Are you looking for Thai appetizers? We’ve gathered a few of these fragrant and savory starters that go perfect with so many main dishes!
When you’re enjoying a Thai dinner, you can’t forget about the Thai appetizers!
If you’re unfamiliar with Thai food, it’s spicy (or if you are like me, you go mild—#1 on the restaurant menu spice scale!).
Thai food has a touch of sweetness, a splash of sour, with layers of brine and even bitter. (Don’t bite into the lemongrass stalks.)
There is a lot of influence from all Asian countries around Thailand like Burma, Laos, Cambodia, China, India, and Vietnam.
Fortunately, we have compiled a list of 18 Thai appetizers for you to taste the flavors of Thailand.
These 18 Thai starters give you a little taste of your meal to come, satisfy your hunger if you have been waiting all day to eat, and are so full of Thai flavor!
If you frequently go to Thai restaurants, some of these recipes will look familiar to you and maybe your go-to appetizer choice!
Tom Kha soup, Thai Spring Rolls, and Sweet Chili Edamame may already be familiar to you.
But there are also some appetizers listed that may be new to you, such as #14 and #17.
These recipes taste amazing and are a great way to start your Thai meal.
Try making one of these Thai appetizers at home next time you’re craving Thai food, and you’ll fall in love with the cuisine of Thailand!
There are few Thai food appetizers better than Chicken Satay with peanut sauce to start your meal off with.
Chicken satay is a trendy street food in Thailand, and once you taste it, you’ll see why.
The chicken is marinated for at least 2 hours, skewered, then grilled to perfection!
Remember that this is a satay, not a kabob; you want to keep your chicken pieces close together on the skewer since this will change the texture from cooking.
Corn fritters are always a solid choice for a side dish.
But we can take it up a notch by mixing in some Southeast Asian flavors.
You can definitely use frozen corn for this recipe but using fresh corn makes it that much better.
With coconut milk and green onions, this is one of many great Thai appetizer recipes to bring some new flavor to your classic recipes.
Not a corn fan? Try these cheesy zucchini fritters instead!
Although coconut shrimp may not count as Thai finger food, the sauce paired in this recipe is bursting with Thai flavors!
The chili-ginger sauce has all types of flavors that mix so well and go great with coconut shrimp.
This recipe is super quick and will make a great addition to any meal you make!
Some like these scallops as their whole meal, but they also make a great appetizer or side dish!
This recipe takes only 10 minutes to make and even includes a sauce for the scallops!
The sauce has sweet, salty, and sour flavors mixed with garlic, chili, ginger, lime, and fish sauce.
Try to use untreated scallops for your Thai appetizers, so you get a much fresher taste and have an easier time cooking.
If you’re searching for more authentic Thai starters, check out these fish cakes!
They will taste as good as, if not better, than what you would get from a Thai restaurant!
You may need to plan a trip to the store before making these since some ingredients may not be common in American households, like the fish paste, red curry paste, snake beans, and kaffir lime leaves,
But once you taste how good these fish cakes taste, you will be adding this to your weekly lineup!
This meatball recipe makes for great Thai finger food to guarantee there won’t be any leftovers at the end of the evening!
No matter how picky your eaters are, everyone will grab for multiple of these.
Not to mention you get to use a slow cooker to finish cooking your meatballs and to cover them in a sauce so it makes preparing these much easier!
These meatballs taste great when topped with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and green onions, but that is entirely optional.
We’ve got our own recipe for Asian turkey meatballs here for more sweet sauce!
Our plant-based friends should get to enjoy our favorite Thai appetizer recipes with us!
Fortunately, this peanut hummus is plant-based, quick and easy, and tastes fantastic!
Many Thai recipes are full of peanut flavor, so it seems fitting to include a peanut hummus recipe in our list.
Feel free to adjust the amount of sriracha you add, depending on your taste for spiciness.
There’s nothing quite like that first bite into a hot spring roll and tasting the crispy skin and the perfectly seasoned filling.
If a trip to Thailand isn’t in your plans anytime soon, you can make this popular street food for yourself at home!
Cooking the filling is quickly done, but if you’re a little hesitant about wrapping up the rolls, don’t worry, there are easy-to-follow instructions included in this recipe!
If spring rolls are one of your favorite Thai appetizers to order at restaurants, you have got to try this recipe for yourself!
9. Tom Kha Soup
Although I’ll never say no to Thai food, there’s a special place in my heart (and stomach) for tom kha soup, especially in the cold winter months when I’m craving something creamy and spicy.
Using a slow cooker for Thai starters is an excellent idea for preparing ahead of time and coming home to a delicious and hot soup.
Be sure to use coconut cream or coconut milk for this recipe rather than coconut creamer; this will make a big difference in preparing this soup!
If you have special dietary restrictions, you can easily modify parts of this recipe to fit your needs!
This is one of the best Thai appetizers for combining Thai flavors with a traditional Chinese dish.
This style of dumplings is usually Chinese, but the filling inside is full of Thai flavors!
Make sure you plan so you can allow the marinade to chill for some time.
You’ll want to make a massive batch of these and freeze the ones you don’t cook, so you have them ready for next time!
If you have ever had Tod Mun Khao Pod, you can see where this Thai finger food got its inspiration!
If you can use fresh sweetcorn for your fritters, it’s highly recommended, but if not, canned kernels will work too.
Don’t forget to make the sweet chili dipping sauce with your fritters!
This is less sweet and a little bit hotter than what you would buy in-store.
Edamame is always great at Thai restaurants but making it yourself at home to have one of your favorite Thai starters whenever you want is so rewarding!
Edamame is easy to cook and always tastes great, but when you add some spices to the mix!
You can throw in some sriracha or ground cayenne pepper to bring the heat up another notch, too.
Galloping horses may sound unusual when browsing Thai appetizer recipes, but once you try this recipe for yourself, you won’t care what it’s called.
This appetizer has pork and shrimp on top of fresh fruit.
The contrasting flavors work so well for this dish, and it’s sure to become a new personal favorite appetizer!
14. Miang Kham
This is one of the authentic Thai appetizers on this list you will fall in love with!
If you are unfamiliar with miang kham, imagine a little cup made of edible leaves full of shrimp, coconut, peanuts, and all kinds of spices that you can eat in one bite!
Leaf and all!
The leaves used should be wild betel leaves, but if you’re having trouble finding that, you can substitute any type of earthy dark leaf such as Chinese broccoli leaves.
Making salads as an appetizer is a safe bet but can get boring after some time.
Fortunately, by adding delicious peanut sauce to your vegetables, you’ll have one of your new favorite Thai appetizer recipes!
You probably already have these ingredients in your kitchen, so nothing should be holding you back from making your salads even tastier next time you need a Thai appetizer!
It’s not too difficult to turn your favorite appetizers into Thai appetizers.
Baked chicken wings can be elevated to Thai chicken wings by using a special marinade full of flavorful spices and making a tasty peanut sauce to dip the wings into.
Keep in mind, you’ll want to bake the wings a little bit before tossing them in the marinade and putting them back in the oven to finish cooking.
And this peanut sauce will become your new best friend so if you have leftover sauce, feel free to add it to other dishes, too!
If you’re on the search for Thai appetizer recipes with an Indian fusion, look no further!
You can use paneer or tofu as the base of your satay, depending on what you prefer.
If you can marinate overnight, do so, since this will allow the flavors of the marinade to soak deep into the paneer.
Don’t forget the peanut sauce made for this satay recipe!
It’s full of texture and great flavors that complement the satay so well.
Walking around Bangkok, you’re sure to find many food vendor stalls selling yam naem khao tod, or crispy rice salad.
This dish is full of fried rice, mushrooms, seasonings, and all mixed into a salad, making it one of the tastiest Thai appetizers you can get!
This recipe isn’t too hard to follow and gives you such an amazing rice salad that you’ll find yourself craving for days to come!
Here are 13 more rice salad recipes!
The bottom line
Thai cuisine is full of delicious flavors with the right mix of heat, sweetness, sourness, and saltiness.
If you find yourself craving a homemade Thai dinner night, start it off with one of these fantastic Thai appetizer recipes, and you can put off that next venture out to a Thai restaurant!
Of course there’s dessert! Here’s our list of 28 Asian Desserts to try next!
- Thai Chicken Satay
- Thai Corn Fritters
- Coconut Shrimp With Thai Chili Ginger Sauce
- Thai Scallops
- Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)
- Thai Meatballs
- Thai Peanut Hummus
- Thai Spring Rolls
- Tom Kha Soup
- Thai Basil Dumplings
- Thai-Style Sweetcorn Fritters
- Sweet Chili Edamame
- Galloping Horses (Mar Hor)
- Miang Kham
- Chopped Thai Salad
- Baked Thai Chicken Wings
- Thai Paneer Satay
- Crispy Rice Salad
- Pick one or more options from our list of Thai appetizers!
- Combine them to make your new favorite dish.
- Enjoy your homecooked meal!
- Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!