When it comes to eating out or ordering takeaway, Thai food is one of the most popular options in Australia. If you’re trying to eat a bit healthier, you don’t have to miss out – there are plenty of healthy Thai dishes you can enjoy. Like with any cuisine, there are some Thai orders that are healthier than others, but here are the 10 healthiest Thai dishes you’ll find at most restaurants.
1. Steamed fish
Steamed fish dishes are one of the healthiest Thai options. Steaming is a healthy way to prepare foods as it reduces added fats from oils or butter that are used in other cooking methods like frying. A lot of Thai restaurants offer steamed fish as a main menu item, so it can be shared with others along with a side of mixed vegetables and steamed rice.
2. Larb Gai salad
Larb is a popular dish in Thailand that actually originated in Laos. Larb Gai salad is generally made from minced meat or chicken with herbs, onion and lime juice served in a fresh lettuce cup, making it a fresh, tasty dish full of salad to help add fibre and colour to your meal.
3. Papaya salad
Papaya salad is generally an entrée dish, made with papayas, green beans and tomato. It can be a colourful side dish for your meal to help fill up on extra vegetables, or simply order lean protein such as satay skewers on the side to make it a complete, healthy Thai meal for one person.
4. Chicken satay skewers
Chicken satay skewers are another dish that is typically presented as an entrée on Thai restaurant menus. They are a great way to add lean protein to your meal to help fill you up or can be ordered for one person with a side of salad or vegetables to create a complete, balanced healthy Thai meal.
5. Tofu green curry with extra vegetables
Thai curries typically use coconut milk, which is high in fat and very energy-dense, although tasty. We recommend asking for extra vegetables in the curry (or on the side) so you can fill up a little bit more, and help to reduce over-consuming kilojoules. With the extra veg, you might find that the curry goes a bit further and you will have leftovers the next day! Learn more about this method of volume eating here.
6. Thai Beef salad
Thai beef salad is a good protein-rich option with vegetables for a healthy takeaway dish. Most salads are on the entrée menu in Thai restaurants and consist of salad ingredients with a small portion of lean steak. If you feel you need a little more food, a side of rice paper rolls could be a great option.
7. Rice paper rolls
Another entrée option, rice paper rolls are a healthier alternative to spring rolls that are often found on the menu and are sometimes called summer rolls. While spring rolls are fried and higher in fat, rice paper rolls are packed full of salad so can be a great side dish to add to your meal to help bump up your vegetable intake.
8. Tom Yum soup
Tom Yum soup is a classic Thai soup made with plenty of veggies on a broth base. It can be made into a main dish on its own by adding extra prawns or chicken or order it as a delicious vegetable side to your main dish.
9. Jungle curry
Similar to the Tom Yum soup, jungle curry is a lower fat and kilojoule alternative to other curries as it is made without coconut milk. Usually packed with vegetables, jungle curry is a much spicier option than other curries so be warned if you’re not a big spice fan!
10. Stir-fried vegetables
Don’t skim past the vegetarian menu, this is where some healthy gems will be hidden! A lot of Thai restaurants have vegetarian dishes such as stir-fried vegetables or vegetable tofu broth pots/soups that can be a main dish or a side if sharing with others. If you want to add protein, ask for tofu added to the dish or order a side of satay skewers as well.
The beauty of Thai takeaway is that it is perfect for sharing with others! Order a few different dishes so that you can try a little of everything. If there are dishes you really love that aren’t on our list, ordering those with a side of some of these healthy options is a great way to balance it out without going overboard on energy-dense, less healthy dishes. Want more? Here are 14 of the healthiest food court options you can order.