Thailand is renowned for its food, and indeed, it is now one of the most popular food choices in the world. In previous articles, we have covered various types of Thai food, including soups, curries and desserts. However, in a city such as Pattaya, it perhaps seems appropriate that we look at seafood dishes with the ocean being on our doorstep. Here are just six excellent examples, but please let us know your favourite.
Pla Pao is one of the dishes that you will have seen being cooked by street vendors and available in most restaurants. It is the large fish, usually, a red tilapia, which is crusted in large quantities of salt and cooked on a barbeque. The fish will be stuffed with herbs including kaffir limes leaves and lemongrass and often served on its own or with noodles, rice or salad. The fish remains moist, and the herbs give the fish a unique and delicious taste.
Grilled prawns are famous across Thailand and are one of the foods that most people put on their “must-try” list, and that is understandable. Goong Pao are slightly different and originate from Ayutthaya but can found in several restaurants across Pattaya. They are larger than usual prawns that are halved and barbequed. Like most Thai seafood dishes, Goong Pao is served with a spicy sauce.
3.Pla Kapong Neung Manao
Pla Kapong Neung Manao is another of the dishes which you are probably seen on menus across the city. It is red snapper cooked with lime (manao), and herbs such as coriander, chilli and Thai celery. When cooked, the fish falls apart on your plate although sometimes it is served as a soup with seafood sauce added. There are some variations on this dish, such as using squid or occasionally prawns, but snapper seems the favourite for most people.
4.Phoo Pad Phong Karee
Most things can be curried in Thailand, and this dish is stir-fried crab in yellow curry. It is quite a rich curry that includes egg, the yellow curry and crushed crab. It can be quite fiddly to eat, especially for westerners, but it is incredibly tasty and worth the effort. It is available in almost all seafood restaurants across the city but is one of the more expensive dishes. As such, sometimes you will see it sold by weight.
5.Tom Yum Goong
One of the most popular Thai dishes around the world in Tom Yum and this version includes prawns (goong). It is a form of Thai soup which includes garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice and, of course, chillies. It usually served with rice and is an accompaniment to other dishes but is equally pleasant when done on its own. Different versions of Tom Yum include chicken, pork or fish. You can make it is as spicy or as mild as you like.
6.Hoy Lai Pad Nam Prik Pao
Hoy Lai Pad Nam Prik Pao is clams that are covered in a sweet chilli sauce which is mixed with Holy basil and other Thai herbs. Once the clams are cooked, they can be prized open with a fork a dipped in the sauce. It is a dish which would be regarded as being a side dish, but it is packed with flavours and is a favourite with many of the locals. In fact, you may have seen them looking for shells on the beaches around Pattaya.