I know there are people who don’t like spicy food or are allergic to chili even. Not all Thai food is made spicy you just have to know which one to avoid.
- The very useful phrase to add to all your order is Mai Sai Prik, meaning without chili please. The word Mai Ped means not spicy but I found that the vendors or restaurant could drop in a dash of chili just for the taste. Mai Sai Prik is absolutely no chili
- If you’re allergic to chili and you want to stress that out, you might say Chan Pae Prik, I’m allergic to chili.
- Steer clear of the any menu having the word Yum in it. Yum means spicy salad with three S: sour, salty, spicy. Tom Yum is also the case.
- Almost all curry paste which is the base for Thai curry, including Masaman, Green Curry, Panaeng, is made from chili. Some restaurants geared for foreigners, usually found in heavily touristic area, will have the non-chili version. Don’t risk it if you really can’t take chili.
- Pad Phak or stir-fried vegetable dishes usually has no chili. Some restaurants, especially local shops in Southern Thailand, might add one or two chili to Pad Phak Boong, stir-fried morning glory, or Phad Tua Ngawk. Say Mai Sai Prik as above.
What is safe then? My recommendation would be a few
- The famous Mee Grob – crispy vermicelli
- Gang Jued or Clear Soup
- Pad Thai — though the shop might put chili powder on the side
- Pad Phak as above
- Noodle Soup – see my post on how to order noodle soup
- Kai Jeow, which is Thai Omelette
- Pad Se-ew – stir-fried noodle with soya sauce and vegetables
- Rad Naa – noodle with gravy sauce
- Kao Mun Gai – chicken rice
- Kao Moo Daeng – rice with grilled pork
- Deep fried dishes such as Fried Chicken in Pandan Leaf, Gai Hor Bai Toey. Chicken or Pork with Garlic and Pepper, Gai or Moo Tod Kra Tiem. Tod Mun Goong or Shrimp cake is also ok. Be careful though not all Tod Mun is chili-free — stick to Tod Mun Goong