If you are one of those people that cannot handle spicy food, then living or traveling in Thailand can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
After all, authentic Thai food is known as being some of the spiciest food in the world. Especially if you are in southern Thailand where they really throw in the hottest chilies they can find.
That being said, there is plenty of non-spicy Thai food you can eat. Food that will still give you the ‘authentic Thai food’ experience you crave.
In fact, these non-spicy Thai dishes are available in tens of thousands of restaurants and at boatloads of food stalls all over the kingdom. Most of them are dirt cheap as well.
Basically, Khao Pat is nothing more complicated than fried rice that is stir-fried with egg, garlic, spring onions, and chicken broth. You can then add pork, beef or shrimp depending on what you prefer. It is usually served with cucumber slices and a lime wedge.
It will often come with a side dish of Prik Naam Pla, which is fish sauce with spicy chilies, as well just in case you do want it spicier.
You can order Khao Pat at most Thai restaurants and many food stalls, and the things I love about it other than the taste is that it is very filling and it is always cooked fresh while you wait.
Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew is another simple Thai dish that won’t blow your head off when you take a bite.
In most restaurants and food stalls, it is also made from just a few ingredients. Namely an egg, rice noodles, Kai Lan or Chinese broccoli (it doesn’t look remotely like western broccoli), garlic cloves and chicken. Everything is stir-fried in a sauce made of soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and sugar and then served. Yum!
Moo Ping, or grilled pork skewers, is just marinated pork on a stick that is barbecued and then served with either a spicy chili sauce for dipping or you can just eat it the traditional Thai way with some sticky rice.
Delicious, and it will always be cooked as you watch, so it is fresh every time.
Thai sausages are an excellent snack or a meal, if you don’t want anything spicy.
Most are made with very mild spices at best, and are cooked over a barbecue flame while you watch then served in a plastic bag with a side of raw cabbage and a mild dipping sauce. Eat with some sticky rice and you have a full meal.
I love the spiciest food on the planet yet Rad Na, which is not remotely spicy, is still one of my favorite non-spicy Thai dishes.
Ra Nad is another noodle dish similar to Pad See Ew that is made with thick rice noodles, mushrooms, garlic, beef, pork, chicken or shrimp. The whole lot is then covered in a thick gravy made from chicken stock and cornstarch and cooked.
Once served, Thais will usually add fish sauce, sugar and chilies. Avoid the chilies if you don’t want any spice.
Of course, the most famous Thai dish, Pad Thai, is not spicy either.
Another noodle dish, Pad Thai is rice noodles stir-fried with egg, peanuts, and tofu. Dried shrimp, tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, palm sugar and spring onions are also added. Some stalls will also add red pepper (but the dish is not remotely spicy). When ready, Pad Thai is served with a topping of fresh bean sprouts, a side of more spring onions and a couple of slices of lime to squeeze over it.
Khao Man Gai
Chicken cooked in chicken broth and oil, then served over a bed of garlic rice with cucumber slices and a side of chicken broth. To me, Khao Man Gai is one of the most satisfying non-spicy Thai dishes as it fills you up, but still seems quite ‘light’ as you eat it.
It is also easy to find while you are out on the street, as you will often see food stalls selling Khao Man Gai with whole chickens hanging on hooks in a glass case. This is how they show you what they cook.
How to extinguish the flames
Oh and by the way, if you are in Thailand and accidentally eat something extra spicy, do not rush for the cold water as it will literally do nothing to extinguish the fire now roaring in your mouth.
Instead, order a ‘Cha Yen’, or better still order one first so you always have it on hand. Cha Yen is Thai iced tea made with condensed milk, and it is the milk that will sooth the spice.