When it comes to eating out or ordering in, Thai food is one of Australia’s most popular options. You don’t have to worry about missing out just because you’re trying to eat a bit better. As with any cuisine, some dishes are healthier than others. To take the guesswork out of ordering, here is a list of the top 10 healthiest Thai food options that you should be able to find easily at your local spot.
1. STEAMED FISH
Steaming is a great way to prepare to prepare the healthiest Thai food in that it reduces the amount of added fat from cooking oils and butter, as opposed to other methods, like frying or roasting. Many Thai restaurants offer whole steamed fish as a main menu item. Order one to share along with mixed veggies and steamed rice on the side.
2. LARB GAI
While it is a popular dish in Thailand, larb is a meat salad that originates from Laos. Larb gai will generally be made with mince or chicken with herbs, onion and lime juice. It is served in a crisp lettuce leaf, making it a fresh and tasty dish that is full of both fibre and protein to fill you up.
3. PAPAYA SALAD
Made with papaya, green beans and tomatoes, this is the perfect colourful side dish to help you take in extra vegetables. Order it with a lean protein, like satay skewers, to turn this salad into a full healthy meal for one.
4. CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS
And speaking of satay skewers, this is another one of my healthiest Thai food favourites you are likely to find on most Thai menus. Use them to add some lean protein to your meal with a side of salad or veggies to round it out well.
5. TOFU GREEN CURRY WITH EXTRA VEGETABLES
Thai curries are usually made with coconut milk. While it’s delicious, it’s high in fat and very energy-dense. To solve this problem so that you can have your curry and eat it too, ask for extra veggies. You can mix them into your curry or just enjoy them on the side. They will fill you up a bit more and bit faster to help prevent over-consuming kilojoules unnecessarily. Plus, you’ll probably have leftovers for the next day too!
6. THAI BEEF SALAD
This salad is protein-rich, packed with vegetables and travels well when ordered as a takeaway. If your local Thai restaurant only serves this dish as a side or a starter, order it with a portion of lean steak or even a side of rice paper rolls.
7. RICE PAPER ROLLS
The healthier alternative to spring rolls, rice paper rolls are also popular and are sometimes called summer rolls. Spring rolls are fried and, therefore, higher in fat, while summer rolls are uncooked and filled with salad. They’re a great way to help bump up your vegetable intake.
8. TOM YUM SOUP
It’s a classic. Made with plenty of veggies in a flavourful broth, you can turn it into a main meal by adding extra prawns or chicken, or add it on to whatever else you’ve ordered if things look like they’re lacking fresh veggies.
9. JUNGLE CURRY
If you want to cut out the coconut milk completely, jungle curry is made without the added fat and kilojoules, but with plenty of vegetables. Be careful of this one, though. It’s significantly spicier than other curries, so stay away if you’re not a spice fan.
10. STIR-FRIED VEGETABLES
We know they’re always there and easy to skim past, but there are often so many healthy seasonal gems to be found here. You can add on tofu or another protein of your choice, or even get some broth involved.
The beauty of Thai food is that it’s perfect for sharing with others. You can order a few different dishes, try a little bit of everything and have more control over how balanced your meal ends up being. Even if there are dishes that you love that didn’t make this list, ordering some of these healthier options on the side is a great way to balance things out.