11 Easy Thai Food Recipes That We Promise You Really Can Make Yourself

I am utterly smitten with Thai food, and have been ever since my brother introduced me to my first plate of Tom Kah coconut soup when I was in second grade. Thai food is my go-to, my first choice whenever someone asks me what my last meal would be before I die. (Out of context, I guess that's a really morbid question, but whatever.) I've lived in three cities in the last five years, and I've always made sure there was a Thai restaurant nearby, because #priorities.

If Thai is your feast of choice as well, then you, like me, have probably tried to recreate your favorite meals in your own kitchen. And you may have, in the process, learned that it's really, really hard. Like, not matter how much fish and oyster sauce, no matter how much coconut milk you use, or red chili peppers you let soak in your pan, it never comes out quite right.

It's also hard finding the right recipe that at least comes close to the "real thing" (and I use that term loosely, since I've never actually been to Thailand and have no way to gauge the authenticity of my meals, but anyway), because to recreate your favorite Thai food, you need the proper ingredients. And those ingredients are hard to come by. So when you find a recipe, you want to make sure the substitutions are at least close to the real thing (hey, at least you're trying).

Here are 11 pretty solid recipes that come deliciously close to visiting Thailand itself.

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Thai salads are always pretty light, but crazy flavorful. This dish totally captures that flavor by using cilantro, fish sauce, honey, and Thai chilis.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Drunken Noodles

Drunken noodles always seem so simple! Noodles! Red Peppers! Basil! But if you add those together without some special ingredients, you are doomed. This fantastically yummy and easy recipe shows you how to make a pretty solid version of Drunken Noodles you would find at your fave Thai restaurant.

Image: A Spicy Perspective

Thai Chicken with Basil

OK, so this isn’t the most “authentic” Thai dish you’ll find, but I like the flavors, and I like how easy it is to make. This recipe from Apron and Sneakers calls for basil, chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and bell pepper. I personally would chop up a Thai chili to spice things up (hint: it’s delicious).

Image: Apron and Sneakers

Grilled Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

The only tricky part about this recipe is the rice paper. It’s kind of hard to perfectly roll all the ingredients (tofu, veggies, vermicelli noodles, mint, and basil), but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like a total pro.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Shrimp Pad Thai

Pad Thai is by far the hardest Thai noodle dish to recreate. I’ve tried so many times, and I still can’t get it quite right. One of my student’s mom is Thai and she told me she just uses ketchup. So, I don’t even know anymore. This recipe comes fairly close in terms of taste, calling for palm sugar, tamarind concentrate (you can find these at Asian grocery stores or Amazon), fish sauce, and chili sauce for the Pad Thai sauce.

Image: Closet Cooking

Spicy Thai Chicken French Bread

Alright, alright, alright. You won’t find this on any Thai restaurant, ever. But it’s delicious, so maybe that’s all what really matters. It’s like a Thai pizza, but even better. Yay fusion food! Find the recipe here.

Image: Cooking For Keeps

Pok Pok Thai Style Wings

Thai restaurants make some of the BEST wings, so if you love wings, you need to make this dish. Let this brilliant concoction show you the way.

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Thai Red Curry Soup

This curry soup recipe from Damn Delicious is exactly what you need if you’re sick and need something hot and spicy to clear your head.

Image: Damn Delicious

Green Chickpea & Chicken Coconut Curry

From my experience, chickpeas aren’t really used in Thai cooking, but whatever. This recipe looked too delicious to pass up. This hearty recipe gives you step-by-step instructions to create this big pot of awesome.

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Spicy Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup

I love Thai food because of all the glorious coconut. Coconut has such wonderful flavor, and there is so much of it, and it’s also super versatile. This soup is spicy, complex, and totally good for you.

Image: Domestic Fits

Tofu Laab

Laab (or Larb), which is a minced meat salad mixed in with awesome spices, is one of my favorite dishes to get. Here is a vegetarian version that doesn’t skimp on the flavor in any way. (You can obviously add chicken or beef if you want, though.)

Image: For Reals Life