Fast Thai Dishes
Thai-style Beef Salad over Angel-Hair Pasta
Laab—ground beef seasoned with chiles, lime juice, fish sauce, and mint—is a traditional Thai meat salad eaten warm or at room temperature. We’ve added thin noodles to turn it into a pasta salad, but you can always eat the meat mixture by itself; just cut down on the fish sauce, or the beef may be too salty.
This fast (and almost vegetarian) Thai rice noodle dish is dressed with a deliciously savory, spicy sauce and tossed with crispy tofu.
Spicy Green Papaya Salad
For this Thai classic, Andy Ricker uses a mortar and pestle to pound crunchy raw green beans with a piquant mix of chiles, garlic, fish sauce and lime juice. He then tosses in crisp strips of unripened papaya.
Ground pork, rice, bell peppers, and shiitake mushrooms are cooked in a single pan and flavored with soy sauce, lime juice, and cayenne. Quick, delicious, and easy to clean up after—what more could you want in a dish?
Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce
"Thailand is condiment heaven, with a gazillion sauces. This northern Thai-style one is extra-sour, because it uses both tamarind and lime," says Naomi Duguid.
Chicken Pad Thai
Our version of pad Thai, the satisfying rice-noodle dish from Thailand, is made with chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, and, in place of rice noodles, linguine. The fish sauce is available at Asian markets and keeps forever. If you like, you can use a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce instead. Lime wedges make a nice final touch.
Thai Chicken with Basil
An abundance of whole basil leaves joins chicken and fiery red chiles for a quick, delicious, and decidedly spicy stir-fry. Holy basil is the most authentic choice, but any variety will do.
Lamb Chops with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
A nutty paste does double duty as a rub and a sauce for these grilled lamb chops from meat master Bruce Aidells.
Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup
We've deviated slightly from the classic version of a popular Thai soup by adding rice to make it more substantial. Serve it with lime wedges; a squirt at the table does wonders.
Thai-Style Duck-and-Green-Papaya Salad
Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup with Noodles
With its seductive flavors of coconut, lime, ginger, and cilantro, this Thai soup is quickly becoming a favorite across the country. Our version includes enough chicken and noodles to make it a main course. If you like, turn up the heat with more cayenne.
Thai Chicken, Zucchini and Tomato Curry
Thai Ground Pork Salad
At Thai restaurants, Tom Mylan usually requests a double order of larb (or laab), an addictive appetizer of ground meat spiked with chiles, lime juice and fish sauce and served with lettuce leaves for wrapping.
Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro
Garlicky, spicy and bright with lime, this noodle dish is both warming and energizing, according to Thai tradition. Just don't skimp on the lime wedges or cilantro: "The sour juice protects the respiratory system in the early spring," Su-Mei Yu says, "and cilantro helps when you're congested."
Thai Shrimp-and-Coconut Soup with Lemongrass
Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle's feel-good Thai coconut soup is flavored with chiles, ginger and lemongrass, and garnished with plenty of shrimp.
Quick Shrimp Pad Thai
This is a great, fast version of American-style pad thai, with an appealing combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavors. Look for the noodles in the Asian section of markets.
Thai Green Salad with Duck Cracklings
This zippy salad is a great way to use incredibly moist and flavorful duck confit, which is cured in salt, then poached in fat. Tossing the salad with cracklings (duck skin crisped in a pan) adds superb crunch.
Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
The rich, unctuous texture and pronounced fruity flavor of a dry Gewürztraminer from France's Alsace region will provide a lovely contrast to these strong, spicy flavors.
Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts
In this refreshing salad, crisp cucumbers and aromatic cilantro are tossed with a tangy dressing made with lime juice, fish sauce and fiery Thai chiles.
Spicy Lime Leaf Beer Nuts
This spiced nut mix gets tossed with kaffir lime leaves, typically used in Thai curry sauces but here fried crisp. The dish is one of many kap klaem (drinking snacks) that Andy Ricker offers at Pok Pok's Whiskey Soda Lounge. "These nuts are served all over Thailand, usually with some kind of dried fish mixed in," he says.
Spicy Thai Steak
Any leftover marinated steak is perfect for serving over a salad or in sandwiches.