These spicy Thai recipes will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Our compilation of Thai food recipes includes everything from recipes for homemade Sriracha sauce and Thailand’s famous fiery relishes to a rich khao soi gai for the Chiang Mai curry noodle chicken soup and some of Thailand’s spiciest curries.
While many of us enjoy eating spicy food in winter as it warms us up as all hearty soups and good stews do, Southeast Asians love to eat spicy food when the weather is warm because the spice makes you sweat and perspiring keeps you cool.
The spicy Thai recipes below are guaranteed to keep you cool in summer if you’re in the northern hemisphere and warm in winter if you’re in the south. We’ll add to this collection of recipes as we publish more spice-laden recipes from Thailand on the site.
Before I tell you about these spicy Thai recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, particularly our Cambodian recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by becoming a supporter of our epic, original, first-of-its-kind Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon. You can become a patron for as little as US$2, $5 or $10 a month.
You can also support our work by using our links to book accommodation, hire a car or campervan or motorhome, purchase travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide; shopping our Grantourismo online store (we have fun gifts for foodies); or buying something on Amazon, such as these award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography.
Now let me tell you about these spicy Thai recipes.
Spicy Thai Recipes to Keep You Cool in Summer and Warm In Winter
These spicy Thai Recipes will keep you cool in summer if you’re in the northern hemisphere and warm in winter if you’re in the increasingly chilly south.
Thai Sriracha Sauce Recipe
This authentic homemade Sriracha sauce recipe is one of our favourite spicy Thai recipes. It makes the real deal – the Thai hot sauce that tastes just like it does in its place of origin, the coastal city of Sri Racha, Thailand. This spicy sauce is far simpler to make than you might imagine and you can tailor it to suit your own taste. With so few ingredients, it’s the quality of the chillies that make this authentic homemade Sriracha sauce recipe so special. Using Thai chillies from Thailand or a similar variety – but not the chillies in the world-famous American ‘rooster’ hot sauce – is your key to an authentic Thai Sriracha sauce.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce Recipe
Our Thai sweet chilli sauce recipe makes a balanced sweet Thai chilli sauce you’ll taste. While most sweet chilli sauces are sickly sweet and stingy on the chillies – and any chilli heat – this sauce is chilli-rich, not overly hot, and has a great balance between sweet and acidic. Once you make this the first time, you’ll remember why that bottle you bought a couple of years ago is still in the fridge. To be fair, it’s probably still edible because of all the preservatives and thickeners added to commercial sauces. But if it tastes like most brands it’s probably syrupy sweet and too tangy. This homemade sauce is so perfectly balanced and so easy to make, you may never buy a supermarket sweet chilli sauce again.
Khao Soi Gai Recipe for Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Chicken Soup
Khao soi gai is the most popular noodle soup in Chiang Mai, the old capital of the Lanna kingdom in Northern Thailand that’s as famous for its fantastic Northern Thai-style Lanna food as much as its gilded pagodas, gorgeous handicrafts and glorious mountains. Khao soi gai is a one-bowl meal of egg noodles, a rich, oily coconut cream-infused stock, and a leg or thigh of bone-in chicken (‘gai’ is Thai for chicken) topped with more crunchy noodles. The spicy curry noodle chicken soup is a lunchtime favourite across Chiang Mai and it’s another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes. It’s one of those dishes that culinary travellers are eager to try – and then can’t stop eating.
Classic Thai Omelette Recipe for Kai Jiew, a Crispy Puffy Golden-Brown Omelette
This Thai omelette recipe makes kai iiew – variably spelt as kai jiaw, kai jiew, kai jeow, khai jiow, and khai jiao – a crispy, puffy golden-brown Thai omelette cooked in plenty of vegetable oil in a very hot wok. The eggs are fortified by a good dash of fish sauce and the omelette is served on steamed jasmine rice with some Sriracha sauce to spice things up. When poured into the hot oil, the whisked eggs with fish sauce form bubbles that grow and the omelette puffs right up like a crazy magic trick, before settling down as it cooks into a thick, soft, fluffy golden-brown omelette.
Thai Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe for Fried Boiled Eggs with Sweet Tamarind Sauce
Our Thai son-in-law eggs recipe for kai look keuy makes golden-brown fried soft-boiled eggs with an ever-so-slightly crispy skin. They’re drizzled in a sweet and sour homemade tamarind sauce (although you could be very generous with the sauce and drown the things in it if you like) and sprinkled with fresh coriander (cilantro), spicy dried chillies, and crunchy fried shallots and crunchy fried garlic. A popular snack in Thailand, where they’re eaten with steamed rice, our Thai friends tell us they have fond memories of their mums and grandmas making these for them as an after-school snack when they were kids. These are a close cousin to the variety of Chinese eggs called ‘tiger skin eggs’ (虎皮蛋), cooked and fried with the same technique.
Kai Yat Say Thai Stuffed Eggs Recipe
At 7am in Bangkok the city is animated. And of course being Bangkok, a city where food plays such an integral part in the daily rhythms and rituals of life, the cooking, selling, buying, eating, and transporting of food is already well underway. For the food markets, the day began several hours earlier. For those heading off to the city’s office towers, thoughts of coffee stands and snacks are starting to formulate. The street hawkers whose trade is early morning to midday are well into their working day. This kai yat say Thai stuffed eggs recipe will make you an omelette stuffed with minced pork and vegetables – a breakfast dish that I used to make when we lived in Bangkok, inspired by the early morning street food dishes that were usually finished by mid-morning.
Thai Miang Kham Recipe
This Thai miang kham recipe makes the bite-sized wraps that are Thailand in a mouthful, an explosion of quintessential Southeast Asian flavours – sour lime, zingy ginger, crunchy peanuts, crispy shallots, smoky roasted coconut, savoury dried prawns, a kick of chilli, and a sweet yet funky caramelised sauce – wrapped in a wild piper or wild betel leaf. This easy Thai miang kham recipe will make you the kind of miang kham that you can buy from a vendor at a local market – miang kham is a street food snack after all – pre-packaged from a gourmet supermarket or as an appetiser at a casual Thai restaurant or upmarket café in Thailand’s capital.
Khao Tang Na Tang Rice Cakes with Chilli Prawn and Pork Dip Recipe
Our khao tang na tang rice cakes with chilli prawn and pork dip recipe makes a popular Thai dish of homemade crispy rice crackers used to scoop up this creamy, slightly sweet, a little salty, and gently-spiced dip. Found in both Thailand and Cambodia, many believe this snack was created to use up leftover rice, made into rice cakes. As with the Cambodian natang recipe that I make in our kitchen here in Siem Reap, this khao tang na tang rice cakes with chilli prawn and pork dip recipe makes for a very moreish snack.
Tasty Thai Nam Prik Ong Recipe
Once upon a time, when we travelled regularly and wrote on Thailand, this Northern Thai specialty was one of the first dishes we’d order at our favourite restaurants on trips to the old Lanna capital of Chiang Mai. This Thai nam prik ong is one of our favourite nam priks, which are a family of Thai condiments that embrace everything from dips and relishes to salsas and dipping sauces, served with fresh or steamed vegetables, and perhaps some sticky rice, which you roll between your fingers and dip into the bowl, and maybe some pork crackling. While some nam priks can be incredibly spicy, funky and pungent, this ground pork and tomato dip is the most approachable of the Thai relishes.
Thai Nam Prik Num Recipe
This Thai nam prik num recipe makes a smoky green chilli dip that’s one of the best known Northern Thai specialties – so much so that it’s often called Chiang Mai chilli relish. Made from local chillies, it’s grilled on a barbecue with garlic and shallots and typically served with crunchy pork crackling and sticky rice. We love this Thai nam prik num so much that whenever we used to travel to Thailand, immediately after checking into our hotel or apartment we’d head straight to one of our favourite spots to pick up a tub of the dip, a bag of pork crackling, some Chiang Mai sausage, and sticky rice to dip into the nam prik num. It’s another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes.
Thai Corn Fritters Recipe for Tod Man Khao Pod
Our Thai corn fritters recipe makes tod man khao pod in Thai – crunchy, chewy corn fritters that we gently spice with a little chilli paste. Eaten as a snack in Thailand and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, you could serve these Thai corn fritters as finger food or as an appetiser. They’re fantastic dipped into our homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce. If you made a batch of that, then you need to make this Thai corn fritters recipe next for tod man khao pod, as these delightfully crunchy, chewy corn fritters, seasoned with a little chilli paste, are perfect for dipping into that sweet chilli sauce. Bonus: these are also vegan corn fritters.
Fresh Herb Salad Recipe for Yum Chee from 100 Mahaseth Restaurant Bangkok
This fresh herb salad recipe makes a big fragrant bowl of Yum Chee from chef Chalee Kader’s 100 Mahaseth restaurant in Bangkok, and comes courtesy of the chef. While akin to a European-style green salad, it’s distinctly Southeast Asian in its sweet and sour flavours and zesty-ness. I had been hankering to make it since we first tasted it at the casual nose-to-tail eatery in hip Charenkroeung that is one of the Thai capital’s most sustainable restaurants, focused largely on food from Thailand’s Northeastern Isaan region. It’s a simple yet ingenious salad that uses the ingredients of the classic northern Southeast Asian dipping sauce found in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice – as the salad dressing.
Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad Recipe
This Thai grilled eggplant salad recipe makes a delightful dish of smoky pieces of creamy eggplant with sweet red shallots, aromatic mint, the umami of fish sauce, a sublime soft-boiled egg, and a kick of chilli. It’s best when the eggplant is straight from the grill or barbecue, and combined with the other ingredients just before serving. Light, fragrant and flavourful, it makes a fantastic side dish, one of an array of dishes if you’re cooking up a Thai feast, or a filling main course if you add a five-minute egg and a bowl of jasmine rice.
Geng Gari Gai Aromatic Chicken Curry Recipe
This old Southern Thailand geng gari gai aromatic chicken curry recipe is another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes. It “has a rich and delicious depth that only something rooted in the past can have,” according to Chef David Thompson. It’s a ‘foreign’ curry, according to Thompson, meaning that it was made using ingredients that fall outside the traditional, ‘indigenous’ Thai curry paste traditions. In other words, it uses lots of dry spices from Burma, India, Persia, and the Middle East that travelled to Thailand with traders. “Foreign curries, coming from the Muslim south or over the border from Burma, still have the hallmarks of their origins,” Chef Thompson explained.
Ajat Dtaeng Gwa Thai Cucumber Relish Recipe
This piquant ajat dtaeng gwa Thai cucumber relish recipe is the perfect accompaniment to geng gari gai. The first time I sampled the Southern Thailand dish geng gari gai or aromatic chicken curry, it was a revelation. It was not just the flavour of the salty, spicy, creamy, and rich dish, but how it was complimented by was what it was served with — ajat dtaeng gwa, Thai cucumber relish, and roti.
Making Thai Red Curry Paste and How To Use a Mortar and Pestle
So why should you make a Thai red curry paste, or any curry paste really, from scratch when there are sections of supermarket shelves full of pastes? Well, why make ragu bolognese when it comes in a can? The only reason to buy a pre-made paste is if you just cannot get all the ingredients and just have to have a Thai curry or you really don’t have the time. Don’t feel bad, they can taste okay, and we certainly know the feeling. If you have the ingredients, then why not just stick them in a food processor? Because food processors rip things apart, whereas a mortar and pestle pounds a paste until it comes together. The texture is different and the taste is different.
Beef Panang Curry Recipe
This Beef Panang Curry Recipe — a traditional Thai Phanaeng Nua recipe that often simply appears as a Penang Curry recipe in Thai cookbooks — comes courtesy of one of our favourite Thai chefs, Ian Kittichai. Named after the island of Penang in northern Malaysia, just over Thailand’s southern border, the curry paste for an authentic Thai Beef Panang curry usually has different ingredients to a Thai red curry. Most notably, less — if any — shrimp paste and often has the addition of nutmeg and peanuts, sometimes in the paste, but more commonly sprinkled over the dish. The dish is another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes and it is quite easy to make, so if you’ve made a batch of red curry paste, this is a great, fresh and lively mid-week curry to do.
Gaeng Hang Lay Moo Curry Recipe
Of all the curries in Thailand, this Northern Thai pork belly curry called Gaeng Hang Lay Moo must be the most decadent and moreish of all and it’s another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes. It’s a red curry on spice steroids and the extra kick and spice, as well as the richness of the pork belly, make this one of my favourite Thai curries. The geographic origin of Gaeng Hang Lay Moo — in its Thai form — is the northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai, beloved by Thais for its laidback atmosphere, arty vibe and spicy food. Like the best of the food from Northern Thailand, this dish packs an initial punch and lures you in after your taste buds have recovered from the first mouthful. Make a big batch, because it’s true that, like a Massaman curry, Gaeng Hang Lay Moo just tastes better on the second day.
Authentic Beef Massaman Curry Recipe
It’s the earthiness of Southern Thailand’s Beef Massaman curry that makes this the most moreish of all curries. There are different stories as to how this ‘foreign’ curry ended up a staple curry in the Thai cooking cannon. The most exotic story suggests it travelled from Persia to the Court of Ayutthaya in the sixteenth century. Another story goes that it was brought to southern Thailand by Arab or Indian traders. The use of popular Middle Eastern spices like cardamom and cloves is an indication of that ‘foreign’ influence, although in the present day recipes the use of Thai cardamom instead of Indian is preferred by most chefs because of its more subtle flavour. But let’s not forget that cardamom has long been a Cambodian specialty since way before the Thais (Tais) were in the region. Regardless of its origin, it’s another of our favourite spicy Thai recipes
Thai Mango Sticky Rice Recipe by Chef David Thompson
This Thai mango sticky rice recipe by chef David Thompson from his Thai Street Food cookbook makes the much-loved Thai dessert kao niaw mamuang. Despite the detailed recipe notes it’s nowhere near as intimidating as it looks and this jasmine scented sweet will take you back to eating on the streets of Thailand.
Thai Tea Ice Cream Recipe
Our Thai tea ice cream recipe makes the easiest no churn ice cream that you’ll ever make using just four ingredients: Thai tea mix, whipping cream, condensed milk, and salt. The flavour will take you right back to Thailand, but you can really use any flavour with this easy no churn ice cream recipe. If you’ve been to Thailand and you tried the bright orange Thai iced tea at a coffee shop or local restaurant and you loved it, then you are going to love this Thai tea ice cream.
Please do let us know if you make any of our spicy Thai recipes as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.