Sure, you could reach for a takeout menu on a busy weeknight, but why not try your hand at making some of your favorite Thai dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen instead? Though recipes with a long list of ingredients spanning obscure fish sauces and tart tamarind sauce may seem intimidating, oft-ordered plates like pad thai and chicken satay are much easier to make than you might think—and the recipes below are proof.
Leave it to our favorite food bloggers to take seemingly difficult-to-prepare dishes and make them accessible, approachable, and, obviously, delicious. From whipping up pan-fried noodles in pad see ew to combining spices in a mouthwatering curry, the recipe creators behind Minimalist Baker, Half Baked Harvest, Spoon Fork Bacon, and more show us how it's done. Considering tossing that takeout menu? Keep scrolling for the best Thai recipes to transport your taste buds to Bangkok without stepping foot outside your kitchen.
Pad See Ew
The Recipe: This recipe for pad see ew, essentially pan-fried rice noodles, calls for store-bought, pre-marinated pork tenderloin to save on prep time. The real hero, however, is the sweet soy sauce, which lends a complementary balance to the salty, spicy, acidic flavors in the dish.
The Pro Tip: "You just have to cube the pork loin filet, and you're ready to throw it onto the stove for a quick and easy meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes," says recipe creator Jenny of Spoon Fork Bacon.
Thai Basil Steak Sandwich
The Recipe: Admittedly this Thai basil steak sandwich is not a traditional Thai recipe, but the traditional-inspired flavors imparted by the salty fish sauce, spicy chili paste, and sweet basil will certainly hit the spot.
The Pro Tip: "Marinating the steak will give you the most tender and flavorful piece of meat," notes recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "If you only have thirty minutes that will be great, but if you can plan a bit ahead of time, marinating overnight will allow for best results."
Thai Basil Salmon Curry
The Recipe: Made with a base of shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger, this Thai basil salmon curry is brimming with flavor. To take it up a notch, top each bowl with fresh lime juice, sweet basil, and salty cashews before serving.
The Pro Tip: Don't worry if you accidentally leave this dish on the stovetop a tad too long. "What's truly great about cooking the salmon in coconut milk is that you really can't overcook it," reveals recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "The coconut milk keeps the salmon incredibly moist, colorful, and flavorful. It's also a little more forgiving."
Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce
The Recipe: To make this chicken satay, these tender chicken thighs are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, herbs, and spices, like turmeric and curry powder before hitting the grill pan. Finally, the skewers are served alongside a creamy, citrusy, slightly spicy peanut sauce.
The Pro Tip: "If [the peanut] sauce is too thick, blend some water into the sauce, 1/2 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency has been achieved," offers recipe creator Jenny of Spoon Fork Bacon.
Instant Pot Thai Lemongrass Chicken
The Recipe: Comforting, delicious, and incredibly easy to make, this Instant Pot Thai lemongrass chicken checks all the boxes. A coconut milk base provides richness while fresh lemongrass lends much-needed freshness to the Instant Pot meal.
The Pro Tip: "Just add everything to the pot, set it, and dinner is done in about twenty or so minutes. No dirtying up too many dishes or even the stove, a major bonus in my book!" explains recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Thai Coconut Curry Soup
The Recipe: To make this Thai coconut curry soup, let chickpeas, veggies, and herbs simmer in a mixture of spices, coconut milk, and chicken broth for two hours to reach peak deliciousness before serving over al dente rice noodles.
The Pro Tip: "Simmering the soup with the lid off makes it thicken up in the most delicious way possible and ensures that all the flavors mesh together perfectly," says recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "You don't cook the rice noodles with the soup base though, as the noodles cook quickly and would turn to mush in the broth!"
Tofu Pad Thai
The Recipe: Packed with sweet, salty, spicy, and umami flavors (courtesy of coconut sugar, tamarind sauce, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and lime juice), this homemade tofu pad thai will rival any takeout version of the ubiquitous Thai dish. Not to mention, it's ready in just 30 minutes.
The Pro Tip: "This makes an excellent, satisfying meal on its own, but if you're looking for extra veggies, it would pair nicely with Papaya Salad, Thai Spring Rolls, or Thai Carrot Salad," notes recipe creator Dana of Minimalist Baker.