Vegan and vegetarian

in Thailand

Dishes and drinks you have to try!

The best vegan and vegetarian food in Thailand

If you ask travelers about their favourite food, Thai cuisine is usually at the top of the list. 

When we arrived in Bangkok, however, our first impression of Thai food was initially disappointing: most of the street food we had been looking forward to so much contained either meat, fish or egg. At first, we found it difficult to find authentic vegetarian and even more so vegan food. Over time, however, we understood which dishes were vegan and how to find vegan food everywhere. Sometimes there are even purely vegan restaurants!

And when you arrive on one of the more touristy islands you will find a vegan version of almost every dish with tofu and lots of fresh vegetables.

So that you can really enjoy the variety of dishes and the food paradise that is Thailand, I have listed typical vegetarian dishes, dishes that you can order with tofu, dishes that are completely vegan (especially desserts) and tips on how you can veganize authentic Thai dishes.

Ps: You should be aware of one thing: The fact that most dishes contain a hint of fish sauce instead of soy sauce is part of Thailand's cuisine. You can rarely taste it, as it simply tastes slightly salty. If you are strictly vegan, you can ask them to replace the fish sauce with soy sauce. Or you can look out for special vegan restaurants.

Main Dishes

Main Dishes

Pad Thai

The national dish Pad Thai is always a good idea! A good Pad Thai should have a beautiful orange-red color due to the mixture of tamarind paste and fish- or soy sauce and at the same time taste somewhat sweet-sour and savory. In addition to rice noodles, tofu, spring onions, bean sprouts, ground peanuts and a piece of lime, which you can squeeze over the Pad Thai, should not be missing on the plate. On the tables you will find a selection of different soy, vinegar and chili sauces, with which you can refine your Pad Thai according to your wishes. Since Pad Thai is usually fried with an egg, you should make sure to tell the cook to leave the egg out of the dish, if you want to enjoy your meal vegan. Sometimes the Pad Thai is also prepared with shrimp, which you can also look out for.

Wollt ihr Pad Thai in einer veganen Variante nachkochen, könnt ihr gerne mein oben verlinktes, lange perfektioniertes, Rezept ausprobieren.

Pad See EW

Unlike Pad Thai, this version of the noodle dish is cooked with thicker, wider rice noodles. In addition, the sauce does not contain tamarind or fish sauce, but is based on a soy sauce - which is why the dish should even be completely vegan (if you cancel the egg). In addition, you will find green vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli or beans in this dish.

Stir Fried Red Curry with Tofu

Main Dishes

Stir Fried Red Curry

Stir Fried Red Curry is unlike other curries not cooked in coconut milk, but fried. Tofu, various vegetables and curry paste are sautéed with a good portion of oil and served with a portion of rice. I found it super tasty and a perfect change from the usual, more liquid Thai curries. As a garnish, cucumber slices should not be missing, whose freshness harmonizes perfectly with the spicy dish.

Main Dishes

Fried Rice

Whether classic, with curry flavor or as a sweet variant - this simple dish can be found in Thailand in many different variations.

The classic Fried Rice is fried with egg and vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and onions. You can refine the dish with lime juice, chili sauce or soy sauce. If you would like to have the vegan version, it is best to order the egg directly.

A great idea to pimp this simple dish is the Curry Fried Rice: Whether Green Curry, Massaman Curry or Panang Curry - every curry in Thailand can be used to fry it with rice. The curry paste contains so much flavor that a whole new, super delicious dish is created.

Finally, there is the sweet version of fried rice, the Pineapple Fried Rice. In addition to rice, pineapple, cashews, tofu and vegetables, even raisins are fried.

Main Dishes

Massaman Curry

Massaman curry comes from the south of Thailand. This curry tastes strong and almost Indian, as it contains potatoes, onions and roasted peanuts as well as cinnamon and cloves. Unlike the other, more fresh-tasting curries, the Massaman Curry does not contain Thai basil and kafir lime leaves, which also contributes to the hearty and wholehearted taste.  

Main Dishes

Panang Curry

This reddish-brown curry is especially well known in southern Thai cuisine. In addition to tofu, vegetables and chili, it contains ground peanuts, which makes the dish slightly sweet and hearty taste. Thai basil should also not be missing, which contributes to a fresh taste at the same time. 

Main Dishes

Green Curry

Green curry is probably the most refreshing curry you can find in Thailand. It is served very liquid, sometimes it is even served as a soup, for example with vegetables, tofu and rice noodles. The greenish color comes from the green chilies used in the curry paste. Besides green vegetables, a lot of Thai basil, kafir lime leaves and lime juice are used, which explains the fresh taste.

 

Cook at home

Thaicurry with marinated Tofu

Main Dishes

Stir Fried Cashew Nuts

For this rather mild dish, many vegetables and tofu are sautéed with cashews and a somewhat sweet sauce. Besides all the dishes with peanuts, the crunchy cashews are a nice alternative and fit great!

Main Dishes

Som Tam (Papaya salad)

Besides papaya, Som Tam consists of tomatoes, carrots, chilies, peanuts, lime juice and sugar. Even though the dish is sometimes sold as so sweet that the word salad no longer seems quite appropriate, the dish is super refreshing.

Main Dishes

Stir Fried Basil Tofu

As the name suggests, this dish consists of lots of tofu and Thai basil. Both are sautéed in a strong sauce with vegetables. It goes well with a portion of rice as a side dish to balance out the salty dish.

Main Dishes

Stir Fried Eggplant with Tofu

Eggplant is THE vegetable in Thailand - you will find it in almost every dish. Thai eggplant, unlike the usual purple eggplant, tastes less sweet and is reminiscent of a mixture of eggplant and zucchini, both in taste and appearance. Of course, an entire dish is dedicated to this vegetable. For this, eggplant is sautéed with tofu, chili, garlic, soy sauce and lots of Thai basil with a good dash of oil. It goes well with a portion of rice, with which you can soak up the oily-hot sauce.

Khao Soi Vegan

Main Dishes

Khao Soi

This strong spicy noodle soup comes from the north of Thailand. Because of the egg noodles used, it is merely vegetarian. Besides noodles, the soup consists of lots of coconut milk, vegetables, cilantro, spices and tofu (actually meat, but in more touristy regions you can find it with tofu). There are also a few crispy noodles on the side, which can be used as a topping and provide the necessary crunchiness. 

P1040652

Main Dishes

Tom Yum / Tom Yam

Tom Yum can usually only be found with fish - fortunately, in Koh Phangan, the soup was also available with tofu on various menus. Tom Yum is super refreshing and spicy, as it consists of lots of lime juice, lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, galangal, tomatoes and fresh vegetables. The basis of the soup is a broth, sometimes it is prepared slightly modified with a little coconut milk.

Tom Kha

Main Dishes

Tom Kha

Tom Kha is a mild creamy coconut milk soup with vegetables and tofu. It is less spicy than Tom Yum and is characterized mainly by the coconut milk base.

Tofu Larb

Main Dishes

Tofu Larb

This cold dish is made with tofu, red onions, chilies, cilantro, Thai basil, and plenty of lime juice, which gives it its sour taste. In addition to tofu, the same dish is also available with mushrooms. Tastes wonderful with papaya salad and a portion of rice. 

Sweets and Dessert

Süßes & Dessert

Mango Sticky Rice

Probably the most famous (and entirely vegan) dessert in Thailand is the Mango Sticky Rice. The mangoes in Thailand are so sweet and tender that they really melt in your mouth, plus the sticky rice, a creamy sauce made from coconut and crunchy mung beans as a topping - damn delicious and addictive! 

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SÜSSES & DESSERt

Kluay Buad Chee

A sweet soup for dessert?! Boiled banana in coconut milk - a delicious, vegan dessert can be so simple. The sweet banana and the greasy coconut milk just go great together!

SÜSSES & DESSERt

Khanom Krok 

These little vegan pancakes consist of only 3 ingredients: Coconut milk, sugar and rice flour. As a topping you can choose chocolate or fruit sauce. You can find them at all street food markets.

SÜSSES & DESSERt

Coconut Icecream

This creamy, vegan coconut ice cream is served pretty in a half coconut shell. Since the ice cream is made only from coconut milk and sugar, it is completely vegan and reminiscent of Raffaello ice cream.

SÜSSES & DESSERt

Thai Pancake

Thai Pancake, or also known as Banana Roti, is a thin pancake batter filled with, for example, banana slices, mango pieces or chocolate, folded into a square and fried until crispy on both sides. Finally, the pancake is cut into small bite-sized pieces and spread with a sweet condensed milk, chocolate or peanut butter. In any case, a greasy-sweet affair!

SÜSSES & DESSERt

Roti Tob

Finally, I would like to introduce you to my absolute favorite dessert from Thailand, which I discovered at the night market in Koh Phangan! Even if it is 'only' vegetarian, you should not miss it! First, a paper-thin pancake batter (roti) is rolled into a snail and fried in lots and lots of butter. This pancake is then cut into bite-sized pieces and topped with a sweet condesmilk - pure indulgence for just 20 bht / 0,56 €.

Drinks

Drinks

Thai Milk Tea

Sweet, milky, orange - Thai Tea is not only part of Bangkok's cityscape, but all of Thailand! Whether to go at small street food stalls or in cafes, the tea is really sold everywhere. The tea is mixed with sweetened condensed milk and spices like cardamom, star anise and tamarind, which gives the tea its orange color. It's best to order it with ice cubes, then it's especially refreshing. Unfortunately, even in cafes it is usually served in plastic packaging. If you want to avoid this, you must either explicitly ask for a glass, or take your own to go cup.

Thai Tea Vegan - here you'll find vegan options

- Everyday Bistro in Bangkok: here you can order Thai tea even with soy milk at no extra charge (55 bht / 1,53 €), oat and almond milk extra 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

- Uncle Café Koh Phangan: Almond and coconut milk cost only 5 bht / 0,14 € extra and the view is simply unbeatable.

- Indigo Specialty Coffee & Bakery Koh Phangan: Not the cheapest coffee shop, but perfect for air-conditioned work on the laptop. Oat, almond, soy, and coconut milk cost about 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

Drinks

Thai Green Tea

Besides orange Thai tea, green tea is also popular in Thailand. This is also served as sweet, milky and with ice cubes as possible. 

Green Tea Vegan - here you'll find vegan options

- Everyday Bistro in Bangkok: here you can order Thai tea even with soy milk at no extra charge (55 bht / 1,53 €), oat and almond milk extra 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

- Uncle Café Koh Phangan: Almond and coconut milk cost only 5 bht / 0,14 € extra and the view is simply unbeatable.

- Indigo Specialty Coffee & Bakery Koh Phangan: Not the cheapest coffee shop, but perfect for air-conditioned work on the laptop. Oat, almond, soy, and coconut milk cost about 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

Drinks

Thai Coffee

In Asia, every country has its own coffee specialties. This sugary sweet Thai Coffee is the perfect drink to get an energy boost in the afternoon heat. You can order it warm or with ice cubes, although in my opinion it is only really refreshing ice cold! The Thai Coffee consists of instant coffee powder and normal and a very thick sweetened condensed milk - which makes the coffee really sweet and creamy. Unfortunately, you get this drink mostly in plastic packaging, to ask for a glass is worthwhile despite, see proof above 😉

Thai Coffee Vegan - here you'll find vegan options

- Everyday Bistro in Bangkok: here you can order Thai coffee even with soy milk at no extra charge (55 bht / 1,53 €), oat and almond milk extra 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

- Indigo Specialty Coffee & Bakery Koh Phangan: Not the cheapest coffee shop, but perfect for air-conditioned work on the laptop. Oat, almond, soy, and coconut milk cost about 20 bht / 0,56 € extra.

Drinks

In the tropics, juices are naturally part of a good meal! Especially on the islands you will find all kinds of creations of freshly squeezed juices or smoothies. We found the juice especially cheap in Koh Phangan at the Pantip Nightmarket: for only 40 bht / 1,11 € you can really get all the juices mixed that come into your head. My favorites: Mango-passion fruit or watermelon-pineapple-mango. Unfortunately, here is also not saved on plastic, you order your juice in the restaurant you'll get it fortunately in the glass and usually only 10-20 bht more expensive.

Did you know that Thailand is a paradise for Kitesurfing?

Auf dem Blog von Faszination Südostasien habe ich einen Guide zu den besten Kitesurf Orten Thailands verfasst.

If you want to know, what is the best season for Kitesurfing and which places are the best, come have a look.

Going to Thailand's most beautiful island?

You can find more tips here:

Vegan Food Guide Koh Phangan

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