The Thai Issue

Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine's Snowbird Dumplings

Though St. Louis is known near and far for its pork steaks, its gooey butter cake and Italian specialties on The Hill, locals have a serious appetite for Thai food. An abundance of Thai restaurants serve up stir-fries, salads, soups, curries and noodles flavored with that signature combination of hot, sweet, sour and salty that keeps us coming back for more.

The most popular dishes in Thailand − pad thai, fried rice, tom yum soup, and red and green curries − come from the culinary traditions of central Thailand and are referred to as Bangkok cuisine. You’ll find these dishes on menus at most Thai restaurants, but there’s so much more to experience: spicy-hot soups and curries from the south, sausages and sticky rice from the north and plenty of fried meats from the northeast. You don’t have to travel to these regions to sample these foods. It’s all available here in St. Louis, and we’ve dedicated this issue to the bounty of Thai food in our local culinary scene.

Click the links below to tour restaurants serving up exceptional regional Thai dishes that push diners beyond the familiarity of Bangkok cuisine, explore the many uses of rice in Thai cooking, go behind the scenes at King and I to learn how this popular restaurant has been pleasing St. Louis palates for 30 years and end on a sweet note with three family dessert recipes from Fork & Stix’s Phatcharin Wanna, a native of north Thailand.

Peppered throughout are guides to stocking up on Thai ingredients, properly serving pad thai at home, cooking a beautiful pot of jasmine rice and navigating Thai menus.

Dig in and start exploring:

Touring Thailand

In The Kitchen at The King & I

Thai Menus 101

Beyond The Grain

How to Cook Jasmine Rice

The Thai Pantry

Proper Pad Thai

Homemade Thai Desserts