Thai food has a worldwide reputation of being spicy therefore not being really recommended for children but there is actually a wide range of tasty Thai dishes that contain no chili and could be enjoyed by kids. After all, kids of any nationality aren’t introduced to spicy food before they show an interest for it.
Check out below the most popular Thai dishes for children; your little ones will certainly enjoy their holiday in Samui feasting on these favourite Thai dishes for children. And, just in case they would like to eat something else, western food is also very popular and can easily be found in Samui and throughout Thailand in general.
Coming from Java Island (Indonesia) in the early 19th century, Satay has conquered the taste buds of everyone in South East Asia, and can be found in most countries from Malaysia to Singapore to the Philippines to Thailand. Satay is a dish of seasoned grilled meat served on a wooden skewer. In Thailand, the most used meats are chicken, beef, and pork (you can also find a vegan version of Satay using tofu). Satay is served with a delicious peanut sauce and green salad. Satay can be found in most restaurants and at street food stalls in markets.
Oiled Chicken Rice (Khao Man Gai)
Khao Man Gai (oiled rice chicken in Thai) is the Thai version of Hainanese chicken. It may look like a very basic dish at first sight yet it is very flavoursome. The chicken is stuffed with onion, garlic and ginger before being steamed, while its skin and fat are slowly cooked over low heat. Garlic is added to the fat then the resultant garlic oil is mixed with the rice in the rice cooker. Khao Man Gai is usually served with raw vegetables (salad, spring onion, cucumber), a spicy sauce blending chili and garlic, and a clear chicken broth with herbs. It is absolutely delicious and very affordable. It can be found in restaurants dedicated to this dish and is usually served for lunch.
Fried Rice (Khao Pad)
Khao Pad (fried rice in Thai) is certainly one of the most popular dishes for first timers in Thailand - it is almost considered as a western dish despite its Chinese origin. Fried rice is made of steamed rice stir-fried in a wok with other ingredients such as vegetables, eggs, and meat or seafood (chicken, pork, or prawns). It is definitely easy to eat (there’s usually no chili or just a little bit in the fried rice). If you are really hungry, a variant recipe especially created for foreigners is the Khao Pad American: ketchup and raisins are added to the rice which is served with a sunny-side up egg as well as an impressive amount of meats – ham, deep-fried chicken and sausage - on the side. Fried rice can be found in almost every restaurant.
Omelette (Kai Jiao)
Kai Jiao (omelette in Thai) is certain to please most of children. Available everywhere, there’s nothing simpler to satiate an empty stomach. Served with rice, sprayed with a few drops of soy sauce, a simple omelette could surely satisfy the pickiest child. If your children are not too choosy, you could opt for an omelette stuffed with vegetables and meat which is probably healthier. It is often with the simplest dishes that we make the best meals.
Originating from India, Roti (which means bread in Sanskrit) is the Asian version of a pancake. Available throughout South East Asia, this flat bread made of stoneground whole-wheat flour is the perfect snack between meals, or makes a yummy dessert. In Thailand, it is often stuffed with several different fillings, including banana slices, egg or drizzled with condensed milk. If you have a sweet-tooth, you also can get your Roti drizzled with chocolate syrup or Nutella. It can be found at most restaurants and at food stalls along the streets.
Deep-fried Chicken with Sticky Rice
Khao Niao Gai Tod (deep-fried chicken with sticky rice in Thai) is a very popular dish in Thailand usually accompanying Som Tam, a spicy green papaya salad originating from Isaan, the northeastern area of Thailand. Chicken cuts (breast, wings, drumsticks, and thighs) are deep-fried or barbecued with their skin before to be served with glutinous rice. Children usually love this straightforward easy-to-eat dish as it doesn’t contain any green coloured ingredient. Joking aside, it may not offer the healthiest fare yet, it is able to satiate the strongest appetites.
Clear Soup (Gaeng Jued)
Gaeng Jued (literally bland curry/soup in Thai) is a very tasty soup usually served as a side-dish that offers taste buds a rest between two spicy mouthfuls. Gaeng Jued is a very simple soup to prepare. It is made of Napa cabbage, carrots, baby corn, onion, garlic, mushroom and cilantro to which minced pork balls and tofu are added. Taken as a main dish, glass noodles are often tossed in it to make it more consistent. Gaeng Jued has a very subtle taste that could please most people and it is undeniably a very healthy dish.
Stir-fried Noodles (Pad Thai)
Pad Thai is a traditional Thai dish introduced to the Kingdom between the 14th and 18th centuries (some believe it could have Chinese origins). Pad Thai is made of stir-fried rice noodles to which egg, firm tofu, garlic, shallot, fish sauce, and dried shrimps are added. You can choose the meat/seafood (chicken, prawn, crab or squid) to complement the basic ingredients. It is usually served with lime wedges and chopped roast peanuts. Pad Thai is a very popular dish that can be found at any restaurant in Thailand.
Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niao Ma Muang)
Khao Niao Ma Muang (Mango sticky rice in Thai) is the perfect dessert for all those craving for sweet. Traditionally served during the mango season (April-May), it can be found nowadays all year round in Thailand. Fresh mango slices are placed next to glutinous rice (sometimes black Thai sticky rice which gives it a nice purple colour) on a plate, then topped with a sweet sauce made of coconut milk, sugar and tapioca starch. The sweetened coconut milk flavours the sticky rice which enhances the taste of mango. Even though Khao Niao Mam Muang is certainly not a judicious choice of dessert for those on a diet, it is one of the most delicious genuine Thai treats.
Rice Soup (Khao Tom)
Khao Tom, which literally means boiled rice in Thai, is a flavourful soup similar to a porridge in Europe. The rice is cooked directly in a broth made of ginger root, shallot, lemon grass and salt. Meat (pork or chicken), seafood or tofu can be added to it. This delicious porridge is usually served for breakfast but can be enjoyed as well for lunch or dinner. Khao Tom is one of the commonest fares in Thailand, it is also the dish of choice to heal people who get a cold as it is an easy-to-eat healthy meal.