. Made from wheat flour with yeast, the fluffy dough is made into small balls, twists, or x shapes and fried in piping hot oil. The small and crispy doughnuts may be sprinkled with sugar, though condensed milk and pandan custard are also much-loved toppings. Grab a coffee and you’ve got a great breakfast!
Omelette and rice
Omelette and rice is a simple Thai meal, available in most restaurants and from many street stalls. It is probably different to what you generally expect from an omelette; Thai omelettes, known locally as khai jeow, are fluffy and airy inside but deliciously crispy outside. Rather than being shallow fried, omelettes in Thailand are deep fried, hence the different texture. Minced pork is a common addition, though you can also get omelettes with an array of vegetables and other fillings. The egg-based dish is typically served over rice and with a sweet chilli sauce. Hold the rice if you just can’t face it for breakfast.
Khao tom is another basic Thai dish, commonly enjoyed for breakfast, supper, and as a comfort food. A thick rice soup, it commonly contains pieces of chicken or pork balls along with coriander, lemongrass, and other herbs. It doesn’t, however, usually have any chilli or other fiery tastes that Thailand is known for.
Not to be confused with khao tom, the similar dish of jok is a type of rice porridge. Thicker and mushier than khao tom, it’s among the most popular dishes at breakfast time in Thailand. It may be eaten alone or with a variety of other ingredients and seasonings. Many people like a poached egg in their congee.
Tom luad moo
Popular with many Thais but maybe not so much with tourists, tom luad moo is a fairly bland soup, commonly eaten with rice. You can add chilli flakes, fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, or any other condiments of your choice to get the flavour just how you like it. The ingredients may turn your stomach, though, especially when you’ve not long been out of bed — it’s made from chunks of congealed pig’s blood, and offal.
A quick and easy finger food, dim sum is a common breakfast food in Southern Thailand. With Chinese origins, the small dumplings may be stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Pork isn’t, however, so common in the southern regions of Thailand due to the large Muslim populations. You can look forward to things like shrimp, tofu, mushroom, and steamed chicken. There’s usually a dipping sauce provided with the dim sum.
With an abundance of tropical fruits, it’s no wonder that bags of ready-chopped fruit make for a terrific, and healthy, morning meal in Thailand. You’ll often be given thick dipping sauces that combine sweet and spicy flavours or a mixture of sugar and dried chilli flakes to add a little extra kick to your fruit. From rose apples, mango, and pineapple, to the infamous durian, jackfruit, and guava, there’s no shortage of fruity treats for breakfast in Thailand.
Similar to a pancake or crepe, roti canai is a type of fried bread made from wheat flour. It’s a common street food and was introduced to the Land of Smiles by the Muslim community. There are many fillings and toppings to choose from. It may sound like a strange combination, but egg and banana with a hearty pouring of condensed milk is a popular option. Other choices may include mango, chocolate spread, jam, and peanut butter.
If you don’t feel like anything solid, a glass of nam tau hu, a warm soy-based drink, might be just what you’re after. But, don’t worry if you’d rather tuck into a pad Thai, curry, or fried-rice dish — they’re all legitimate breakfast options in Thailand too!