Thai cuisine is one of the most loved cuisines in the world. The flavors of Thai food are high impact, delivering a satisfying impact of sweet, sour, salty, spice and umami on the taste buds. My top 9 Thai Vegan Recipes will give you a good insight to how diverse Thai cuisine is and how you can easily modify classic recipes to make them vegan.
In this article, I will introduce you to my signature Thai Vegan Recipes, along with an introduction to 10 local superfoods, essential Thai kitchen tools, and my Top 5 vegan eateries in Phuket.
- Thai Cuisine
- Welcome to Thailand
- My Siamese adventure for Thai vegan recipes
- Animal to plant ingredient swaps for Thai vegan recipes
- Top 9 Thai Vegan Recipes
- 1. Nam Prik Kapi
- 2. Kai Jeow Cha Om
- 3. Phad See Ew
- 4. Kanom Jeen
- 5. Green Papaya Salad
- 6. Pomelo Salad
- 7. Thai Green Curry
- 8. Thai Red Curry
- 9. Tom Yum Soup
- 10 superfood Ingredients of Thailand
- Essential Thai kitchen tools
- Discover more about Thai cuisine
- My Top 5 vegan eateries in Phuket
- Interested in learning how to cook healthy Thai vegan food?
Notoriously known for its spicy food, Thai cuisine has a diverse food culture thanks to its Siamese history and culinary influences from neighboring Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and even links to Chinese, Indian, French, and Portuguese cuisines.
Many nations tried to conquer and colonize Thailand for its rich abundant land, but it remained one of the only nations in SE Asia to maintain independence throughout history, preserving its rich culture and culinary heritage.
Thailand is a culinary melting pot with an abundant fertile land that has some of the most delicious exotic ingredients in the world. It has the ideal climate of sun, heat, and monsoon moisture.
Thai restaurants are part of the dining scene in almost every major town and city around the world. All the favorite classics can be found here, but until you travel to Thailand and explore the culture in more depth you will be amazed at how diverse Thai cuisine really is.
Welcome to Thailand
I've been living in Thailand for almost 3 years now and feel I'm still only scratching the surface of the culinary bounty this nation has to offer.
Each region of Thailand has its own seasonal variations and cultural influences. The North is influenced by neighboring Laos, while the South has influences from Malaysia.
Phuket's first European settlers were Portuguese traders back in the 1500s during the tin mining era. Along with the Chinese, a West to East trading port was set up. The famous Thai dessert of Luk Chup originated from the Portuguese, while the Chinese took their woks and noodles!
Phuket Towns Sino-Portuguese architecture is a colorful reminder of the influence these nations contributed to the local culture and diversity.
My Siamese adventure for Thai vegan recipes
My culinary adventure here in Thailand is unique as I have been following a 100% plant-based lifestyle for almost 6 years now. Along with my partner Thara, from Maha Sarakham in the North East of Thailand, we have been having fun adapting authentic Thai recipes and re-purposing them in a 100% plant-based version, while still keeping the integrity of the dish.
Traditional Thai cuisine, at the core, is very healthy and natural, with primal cooking techniques and wild herbs foraged from the jungle commonplace. The problem is, much like all over the world, shortcuts and processed ingredients have infiltrated the original recipes and techniques. Cheap refined oils, sugars, and MSG are widely used, turning what's essentially a healthy cuisine into something that is no longer pure or clean.
My culinary mission in Thailand is to discover, learn and celebrate the age-old classic recipes and reimagine them in a 100% plant-based healthy vegan version.
Farmers and growers deserve to be showcased and celebrated for their labor of love to bring us some of the most delicious and healthiest ingredients on the planet.
Animal to plant ingredient swaps for Thai vegan recipes
Adapting Thai recipes to be 100% vegan can be done with a few replacements I have listed below.
Fortunately, dairy is not a part of Thai cuisine, so it's just a matter of replacing the fish sauce, dried shrimp, oyster sauce, egg, meat, and fish components!
Here are some of my recommended replacements:
- Dried shrimp - Seaweed
- Shrimp paste - Fermented soy bean paste or miso
- Anchovy fish sauce - Fermented soy bean paste or miso
- Oyster sauce - Mushroom ketchup
- Fish sauce - Soy sauce, tamari or seaweed
- Chicken, pork, beef - Tofu, tempeh, mushroom
- Eggs - Chickpea, lentil or tofu
- Fish - Oyster mushroom, king oyster mushroom, lions mane mushrooms
Top 9 Thai Vegan Recipes
Welcome to my top 9 Thai vegan recipes. Below are links to the recipes, you can download, print, or save. These recipes are nutritionally balanced and brimming with Thai flavors. They are naturally gluten-free, fresh, and healthy. Happy cooking my friends!
Vegan Nam Prik Kapi
This chili dip been has been popular in Thailand since the Ayutthaya era. Nam Prik Kapi is traditionally made by pounding chilies, garlic, shallots, and other ingredients to make a thick flavourful dipping sauce. In this unique variation, fermented soybean paste is added for a wondrous taste of Thailand.
Vegan Thai Omelet | Kai Jeow Cha Om
Classic Thai omelet with cha-om is a much loved and treasured dish all over Thailand. This vegan Thai omelet recipe is my rendition of the classic. I use a blend of chickpea flour to make a batter in place of the eggs.
In this recipe post, I will teach you all you need to know about how to make a 100% vegan version of this classic dish at home.
Vegan Pad See Ew is made with thick rice noodles, tofu, kale, corn, mushroom, carrot, and a rich umami soy sauce.
Kanom Jeen - Thai Rice Noodles, Coconut Curry & Vegetables
Khanom Jeen is a famous dish enjoyed by millions of people all over Thailand every day. It's a truly memorable culinary delight of fermented rice noodles with spicy vegan coconut curry. Served with a bounty of local vegetables, herbs, shoots, sprouts, and pickles.
Green Papaya Salad - Thai Vegan 'Som Tum'
Healthy Vegan Thai Green Papaya Salad. A delicious, fresh, raw, Thai SOM TUM. It takes just 10 minutes to make this beautiful salad
Thai cuisine is famous for its curries and stays... But It's safe to say that Thai salads are some of the tastiest and freshest salads in the world. Learn how quick and easy it is to make this healthy Thai Vegan Pomelo Salad. Know locally as 'Yum Som O'
Vegan Thai Green Curry
This is my favorite curry of all time, evoking fond memories every time I taste it. From Thai 'Gaeng Kiew Wan' translates to 'Curry Green Sweet'. This Vegan Thai Green Curry is my rendition of the world-famous curry.
Vegan Thai Red Curry
Enjoy the aromatic flavors of Thai cuisine with this delicious Vegan Thai Red Curry. Full of plant-powered goodness to satisfy your hunger and taste buds.
Thai Vegan Tom Yum Soup
My Vegan Tom Yum Soup is a delicious hot and sour aromatic pot of medicinal Thai herbs, spices, vegetables, and mushrooms. It's one of Thailand's most famous soups.
10 superfood Ingredients of Thailand
My trips to the local food markets in Thailand are always a great source of inspiration. This is where the locals shop and socialize. Growers, farmers, and foragers take their prized products to sell at the local market.
There is an abundance of different herbs, fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, sprouts, and vegetables on offer. Many of which have such a short season they only appear for a couple of weeks. This is how shopping for ingredients should be.
It's such a joyful experience purchasing local and seasonal ingredients direct from the growers.
Here is a shortlist of some of the readily available superfood ingredients that you may not have heard of.
- Black ginger - Thai natural viagra
- Butterfly pea
- Split gill mushrooms
- Betal leaves
- River tamarind
Essential Thai kitchen tools
I've added some links to give you an idea of what tools are used for cooking authentic Thai food
Discover more about Thai cuisine
My Top 5 vegan eateries in Phuket
The Phuket vegan dining scene is growing slowly but surely. Here are 5 of my regulars.
Interested in learning how to cook healthy Thai vegan food?
- Online cooking classes (Available from my Jungle kitchen to your kitchen anywhere in the world)
- Live classes in Phuket (Visit the local market and forage in the jungle - optional extra)