songkran, thai new year

Songkran or Thai New Year: Do You Need to Serve Specific Dishes?

Growing up in Thailand, I’ve always loved Songkran. It’s one of the liveliest festivities you can attend, and you’ll receive some soaking whether you want to or not. I strived to continue celebrating Thai New Year even after I left Thailand.

Songkran’s highlight lies in the water fight, but its significance matters more. I taught my kids about water’s cleansing purpose during Thai New Year, and we play with water guns to welcome the new year. More importantly, though, I always cook them my favorite meals, forming a permanence when celebrating Songkran.

You should know that you don’t need to serve specific dishes during the Thai New Year. Still, I’ve always loved Pad Kee Mow, Nam Prik Ong, Chicken Lettuce Wrap, Papaya Salad, and Thai Tea, so I cook and serve them to my loved ones every Songkran. All of them are Thai food you can easily find in the streets during Songkran.

They have been my yummy and comforting to-go food whenever we celebrated Thai New Year for as long as I can remember. They also remind me of home and help me keep our tradition going despite my hometown’s distance.

Pad Kee Mow

pad kee mow, songkranDrunken Noodles are fantastic, and I’m not alone in thinking so. My Mint Fanatics in Asian Mint name Pad Kee Mow as their second favorite dish! You can find Pad Kee Mow in plenty of street stalls in Thailand. I use shirataki noodles so everyone can enjoy my dish without worrying about pasta calories.

Don’t worry about alcohol content, too – drunken noodle doesn’t contain alcohol. Pad Kee Mow is perfect after a night of drinking with friends. You can also try it if you’re feeling adventurous and up for some spicy goodness.

I serve drunken noodles during Songkran because it’s just so good. It’s a classic Thai noodle dish that reminds me of home. It represents a spicy, festive start to the new year for me, too, with its array of flavors and complementing ingredients.

Nam Prik Ong

nam prik ongJust like with Pad Kee Mow, my Songkran isn’t an authentic Songkran celebration unless we eat Nam Prik Ong. It’s more of a dipping sauce than an actual meal, but it’s a great snack you can pair with anything crunchy.

Nam Prik Ong’s meaty sauce littered with tomatoes mixed with red curry paste magically enhances any plain snack. You can dip pork rinds, bell peppers, purple and orange carrots, and even cucumbers in Nam Prik Ong.

Chicken Lettuce Wrap

chicken lettuce wraps, songkranFun fact: you can place Nam Prik Ong on chicken lettuce wrap as a topping! Chicken lettuce wrap stands out on its own, but it tastes better when you get creative and add some sauce to it. Besides Nam Prik Ong, you can also use my hot sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and even black soy sauce. Check them out here.

If you ever go to Thailand or already did, you’ll notice plenty of stalls serving chicken lettuce wraps. They’re healthy, tasty, and soul-feeding. It’s also perfect for boosting an eventfully tiring and fun Songkran celebration!

Papaya Salad

papaya salad, songkranPapaya is abundant in Thailand, so you’ll see Thai people eating papaya on plenty of occasions. I love how it feels like home whenever I whip up a simple papaya salad. Of course, there are so many variations to this dish, and that’s what makes it even more special!

I often create papaya salad’s simple version, where I mix green papaya, green bean, tomato, dried shrimp, and peanut. You’ll often find me serving papaya salad with grilled chicken, sticky rice, or the traditional Thai salad.

In Songkran, I prefer to combine papaya salad with drunken noodles, chicken lettuce wrap, Thai tea, and Nam Prik Ong. I’m always appreciative of the result, of how each dish complements each other and makes the whole meal special. It’s so, so soul-feeding, especially when I watch my kids eat them with delight.

Thai Tea

thai tea, songkranI can’t get enough Thai tea, probably because it fed my soul plenty of times as I grew up. You’ll see Thai tea or Cha Yen served everywhere in Thailand’s streets. Thai tea comes from strongly brewed black tea mixed with condensed milk and sugar. Some people add evaporated milk on top of the tea for a creamier and tastier drink.

If you’re worried about sugar, though, you can order Thai tea with less sugar or no condensed milk. In that case, your tea’s called Cha Dum Yen or Thai tea without milk. Sometimes, you’ll see Thai tea served as Thai lime tea, too, where sellers add lime and a bit of sugar to your tea.

I prefer Thai tea’s original sweet version, so I always create sweet, creamy, and smooth Thai tea. If you taste Asian Mint’s Thai tea, you’ll understand why it holds a spot in my Songkran dish collection. It’s refreshing and energizing – perfect after spending a Songkran celebration.

Celebrate Songkran with Asian Mint

I’m so glad you appreciated Thai culture enough to learn about Songkran! The pandemic limits our movements right now, but I’d like to invite you to Asian Mint’s Thai New Year celebration. Visit one of our branches on April 13 to participate in some traditional Songkran activities!

Allow us to feed your souls physically and emotionally on Thai New Year. You can order my favorite Songkran dishes, bathe the Buddha, and receive special envelopes with surprises in them.

If you can’t visit any Asian Mint branch, you can still celebrate Thai New Year. Sign up for my Easy Keto Songkran Cook-Along instead! You can join me or watch me create Pad Kee Mow, Nam Prik Ong, and Thai Tea.


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