Why Is Thai Food So Popular? 9 Reasons

We all know that Thai food is delicious. But why is Thai food so popular? It’s a question many people ask themselves, and one we’re going to answer today.

There are a variety of reasons: from the way the food tastes to how healthy it can be for you, there are plenty of reasons to love Thai cuisine!

Let’s look at 9 reasons why Thai food is so popular.

1. Thai food is Multicultural

With a diverse population, Thai food has been influenced by many different cultures such as:

  • Chinese
  • Indian
  • Southeast Asia

The main influences on the culinary side are from India (chili peppers), China (vegetables), and Southeast Asia in general (rice).

So in other words one dish can contain elements from more than one culture, no wonder Thai food is loved by many.

Even though Thai food is influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisine, Thailand has its own original dishes like green curry and Massaman beef stew to name a few.

2. Four Pillars Of Thai Flavors

Thai cuisine is popular in many countries because of its diverse and delicious flavors.

They have four pillars that make up their cuisine: salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. The combination of the flavors is what makes it so great!

Salty flavor comes from their use of fish sauce and shrimp paste. Fish sauces are a pungent liquid made by fermenting anchovies or other small fish in salt for months.

Shrimp pastes are made by grinding dried shrimps into a thick paste that’s similar to the consistency of peanut butter.

Sweet flavors come from fruits like tamarinds, pineapple, and mango. You’ll also find sweet coconut milk in most Thai dishes as well as sugar which is often used to balance out the heat of chilies.

Sour flavors come from lime juice, lemongrass paste, or vinegar.

Spicy flavors come from chili peppers and spicy sauces like Sriracha.

3. Thai Food Is Low In Fat

Another reason why Thai food is so popular is that it is low in fat, which is due to a perfect balance of vegetables, spices and herbs.

Is Thai food healthy or unhealthy? It’s Healthy but certain dishes lack healthy ingredients like refined carbs and deep-fried food.

However traditional Thai food has a reputation for being nutritious and largely consisting of vegetables, lean proteins, fresh herbs, and spices.

So Thai food is not only delicious but it is low in fat and healthy, well, not deep-fried dishes. lol

Thai sauces are perfect if you’re looking to avoid oil while still enjoying the flavor, and many dishes are gluten-free! It can also be low in calories when eaten without rice or noodles. And did I mention it tastes amazing?

4. Thai Food Costs Less

You might think that Thai food is not the cheapest cuisine to cook at home but when you start thinking of all the spices and ingredients that go into making a dish, it’s not that expensive.

It is very likely you will already have the majority of the ingredients needed for Thai cooking in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for a healthy, low-calorie meal with plenty of flavor and nutrition to fill up your stomach without costing the earth, then Thai food is perfect!

If you are new to Thai food then all you need are some basic ingredients to get you started such as:

  • Curry paste
  • Vegetables
  • Spices
  • Chicken

The great thing about cooking Thai food at home is that you can make something both delicious AND nutritious by using fresh ingredients like cilantro, ginger root, lime juice or lemongrass – all staples in any well-stocked pantry.

You’ll also find tons of gluten-free sauces and marinades as well as recipes that are high on protein while still being low in fat and light on the wallet.

5. Thai Food Is Great For Sharing

One of the reasons Thai food is so popular is because it’s a cuisine that anyone can enjoy, regardless of cultural background.

It’s also easy to adapt dishes for those with dietary restrictions like gluten-free or vegetarian diets.

Thai food culture is characterized by communal dishes shared between friends and family, which makes this popular cuisine both refined and delicate.

Sharing with friends and family is a big part of the experience.

This is why Thai food has become popular across cultures and generations. It’s easy for anyone to share in the joy of this cuisine, no matter what your cultural background.

Thai food is great for sharing!

6. Thai Food Includes The Best Of Everything

There are five major categories of dishes that make up Thai food:

  1. Rice
  2. Soup
  3. Noodles
  4. Vegetables
  5. Meat

Thai rice is known for its fragrance, which is the result of a variety of cooking techniques that often involve steaming and simmering.

Thai soups are usually clear or light in color with delicate broths made from fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, ginger root, and kaffir lime leaves.

Thai noodles dishes include Pad Thai, a dish which is made from rice noodles mixed with eggs and stir-fried in a sauce of tamarind pulp, dried shrimp, garlic cloves, and bean sprouts.

Thai vegetable dishes are typically served as part of the main meal rather than as an appetizer or side dish. Vegetables include bamboo shoots, eggplant, water chestnut, lotus root, etc.

Thai meat dishes include chicken, beef, and duck.  Chicken is the most popular meat of choice, plus it’s cheap.

A typical meal would consist of rice or noodles with various toppings that include vegetables and meat.

If you’re a vegetarian or not, you will definitely find a dish that you will fall in love with.

7. Lots Of Thai Restaurants

Since Thai food has grown in popularity across the world, it is common to find Thai restaurants near you.

Thai food is an international cuisine that’s become popular because it has such great flavor, wonderful seasoning, and mouth-watering presentation.

One of the most notable reasons for Thai food’s popularity is how it’s typically served. Most Thai restaurants offer an infinite number of dishes at a single price (buffet).

The food is served in small portions, so you can try many dishes and flavors without overeating or overspending.

In addition to the large variety of tasty foods offered at restaurants, it’s also a cultural experience that brings family members together.

8. Thai Food Is Great For Vegetarians

If you’re a vegetarian, Thai food is perfect for you.

There are many dishes that do not contain any meat or fish products, such as tofu dishes and noodle soups.

Don’t worry, the dishes will still be bursting with flavor and spice.

The Thai people are accustomed to cooking without meat products because they have more than 50 different types of seasonings that make a dish taste great.

Some popular dishes on most vegetarian menus include:

  • Thai Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Curry
  • Peanut sauce noodles
  • Baked Tofu in Thai Peanut Sauce (I love peanut sauce lol )
  • Mango salad, to name a few.

It’s easy for vegetarians to find something at a Thai restaurant!

Many restaurants also offer brown rice as an option which is much healthier than white rice or fried food options.

9. Amazing Thai Desserts

If you have a sweet tooth as I do then Thai desserts are for you.

They are full of mouthwatering flavors that will send your taste buds crazy.

One of the most popular desserts in Thailand is Thai Coconut Milk Sticky Rice also known as Khao Niaow Ma.

It is also known as a “sweet rice” because it has a different texture than regular white sticky rice and its natural color is brownish-yellow. The dish consists of steamed glutinous (sticky) rice mixed with coconut milk, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves.

some other popular desserts include:

  • Mango with coconut cream or ice cream
  • Sticky Rice and Black Sesame Dessert 
  • Banana Custard Pudding
  • Pineapple Fried Rice Cake

Are Thai desserts easy to cook at home? Yes! Thai desserts are easy to make at home. You can find all the ingredients you need at your store. At first, they might seem hard to make, but with a little practice, it becomes easier.

Final Thoughts

Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. It combines four pillars of flavors (salty, sweet, sour, and spicy) that make it a favorite among people all over the globe.

From the multi-cultural dish to its low-fat content, there’s something for everyone!

What makes Thai food even better is that it covers five key areas that include rice, soup, noodles, vegetables, and meat

If you’re looking for an affordable and delicious meal to cook at home then I highly recommend you give Thai food a try.

Why is Thai food so popular? I hope this article has answered your question and has inspired you to try some Thai food.

If you are new to Thai food let us know in the comments which dish you plan to try first.

Let’s share and learn together!

Happy Cooking!

Zac & Terri Signature

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