Before I jump to the list of Thai food that is not spicy, it’s good to know how you can order regular spicy food without chillies. In order to do so, I’ll give you a few phrases that will help you order non-spicy versions at any restaurant in Thailand:
“Phet” means Spicy
“Mai Phet” means Not Spicy
“Phet Nit Noi” means A Little Spicy
The best Thai food that is not spicy are:
Phoo Pad Phong Karee - Crab In Curry Powder
Often one of the more expensive Thai dishes on the menu, at Thai seafood restaurants this popular seafood dish is one of the Thai curries that are not spicy at all. In general, seafood dishes are not that spicy as the spiciness completely masks the flavour of the seafood itself, although seafood dishes are often served with spicy dipping sauces, to satisfy the local's flavour palate. Crab in curry powder is a bit of a sweet curry that has a unique flavour thanks to the crab. Personally, I prefer the crab meat in curry powder as you don’t have to peel the crab yourself and only devour the chunks of crab meat. This Thai dish can be found at almost every Thai seafood restaurant throughout the country.
Crab in Curry Powder
Hoy Tod - Oyster Omelette
Hoy Tod is a greasy oyster omelette which has flavour-wise a bit in common with Pad Thai. There are two versions of hoy tod available, and the difference is in the batter they use when stir-frying this omelette. One version is more spongy which is called (Or Suan), while the most popular version is a crispy fried omelette, known as Hoy Tod. Usually, the hoy tod is served with oysters, but mussels and squid rings are common too. The omelette is served with sweet chilli dipping sauce. If you are planning to visit Bangkok, make sure to visit one of the restaurants listed in our article about the best Hoy Tod in Bangkok.
Mookata - Thai Hotpot Barbecue
Mookata is a Thai barbecue with the combination of hot pot and barbecue and is not really a Thai dish, but a culinary activity. While you grill the slices of pork and beef on top the grill together with the variety of seafood, you boil the vegetables in the hot pot. The juices of the meat drop into your broth and get more flavour by the minute. As Mookata often is a buffet, you can stuff yourself until you are completely full. There are spicy dipping sauces that Thai use to get their daily dose of chillies, but there are also non-spicy sauces to dip the meat and vegetables in. Mookata can be found at special Mookata restaurants throughout Thailand.
Mookata, Thai Hot Pot
Kuay Teow Ruea - Boat Noodles
Boat Noodles are small portions of aromatic noodles which are often extremely cheap. The history behind boat noodles is that the noodles were served from canoes at the waters of Bangkok and Ayutthaya. As the vendors had to cook, serve and receive payment while sitting in a small boat, the bowls had to be small. Nowadays the boat noodles are not served from canoes but at restaurants of specialized in boat noodles. In Bangkok for example, there is a famous boat noodles alley where you can find these delicious, non-spicy bowls of deliciousness for 15 THB per bowl. For other types of noodles, check out our article about the best noodles in Bangkok and the best noodles in Chiang Mai, although some of these noodles are in fact spicy.
Thai Boat Noodles
Moo Grob - Crispy Pork / Khao Moo Grob - Crispy Pork with Sweet Gravy
Moo Grob, also known as Crispy Pork is baked out pork belly that’s baked super crunchy on the outside and is often nicely tender on the inside. This non-spicy Thai dish is served with a sweet soy sauce and perfectly safe to eat as a foreigner. Usually, you find this popular Thai dish at specialist restaurants where they serve Khao Moo Grob as well. Khao Moo Grob is a plate of rice and crispy pork covered in a sweet gravy and served with an egg. If you are planning to visit Bangkok, check out our article about the best crispy pork in Bangkok.
Moo Grob - Crispy Pork with Rice covered in a Sweet Gravy
Pla Ka-Pong Tod Mam Pla - Fried Sea Bass with Sweet Fish Sauce
One of the most popular seafood dishes in Thai Cuisine is Pla Ka-Pong Tod Mam Pla, which is deep-fried sea bass with fish sauce. Throughout Thailand, in most seafood restaurants, you can find this delicious treat. The sea bass is often simply sliced open and deep-fried, but if you are lucky, the sea bass is fileted first, then the chunks are deep-fried and finally served as a whole. The difference is that the fileted sea bass has no fish bones in it, and the sliced bits are even more crunchy than the fish deep-fried as a whole. Pla Ka-Pong Tod Mam Pla is not spicy at all and is perfectly safe for foreigners who want to try Thai seafood.
Fileted Deep-Fried Sea Bass
Kai Med Ma Muang - Chicken with Cashew Nut
One of the more popular Thai dishes among tourists is Chicken with Cashew Nut, a hearty and slightly sweet treat. The chicken is stir-fried is seasoned with oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and a gentle amount of chillies, which does not make this Thai dish flaming hot. At some restaurants, they serve the chunks of chicken with a thin layer of batter, which makes it even more delicious.
Chicken with Cashew Nut
The most common Thai dish that is not spicy at all is Pad Thai. This hugely popular international dish does not need further explanation, however, it’s not as popular among locals as you might think. Yes, Thai still eat their Pad Thai, but dishes like Pad Kra Pao, which is often packed with chillies, are immensely popular and are often eaten on a daily base. One final note, Pad Thai in restaurants is served with peanuts, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and chilli flakes on the side, the equivalent of seasoning Western food with salt and pepper. If you’d like to get used to some more spiciness, you can add bits of chilly flakes to your pad Thai. This is also common with Thai noodle (soup) dishes. If you are planning to visit Bangkok, make sure to grab a pad Thai in one of the restaurants listed in our article about the best Pad Thai in Bangkok and where to find it.
Kai Yang - Grilled Chicken
Popular in the Northeastern Thai region, also known as Isaan, is grilled meats combining with spicy and sour salads such as Yum or Som Tum (Papaya Salad). One of these popular grilled meats is Kai Yang, which is grilled chicken with a nice charcoal flavour. The grilled chicken is served with jaew-sauce, a slightly spicy and sour thin dipping sauce, which does not put your tongue on fire. I would recommend you to order Kai Yang with sticky rice and…Som Tum Thai, which is a Thai papaya salad. Now, in most restaurants, whenever the waiter sees a foreigner, they will ask if you want it spicy or not. As mentioned in the first part of this article, you can simply order the som tam without “spicy”, by saying “Mai Phet”. This way, you can still experience on your own why this is such a good combination without eating spicy Thai food. A famous restaurant that serves incredibly delicious grilled chicken is SP Chicken.
The Thai cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighbour countries back when there were several kingdoms in this region and the borders we know currently know did not exist. Satay, one of Malaysia's signature dish, is a good example of this as, throughout Thailand, you can find satay basically everywhere. Thin non-spicy skewers grilled on a charcoal barbecue served with peanut sauce, slices of bread and a pickle of cucumber and red onion.
Pla Pao - Grilled Fish In Salt Crust
Pla Pao is a popular street seafood dish in Thailand, which can be also served in Thai restaurants. It’s a salt-crusted grilled fish that, because of the way of preparing, is beautifully moist in the centre. The salt-crusted fish is served with lettuce and cabbage leaves to make wraps with chunks of white fish, herbs, rice noodles and a garlicky-spiced dipping sauce. Now, the sauce can be a bit spicy, but when you use just a little bit of sauce, the amount of spiciness is limited to a minimum. Pla Pao is also a popular dish as the fish that is being used is a special type of fish introduced by Thai King Rama IX to fed the whole country.
Grilled Fish in Salt Crust
Khao Pad (Sapparot) - (Pineapple) Fried Rice
Probably the most-ordered dish after Pad Thai among foreigners when it comes to non-spicy Thai food is Khao Pad, or fried rice. Although I personally believe this dish can be a bit boring to eat several times during your holiday, I can’t deny it’s a popular and even a tasty dish. With this article, I’m trying to let you experience Thai cuisine to the fullest during your trip, even when you don’t like spicy Thai food. With that being said, the garlicky fried rice often served with shrimps can be found in every Thai restaurant. For sweeter tones to your meal, the Pineapple Fried Rice is a tasty alternative.
Pineapple Fried Rice
Ruay Goong Pao - Grilled Prawns
Many Thai seafood restaurants have gigantic jumbo prawns on their menu. These enormous creatures are often grilled above the charcoal after they are sliced in half, also known as Ruay Goong Pao. Don’t compare the Thai-way grilled prawns with Western restaurants, as the prawns are not cooked to perfection, but are packed with smokiness and cooked out brains which are the tastiest part of the prawn. Ruay Goong Pao is often served with Thai seafood dipping sauce, which is spicy, so be careful. If you are planning to visit Ayutthaya, you can find several restaurants that serve this delicious delicacy as this is Ayutthaya’s speciality. In our article about what food to eat in Ayutthaya, you can find the most recommended restaurants that serve Ruay Goong Pao.
Grilled Prawns with Seafood Sauce. The sauce is spicy though, so be gentle or avoid.
Pad See Ew - Thai Fried Noodles
Pad See Ew has many similarities with Pad Thai, but is in my opinion much tastier as it has much more hearty, stir-fry taste and is more garlicky and salty than Pad Thai. Another big difference with Pad Thai is that Pad See Ew is made with wide rice noodles and the so-called vegetable Pad Kana. Do yourself a favour next time when you are planning to order Pad Thai and order Pad See Ew instead!
Pad See Ew, Stir-Fried Noodles.
Miang Kum is a traditional Thai appetizer which literally means one bite hap. The idea behind this great appetizer is to wrap the ingredients shallots, ginger, garlic, lime, roasted coconut, unsalted peanuts and dries shrimps up in beetle leaves, dip it in a sweetened dipping sauce and them completely in one bite. There is one ingredient that is purposely forgotten and that is chilli. You can add chillies on your own preferences to each wrap, but you can also leave it without. This traditional non-spicy dish is a little bit hard to find compared to other non-spicy dishes listed in this article, though. If you are planning to visit Kanchanaburi, make sure to stop by Blue Rice Restaurant, as they serve amazing Miang Kum with homegrown ingredients.
Miang Kum, avoid the chillies to keep it non-spicy.
Moo Tod Dad Daew - Deep-Fried Sun-Dried Pork
Hugely popular among locals, but barely ordered by tourists is this Thai dish called Moo Tod Dad Daew. Before the strings of pork are deep-fried, the pork is sun-dried first for several hours, which gives it a sticky texture. Then, the pork gets shortly deep-fried, giving it the outside of the pork a crunchy layer. The pork itself is only seasoned with black pepper, garlic and salt, meaning that there are no chillies involved. The pork is served with a sweet chilli sauce. If you have to option to order sticky rice with it, I would highly suggest doing so as this is the classic way to eat Moo Tod Dad Daew. If it’s not available, steamed white rice will do fine too.
Deep-fried & sun-dried pork with a sweet chilli sauce.
Forget ordering Penang, Green or Red curry when you want to avoid spicy Thai food. Luckily, there is an alternative when you want to explore a non-spicy Thai curry, namely Massaman Curry. Adopted from Malaysia, Thai crafted there own creamy version which is usually served with beef or chicken. The use of star anise, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves are not that common in the Thai cuisine, making the massaman curry almost a one-of-a-kind curry in the Thai cuisine. If you are planning to visit Chiang Mai, make sure to stop by Pakorn's Kitchen, as their Massaman Curry is out of this world! For other curries, check out articles about the best curries in Chiang Mai and the best curries in Bangkok, although many curries that are listed in these articles are in fact spicy.
Slightly spicy Thai dishes
The following dishes are not chilli-free and therefore slight spicy. However, I believe that these dishes are still very suitable for the Western taste palate.
Tom Ka Kai
One of the most popular Thai soups is Tom Yum Goong, a spicy and sour soup served with large freshwater prawns. But as this article is about Thai food that is not spicy, I would recommend you trying the Tom Ka Kai. There are many similarities between Tom Yum Goong and Tom Ka Kai, but the biggest difference is that the Tom Ka Kai is a coconut-milk-based soup that will help reduce the hotness of the soup and is, therefore, more accessible for foreigners. Also, Tom Ka Kai is served with Kai (Chicken) and not Goong (Prawn). I will admit that Tom Ka Kai can still be just a bit spicy for the Western taste palate but compared to the Tom Yum Goong, the soup can be seen as mildly spicy.
Tom Ka Kai
Pla Kapong Neung Manao - Steamed White Snapper in Garlic and Lime Soup
Another amazing Thai seafood dish is the Pla Kapong Neung Manao, which is a steamed white snapper bathing in a soup packed with herbs, garlic, lime and…chili. Yes, I admit, this is a dish with chilli, which you obviously can order without, but the chilli itself only makes the soup, in which the fish is bathing in, a bit spicier. Also, the longer let the soup boil with the chillies in it, the spicier it gets. So you order without chillies or pour soup in your bowl the minute this dish is served as the chillies are added right before serving. In the end, Pla Kapong Neung Manao is a deliciously tender white fish with even better herby soup and the snapper itself is not spicy at all.
Steamed Snapper In Garlic & Lime Soup.
Som Tum Tod - Deep-Fried Papaya Salad
Thailands most popular salad is Som Tum, also known as Papaya Salad and is famed for its balance of saltiness, sweetness, sourness and spiciness, the four elements that define the Thai cuisine. In general, Som Tum is really spicy, even when you add only one chilli. As mentioned earlier, you can order Som Tum without any chillies, but there is also another solution: order Deep-Fried Papaya Salad. The thinly sliced papaya strings are deep-fried and to maintain crispiness, the sweet and sour dressing is served separately. By pouring the dressing over the deep-fried papaya, the batter absorbs the dressing evenly and each bit is so much less spicy than a regular Som Tum, which is completely covered in a spicy dressing. In contrary to regular Som Tum, Deep-Fried Papaya Salad is a bit more difficult to find.
Deep-Fried Papaya Salad
Interested in more Thai food? We've published an in-depth article about Bangkok Street Food that covers every aspect regarding this popular topic. The article is partly focussed on Bangkok but contains plenty of general information about street food in Thailand. If you're planning to visit Thailand, it's an absolute must to have a look at our street food guide (completely free). Or check our article about the best food in Bangkok.
There you have it, the best Thai food that is not spicy. You can find all these non-spicy Thai dishes in our food app called TopTravelFoods. Instead of recommending good restaurants, we recommend the best food these restaurants have to offer. For example, if you are looking for the best seafood in Thailand, you can find it via our app and navigate straight to it. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is completely free. You can also start exploring delicious Thai food on our website in cities such as Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Pattaya, Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya.
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