In Thailand, the breakfast meal is known as Ahaan Chow, meaning Morning Food. Unlike Western Breakfast, Thai breakfast is not distinguishable from lunch and dinner. It includes most of the delicious traditional Thai food.
If you are in the mood for rice and duck or rice and spicy curries in the morning, you can easily find them on the streets of Thailand. There are only a few Thai dishes that are specifically considered Thai breakfast foods.
What Is Special About Thai Breakfast?
Now, you might wonder what a traditional Thai breakfast would taste like. A typical Thai breakfast includes simple and healthy dishes with little spices.
Breakfast in Thailand usually consists of many smaller portions of savory food. Thais love to enjoy multiple first-day meals as it is a common tradition among natives.
Eggs, pork, spring onions, soups, and sticky rice are some common ingredients in traditional Thai breakfasts. Tea and coffee are among the regular beverages that people love to enjoy with Thai breakfast foods.
Here are some of the popular and traditional Thai breakfast foods that Thailand is famous for.
Most Famous Thai Breakfast
Chok or Joke (Thai Rice Porridge)
Jok, Joke, or Chok is probably one of the most popular Thai breakfasts. Originating from China, this rice porridge dish is also called Congee or Juk. It is a simple yet very delicious and satisfying Thai breakfast food.
During winter, Jok is a preferred non-spicy breakfast meal for people in Thailand. It might seem a little bland, but it is warm and very fulfilling. The porridge has a soothing effect that prepares you for the whole day.
This Thai breakfast is served with various toppings, like spring onions, soft-boiled eggs, raw eggs, pork meatballs, or minced pork. It is also a popular street food, so you can find it in nearly all Thai food streets, especially in Bangkok.
Thai Breakfast – Egg Shot And Soups
Kai Luak (Soft Boiled Egg Shot)
Kai Luak is a simple yet highly nutritious Thai breakfast snack. The dish consists of a shot of a half-boiled egg, served with soy sauce and pepper. The half-cooked eggs have a slimy and runny texture that goes down very easily.
It is a healthy breakfast full of proteins to help you stay energetic and active throughout the day. You can enjoy it with coffee or tea to wash it down to the stomach. If you don’t like raw eggs, we recommend staying away from this one.
Nam Khing (Ginger Water With Soft Tofu)
Nam Khing is the perfect Thailand breakfast for people who have a sweet tooth. It is a Thailand version of ginger soup that is refreshing and very delightful.
This fresh and sweet ginger water is served with soft tofu and fritters. The water is a little bit sweet with a strong flavor of ginger to it. The soft tofu gets soggy in the soup and liquefies in your mouth.
Nam Khing is also a popular street food in Thailand and is generally made by street vendors. You can easily find this ginger water at Coelom SOI 20.
Khao Tom (Thai Rice Soup)
Khao Tom is not just a Thai breakfast food but you can also have it during dinner or as a late-night snack. It is a soup dish similar to Joke but with a different cooking method.
In Khao Tom, rice is first cooked alone in a pot. These rice are mixed with soup and other ingredients and cooked for a few more minutes.
Khao Tom is a coarse rice soup in which you can see every rice grain. This soup is served with seafood or small vegetables. You can also eat it with various stir-fried dishes like chicken or fish.
Tom Luad Moo (Pork Blood Soup)
Tom Luad Moo is a special breakfast in Thailand that you can enjoy from the local food streets. It will appear rather exotic to those who are not used to consuming innards.
The literal meaning of Tom Luad Moo is boiled pork blood, so this Thailand breakfast is made from different pork parts.
The soup consists of pork intestines, liver, lungs, and chunks of clotted pig blood. The dish has a plain pork flavor, but you can add chili, vinegar, or any other flavor to bring it to your taste.
This pork soup is an excellent Thai breakfast option for those who want to start the day with a high-protein breakfast. The soup is usually served with a side of a rice bowl.
Nam Tao Hoo (Thai Sweet Soy Milk)
Nam Tao Hoo is a common breakfast drink in Thailand. It is a light yet very soothing traditional Thai breakfast and a night snack. Nam Tao Hoo is a refreshing soy milk drink, perfect to start your day.
It might also have basil seeds or small jellies in it. Sometimes, this soy milk is served like a hot sweet soup with some sugar. You can easily find this Thai drink at any local food stall or market.
Thai Breakfast – Meat Options
Khao Neow Moo Ping (Grilled Pork With Sticky Rice)
How many times have you dreamed of having grilled pork for breakfast? Well, in Thailand, you can make this delicious dream come true.
Moo Ping is grilled pork on skewers. This Thai snack can be found early in the morning and evening. As it is easily available in the streets of Thailand, it makes a perfect ready-to-go breakfast when you are starving.
To make Moo Ping, grilled pork is marinated with sweet and spicy Thai natural flavorings, like coriander root, pepper, garlic, and others. Pork in Moo Ping has a slightly sweet taste.
If you want a fulfilling Thai breakfast experience, you can enjoy this tender grilled pork on skewers with sticky rice.
Khanom Pang Na Moo (Fried Bread With Minced Pork)
You can find pork in most Thai breakfast foods. While its not uncommon to see beans on toast, but in Thailand, you will even find pork on toast.
Khanom Pang Na Moo is a popular pork and bread breakfast in Thailand. It is one of the first dishes that Thai kids learn from their parents. This bread and pork dish is not only a kid-friendly meal but also a healthy and nutritious Thai breakfast.
The dish includes ground pork, soy sauce, eggs, sugar, herbs, and spices. It is a light, crispy, and addictive breakfast in Thailand. You can find this typical Thai breakfast in nearly all cafes and street food stalls.
Raw Beef Laab Or Larb (Raw Beef Salad)
Laab is a Thai breakfast full of flavors and aromas. It is a Northern Thai mixed meat salad loaded with spices, chilies, and herbs.
Laab in traditional Thai breakfast includes raw beef, spices, and vegetables. Bile and stock are added to deliver a round and bitter flavor. There is a perfect balance of bitterness, spices, and herbs in the salad.
If you don’t like raw beef, you can have a cooked version of this delicious breakfast in Thailand. The flavor is almost the same, but the cooked beef has a somewhat roasted and smoky aroma.
Nham (Soured Pork Wrapped In Banana Leaf)
Nahm is a salty and sour pork dish in which pork is wrapped in a banana leaf and then slowly roasted on a grill. This pork dish is more like a snack, but in some regions, Thai people also eat it for breakfast.
The dish is a mixture of pig’s meat, fat, ear, and other organs. The pork is fermented to enhance the flavor and create sourness. It has a soft and gooey texture and
In the traditional Thai breakfast recipe, Thai garlic is added to the pork, which delivers a fragrant flavor.
Traditional Thai Breakfast – Bread And Buns
Pathongko (Thai Donuts)
Pathongko is a deep-fried sweet version of donuts. It is a popular Thai street food originating from Chinese cuisine.
These donuts are deep-fried crispy dough strips. Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, pathongko also has a somewhat floppy texture.
Sometimes, they can also be salty. Thai people enjoy this light breakfast with sweetened condensed milk, Thai coconut jam, or slightly sweetened soy milk. You can also have it with congee, a nutritious rice porridge.
Roti in Thailand is gaining popularity among Thai breakfasts because of the Muslim community. However, Thai roti is very different from the traditional flatbreads you can find in Indian or Pakistani cuisine.
Thai roti is more like a pancake or crepe made from wheat flour. It is a fried bread with a variety of fillings and topping options.
The most popular combination with Thai roti is egg, banana, and condensed milk. You can also choose from many other filling options like peanut butter, chocolate, mango, or jam.
Dim Sum (Thai Dumplings)
While Dim Sum in Hong Kong refers to all sorts of delicious dishes and snacks, it is used in Thailand to mainly refers to Thai-style dumplings.
It is not particularly surprising as dumplings are arguably the most famous dish within a plethora of Dim Sum food. In Thailand, there are various forms with different fillings and dipping sauces.
Commonly dim sums found in Thai breakfast are just like steamed buns or dumplings filled with pork. But you can also find some variations in local restaurants.
As Southern Thailand has a large Muslim population, there are many halal versions of dim sum in the Southern region. For instance, you can have shrimp, tofu, chicken, or mushroom dim sum.
Salapao (Steamed Buns)
Salapao is a popular snack and breakfast in Thailand. These are white steamed buns commonly found on street food stalls, local restaurants, and Chinese restaurants. These soft buns are ideal to munch on if you want a quick breakfast.
Salapao can have different fillings, from salty to sweet. The sweet salapao buns can have crushed beans or a rich cream filling. The salty ones might have roasted, minced, or barbecue pork.
Thai Breakfast – Rice Dishes
Khai Jiao (Thai Omelette with rice)
Khai Jiao is a Thai-style omelet. It is one of the most popular Thai breakfast foods. You can easily find it in most restaurants and food streets.
Omelets are common throughout the globe, but every region has a different taste and traditional recipe. Similarly, this Thai omelet has a twist of flavor and is served with steamed rice instead of bread.
Thai omelets usually have spring onions, fish sauce, and green chilies. The eggs are deep-fried in vegetable oil until they get a little crispy. The golden-colored eggs are more tender than the omelets in the Western region.
Khao Neow Dam Sang Kaya (Sticky Rice With Coconut Custard)
Khao Neow Dam Sang Kaya is a typical Thai breakfast snack you can enjoy in the morning. This traditional Thai breakfast consists of black sticky rice, coconut cream, and coconut custard.
The sticky rice is served on a banana leaf with a scoop of coconut cream. The rice is then covered with sweet custard.
The rice is cooked so well that you can taste every single grain of it. They also have a bit of a sweet flavor to them with a crunchy texture. The coconut milk is very creamy and buttery in contrast to the grainy black rice.
A fainted caramelized sweet taste of the custard enhances its flavor. The best version of this Thailand breakfast can be found at Coelom SOI 20.
Khao Mok Gai (Thai Chicken Biryani)
We know biryani should not be on the breakfast menu. But when you are in Thailand, you can enjoy anything at any time. So here we have the traditional Thai Chicken Biryani, locally known as Khao Mok Gai.
Just like any other biryani, Thai biryani is loaded with spices and meat. You can even smell the curry powder and spices from across the street.
These yellow-colored fragrant rice have crispy shallots and a lot of spicy chicken. The shallots add a crunchy onion flavor to the rice.
The biryani is served with a side of chili vinegar sauce. The sweet and sour sauce makes a perfect pair with the spicy rice and chicken.
Khao Yam (Thai Rice Salad)
Popular in Southern Thailand, Khao Yam is a typical rice salad you can have for breakfast. It is a light Thai breakfast that is not oily or heavy.
This salad consists of steamed rice, fresh herbs, a variety of vegetables, and tangy dressings. The most common vegetables used in rice salad are lemongrass, Chinese long beans, chilies, bean sprouts, and kaffir lime leaves.
As this Thai breakfast contains a lot of vegetables and herbs, it is healthy and feels very light and satisfying.
Khanom Krok (Rice And Coconut Pancakes)
Thailand knows how much we adore sweet dishes for breakfast. So the country offers many sweet breakfast foods. Similarly, Kanom Krok is a popular Thai breakfast that is both sweet and salty.
These delightful Thai pancakes are made from rice flour and coconut milk and have various filling options. The pancakes are filled with sweetcorn, chives, or the most popular one, spring onions. These are little gelatinous products, sometimes also eaten as a light snack or dessert in Thailand.
No doubt, Thailand cuisine is full of delicious spicy and savory food, but Thai fruits are no less than any Thai dish.
Thais love to grab a quick bite of some healthy seasonal fruits at the start of the day. Just like many other southeast Asian countries, Thailand also has a variety of high-quality juicy, and tasty fruits.
You can easily find fruit stalls on nearly every corner of Thailand, selling freshly chopped fruits. Credit to the tropical climate, you have a wide selection, including papaya, pineapple, mango, jackfruit, guava, rose apples, and durian here.
The vendors serve these fruits with sweet and spicy dipping sauce or a combination of chilies and sugar.
Discovering Traditional Thai Breakfast In Thailand
Thai breakfast foods are not very different from the ones they have for lunch or dinner.
A typical Thai breakfast most often includes bowls of noodles, rice dishes, meat, and vegetables. This is because most locals need the energy for laborious work, so breakfast is actually a rather heavy meal.
You will see a lot of small cafes, restaurants, and food stalls while roaming through the streets of Thailand. The best thing to do in Thailand is to go to these local street vendors and home-based restaurants and try anything that looks appealing.