13 Vegetarian food from Thailand | Authentic Delicacies

Thailand has much to offer especially for the vegetarian scene. I am happy to say, it’s nice and vegetarian-friendly. I feel like Thai cuisine really caters to everyone and doesn’t forget the non-meat eaters.

On average, these Thai vegetarian dishes are priced around 80-150 Baht ($2.30-$4.50) per plate, making them both delicious and budget-friendly. And for those mindful of their health, most dishes lie in the 250-350 calorie range. So, as we journey through thirteen vegetarian delights from the Land of Smiles, prepare for an explosion of flavors with every bite! At the end, I will also share my favorites with you.

Pad Thai vegetarian

pad thai vegetarian

Vegetarian Pad Thai is a tasty twist on the classic Pad Thai. It’s made for those who love veggies in their meals. The dish bursts with color from fresh vegetables and uses rice noodles. These noodles keep the meal authentic to Thai flavors. This dish can be quickly made! The traditional Pad Thai normally comes with chicken in it. The vegetarian version, tofu replaces it, along with a mix of other unique vegetables.

What makes Pad Thai loved by so many is its mix of sweet and sour flavors. This taste comes from a special sauce. The sauce’s main ingredients are fish sauce, tamarind paste, and soya sauce. But don’t worry! In the vegetarian version, you can replace the fish sauce and still get that authentic Pad Thai taste. The combination of this special sauce and the healthy ingredients in the dish makes Vegetarian Pad Thai a favorite for those who like eating healthy.

  • 300-350 calories
  • 8-10 gr protein
  • 90-100 baht ($ 2.80)

Recommended read: Pattaya vs Bali prices

Vegetarian Green Curry (Kaeng Khiao Wan)

thai green curry vegetarian

Green Curry, locally called Kaeng Khiao Wan in Thailand, is a famous Thai curry that stands out for its vibrant green color. This striking hue comes from green chilies used in the dish. Interestingly, the “sweet” part of its Thai name isn’t about its taste. Instead, it refers to the specific shade of green. The base of this curry is coconut milk mixed with fresh green chilies, giving it a creamy texture and a gentle green tone.

For vegetarians, Green Curry can be adapted by using plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, or even chickpeas. So depending on the restaurant you might have a different variant of Vegetarian Green Curry.

The flavor profile remains rich, with the creamy coconut milk and the spice from the green chilies, balanced with the sweetness of palm sugar and the savory notes of a vegetarian alternative to fish sauce. Besides the main protein, the foundation of the dish includes coconut milk, green curry paste, and palm sugar. These ingredients together create a taste that’s both rich and aromatic, ensuring that even without traditional fish or meat, the Vegetarian Green Curry remains a delightful choice for Thai cuisine lovers.

  • 350-400 calories
  • 20 gr protein
  • 100 baht ($ 2.80)

Vegetarian Khao Soi

Khao Soi vegetarian

Khao Soi offers a vegetarian twist to a classic noodle dish originating from Northern Thailand, especially Chiang Mai. “Khao Soi” means “cut rice,” a nod to the age-old way of preparing the noodle dough. This dish stands out with its unique blend of a savory curry paste combined with creamy coconut milk, resulting in a rich and aromatic broth.

In the vegetarian adaptation of Khao Soi, tofu takes center stage, replacing the usual chicken, offering a soft, chewy contrast to the dish. When you dive in, you’re greeted with the deep flavors of the curry and the creaminess of the coconut milk, a delightful play on your taste buds. Paired with soft noodles and crowned with crunchy, crispy noodles on top, Vegetarian Khao Soi is a symphony of textures and tastes, making it a comforting, flavorful, and truly Asian culinary experience.

  • 400 calories
  • 10 gr protein
  • 250 baht ($7)

Pad See Ew

Pad See Ew vegetarian

Vegetarian Pad See Ew is a tasty version of a classic Thai noodle dish. It’s popular all over Thailand, often spotted at street vendor stalls. The name, “stir-fry soy sauce”, gives a hint about its main flavor. This vegetarian spin keeps all the traditional tastes but with some tweaks to cater to those avoiding meat.

Here’s what makes it so delightful: Imagine chewy rice noodles that are stir-fried until they’re just right. Add crispy tofu that’s been seared to perfection, and toss in some crunchy Chinese broccoli. But the real star is the sauce. It’s a mix of savory with a slight sweetness and a hint of tang. This combination means that every bite of Vegetarian Pad See Ew is bursting with a unique and delicious flavor, making it a treat for anyone who loves exploring tasty dishes.

  • 350 calories
  • 10 gr protein
  • 100 baht ($ 2.80)

Vegetarian Satay Skewers

vegetarian Skewers

Vegetarian Satay Skewers are a fresh take on a well-loved street food from Southeast Asia. Traditionally, these skewers are filled with meat. But the vegetarian version? It’s different! Instead of meat, think of tasty alternatives like wheat gluten, soy protein strips, or even tofu. These ingredients make it perfect for those who love veggies or are on a plant-based diet.

What makes these skewers so special is the amazing marinade. It’s a mix of many delicious things. There’s aromatic lemongrass, sharp shallots, and bold garlic. Then, there’s the spicy touch of red chilies blended with earthy flavors like galangal, turmeric, coriander, and cumin. Soy sauce adds some saltiness, while brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness. Everything is brought together with vegetable oil. Once they’re soaked in this mix and grilled, the skewers become a mouthwatering treat, oozing with rich flavors that capture the heart of Southeast Asian cooking, but in a vegetarian way!

  • 500 calories
  • 15 gr protein
  • 60 thb ($ 1.70)

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (Por Pia Sod)

Fresh spring rolls vegetarian

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls, locally called “Por Pia Sod”, are a refreshing snack that traveled from China to Vietnam and then to Thailand. Unlike some other rolls you might find, these aren’t fried but served fresh, showcasing the crisp and vibrant veggies inside. The wrapper, which gently holds everything together, might be made from rice or wheat, adding a subtle, chewy texture to each bite.

When you take a bite, you’ll typically discover a mix of crunchy carrots, cool cucumber, nutty roasted nuts, crisp lettuce, and aromatic herbs. Each roll is like a little garden! For those who prefer vegetarian options, there’s good news. Instead of meat, these rolls might have eggs or tofu, both providing a soft contrast to the crunchiness of the veggies. With every bite, you get a burst of fresh flavors, making these spring rolls a light, healthy, and utterly delightful Thai treat.

  • 250 calories
  • 9 gr protein
  • 100-200 Baht ($ 2.80 – $5.60)

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple fried rice vegetarian

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, known in Thailand as Khao Pad Sapparot, is a fascinating dish that combines a medley of sweet, sour, and savory tastes. You’ll find it being prepared and enjoyed by many, especially at street vendor stalls throughout Thailand. Made from jasmine rice, it features vibrant vegetables and juicy pineapple chunks, all brought together with distinctive Thai seasonings.

Imagine rice grains, each coated with a mix of fish soy sauce, turmeric, and curry powder, giving them that unique taste and golden hue. The rice and its mix-ins are stir-fried over high heat, adding a delightful char and ensuring every grain soaks up the flavors. The savory notes of the seasonings find a perfect partner in the sweet and tangy pineapples. And just a hint of heat ties everything together, creating a plate of fried rice that not only represents Thai cuisine beautifully but is also loved across borders, like in neighboring Malaysia.

  • 230 calories
  • 6.5 gr protein
  • 50-100 Baht ($ 1.40 – $ 2.80)

Yellow Thai Curry With Mixed Vegetables (Kaeng Kari)

Yellow curry vegetarian

Yellow Thai Curry with Mixed Vegetables, known locally as “Kaeng Kari”, is a vibrant dish that captivates your senses with its blend of aromatic spices, rich coconut milk, and a medley of wholesome vegetables. A favorite among many, it’s commonly served and relished at street stalls across Thailand. Its sunlit yellow shade comes from the turmeric, setting the stage for the riot of colors from the vegetables inside.

At its heart, this curry is a harmonious marriage of flavors. The creaminess of coconut milk, the earthy tones of hearty vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots, and the sweet crunch of green beans and baby corn. Each vegetable not only adds its unique taste but also a delightful texture. And the beauty of this vegetarian curry? Its adaptability! If you’ve got an assortment of veggies waiting in your fridge, ‘Kaeng Kari’ welcomes them, making it a go-to dish for those looking to craft a tasty, veggie-rich meal.

  • 230 calories
  • 5 gr protein
  • 50-100 Baht ($ 1.40 – $ 2.80)

Vegetarian Larb

larb Thai vegetarian

Vegetarian Laab, also called Mushroom Larb, is a twist on a popular Laotian dish. It’s made using tasty oyster mushrooms, fresh herbs, and a sauce. Some use fish sauce, but there are vegan options too. This dish highlights the creativity in Southeast Asian vegetarian dishes, mixing various flavors and textures.

There’s another version, made with tofu and corn. You can have it as a light snack in lettuce wraps or with rice, making it versatile for meals. For those on a health kick, this dish is a bonus. It’s low in carbs but doesn’t skimp on taste.

  • 225 calories
  • 9 gr protein
  • 80 – 140 baht ($ 2.25 – $4 )

Thai Green Mango Salad (Yam Mamuang)

Green Mango Salad

Thai Green Mango Salad, known locally as “Yam Mamuang”, offers a refreshing twist on the famed Som Tum Thai. This dish is a symphony of tropical flavors: imagine a mix of fruity, spicy, sweet, sour, and salty tastes dancing on your palate. The star here is the shredded green mango. Its natural tanginess pairs wonderfully with the mildness of shallots and the crunch of peanuts. Though some versions include dried mini shrimp for an added depth of flavor, the core of the dish remains its beautiful interplay of textures and tastes.

Restaurants whip up this salad in no time and relish it fresh, or team it with side dishes and comforting sticky rice. What makes it truly special is the Thai-style dressing, a masterful blend that marries spicy, sweet, and salty notes. Regardless of the ingredients you choose, this salad promises a taste sensation with every bite.

  • 200 calories
  • 6 gr protein
  • 80-200 baht ($2.25 – $5.60)

Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Khao Niaow Ma Muang

Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert, also known as ‘Khao Niaow Ma Muang’, is a tantalizing treat from Thailand’s streets. A staple in Thai cuisine, its allure isn’t just in its simplicity but the profound tastes it brings forward. At its center are ripe tasty mangoes combined with coconut milk and Thai sweet rice (glutinous or sticky rice). This rice can be easily cooked on a stovetop, eliminating the need for a rice cooker. To elevate its taste, a hint of brown sugar and coconut milk is mixed, making every bite a delightful experience.

Chefs make this dish like painting with flavors. Each layer cooked sticky rice in a bowl, garnish with fresh mango slices, and then drenched in a velvety coconut sauce. Each mouthful promises a trip to the tropical landscapes of Southeast Asia. With minimal ingredients – just mangoes, sticky rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar – this dessert emerges as a quick yet exotic delight, sure to impress any guest.

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Jeh)

Tom Yum Jeh

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup, also called ‘Tom Yum Jeh’, is a tasty mix of spices, veggies, and a tangy broth. It’s a famous Thai soup, usually made with shrimp. But, the vegetarian version, using tofu instead, is just as yummy. It’s spicy, and sour, and has a lovely aroma that makes the soup stand out.

This soup uses soft tofu as its main protein, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. It’s not a difficult dish to make for restaurants. Whether you have it as a starter or a main dish, this soup is both tasty and filling. Plus, it’s a healthy option that brings the flavors of Thailand right to your bowl!

  • 150 calories
  • 10 gr protein
  • 50-100 Baht ($ 1.40 – $ 2.80)

Vegetable Papaya salad (Som Tam)

Thai Papaya salad

Vegetable Papaya Salad, known as ‘Som Tam’ in Thailand, is a fresh and tangy dish. It’s made from shredded green papaya, shallots, and crunchy peanuts. To spice things up, chilies and garlic are added.

For vegetarians, there’s a twist. Instead of using dried shrimp, they can add eggs or tofu. The dressing is simple but flavorful, made of fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. This salad is a light, tasty treat that’s quick to make.

  • 110 calories
  • 2 gr protein
  • 50-100 Baht ($ 1.40 – $ 2.80)


I have another vegetarian guide for in Pattaya, where I don’t focus on local food but go to local markets.

After exploring the flavors of Thai vegetarian cuisine, my favorites lean to Vegetarian Pad Thai and the Vegetable Papaya Salad. It’s not just the burst of flavors they offer, but the taste and texture that truly captivates my palate. What can I say, it feels like a party in my mouth. But that’s just my personal experience.

What about you? Among these delightful dishes, which one resonates with your taste buds the most? I’d love to hear which dish stole your heart. Share your favorites in the comments below!

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