Is Pad Thai spicy?

In this article, we find whether Pad Thai is spicy or sweet. We also about the characteristics and the uniqueness of Thai gastronomy. We finish by recommending the best food to eat in Thailand. 

Is Pad Thai spicy?

Pad Thai is not a spicy dish, it combines sweet and savory flavors and each chef adds their flavor to the sauce, which can be more or less spicy.

Thailand is an exotic country for Westerners and whose gastronomy tastes sweet, sour, and salty at the same time: flavors mixed to achieve a perfect balance. This concept is key to talking about Thai cuisine, and we will only be able to discover it by walking through its streets full of food stalls.

You can also eat spicy-free in Thailand thanks to Pad thai (the most popular dish), Gai Pad Metmamuang (chicken with peanuts, vegetables, and oyster sauce), Thom Kha Gai (soup with ginger, lemongrass, chicken, lime, sauce fish, and coconut milk), Khaw Pad Muu Kratiang (fried pork with rice and garlic) or Pak Phad Bung (similar to spinach), among others.

How spicy is Thai food?

First of all, you should know that Thai food is almost always accompanied by rice, whether you order it or not. For this reason, you will see written in most menus “steam rice included” or what is the same “cooked rice included.” So much so that even the verb to eat in Thai “Kin Khaw,” translated into English, means “to eat rice.” 

Thus, this food would be the equivalent of what it is for us to eat with bread, it accompanies everything, and as an additional advantage, it makes your spicy dishes more friendly.

But if even mixing your food with rice you do not finish being calm, here are some of the phrases that you can use to understand yourself with the Thai people depending on the level of spiciness you want:

  • Slightly spicy, please. In Thai: ped nig noi crap.
  • Spicy, please. In Thai: ped crap.
  • Not spicy, please. In Thai: Mai ped crap.
  • Very spicy. In Thai: ped mak crap.

The four flavors of Thai gastronomy

The four primary flavors of Thai cuisine are sweet, bitter, salty, and sour. The point is to find the balance between these flavors and then add hot peppers and herbs. But you can also put a few peppers or peppers that just sting. So if you specifically ask for it, Thai food does not have to be very spicy.

Thai people love herbs and seasonings, and there is no Thai restaurant without having all four basics on every table. These four staple Thai seasonings are sugar, Nam Pia (fish salt), Prik Pon (crunchy chili pepper), and a bittersweet vinegar with pepper. There is no correct way to season food, but each person adds the amount of each seasoning they want or does not add any. These four condiments represent the four primary flavors.

Other FAQs about Pad Thai which you may be interested in.

Why is Pad Thai red?

Why does Pad Thai taste like ketchup?

Is Pad Thai supposed to be sweet?

What to eat in Thailand

Before starting your trip, you may think that you will not be able to eat anything, that everything is very spicy, and not like Thai food. You have to be a little open to different flavors, but you will see that you will eat very well and not have to eat spicily.

It will also depend on who you take your organized trip with or go on your own. If you go on an extended group trip, the food may not be delicious.If you go on your own, it will be challenging to eat well, because rich food is in some street stalls or certain little restaurants and you have to know them.

Is Thai gastronomy suitable for celiacs?

Thai cuisine hardly uses wheat flour. Therefore, in principle, if you are celiac, it will be easier to eat than in Europe. However, you will have to be careful with some food. The noodles, for example, if they all have some wheat flour except the transparent noodles. And the soy sauce too. Below you can read more about Thai food for celiacs.

The fruits in Thailand

The Thai fruit market is among the richest in the world. There is no problem that you buy it in the markets and peel it and eat it at any time. There is no danger of any kind. On the contrary, it is much more natural than the pesticide-laden fruit eaten in Europe. 

Pineapple, watermelon, mangosteen, lychees, mango, rambutan (without the seeds) are some of the fruits that you will find in Thailand. I leave you an article about the fruits in Thailand to know which is the richest.

The bottom line

In this article, we found whether Pad Thai spicy is. We talked about the characteristics and the uniqueness of Thai gastronomy. 

Pad thai is not a spicy dish. However, it represents the perfect combination of Thai gastronomy’s four primary flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, and sour. The real name of this dish is kway teow pad thai. The first two words are of Chinese origin and translate as rice noodles, and the Thai term pad or pat translates as a stir fry. 

We serve the pad thai on a large plate or individual plates and garnish with fresh coriander leaves, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, chives, and a lime wedge.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References – Thai Food Dishes You Must Try – Traditional Thai Recipes – Thai Food

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.