People often say that Thailand is easy for vegans. Apparently the ease of obtaining vegan thai food, is determined by location in the country more than anything. In common tourist destinations you will find it much easier then far away villages which are considered off the beaten map. Much because of the darn fish and oyster sauces that can be found in almost everything.
Find our full vegan Guide to Thailand for more info.
Did you know that local restaurants count very few vegan dishes that are absolutely fish-sauce safe?
But who can find and reach vegan restaurants for every meal, right?
There is no real term for vegan so you will instead say that you are vegetarian (คนกินมังสวิรัติ pronounced “mangsawirati”), though this is not enough. You will need to add the phrase that refers to the Buddhist tradition of not eating dairy or eggs -nor garlic, onion and certain spices- เจ, pronounced “jay”.
This symbol is used to mark vegan snacks, restaurants or anything food related to show that it is Jay (vegan):
We have listed here 5 examples from our Thai Local Food tab. These dishes can be very easily veganized in local restaurants by asking to remove the shrimp paste, fish or oyster sauce.
Just show this text: ไม่มีกุ้ง, น้ำปลาหรือซอสหอยนางรม
Pronounced: “Mị̀mī kûng, n̂ảplā h̄rụ̄x sxs̄ h̄xy nāngrm”
Meaning: no shrimp, fish sauce or oyster sauce
With this and the explanations above about being a vegetarian you should be as safe as you can get.
Be sure to find our Thai Vegan Vocabulary tab to learn how to pronounce these words like a true vegan pro!
If you are into eating your greens, trying this dish of sautéed morning glory is a must. Often just a dish of Pack Boong and a bowl of rice will fill you up till supper and cost so little you won’t notice it. The best nutritious value for money!
To veganize ask for no fish sauce or shrimp is added.
Is there anything more satisfying than a sweet and sour fresh mango salad with coriander and chili on a hot day? Made sure no fish sauce is incorporated in to your dish.
aka “Dressed up Tofu”
Tofu and sautéed veggies in a broth. Who would think of adding anything else? Well beware of the broth and of added meat and fish. Should be a breeze to use our VEGAN WORDS page to specify.
Stir fried veggies with tofu. Make it comes oyster and fish sauce-free!
The papaya salad we all relish! It’s so easy to ask for no fish sauce!
If you are looking to become a vegan Thai food expert, try your hand at Thai cuisine with May Kaidee’s Thai cookbook filled with easy recipes that come out so tasty you’ll want to open a restaurant!
This cookbook has sold more than 30,000 copies making it the best selling vegan Thai book to date. If you are interested in really learning how to cook Thai food the local way, this book is for you!
Also if you are looking to get those real authentic flavours, you might want to try extremely Tasty Vegan Fish Sauce If available in your country.
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