Why is Thai food so popular? Google ranks Thai cuisine 4th most searched in UK

Why is Thai food so popular? Google ranks Thai cuisine 4th most searched in UK

Apr 11, 2024Nikita Singh

Why is Thai food so popular? Thai cuisine ranks 4th in UK search statistics, just behind Indian, Italian and Chinese food. 

Thai food’s rise in popularity can largely be attributed to the fresh, fragrant pastes used as a base in authentic Thai dishes. UK diners, no strangers to fiery food, order Thai Green Curry, or Kaeng Khiao Wan’ more than any other Thai meal. 

That’s why trendy restaurant groups, like Ollie’s House, use a versatile base sauce like our Thai Green Curry paired with chicken and broccoli, or Thai Red Curry with seared salmon. “The range of Asian base sauces enables us to create our own consistent dishes every time" says Adriana Lopez, Head Chef at Ollie's House Parsons Green.


Five basic flavours of Thai cuisine

The five basic flavours of all authentic Thai dishes are salty, sweet, spicy, sour and creamy. Many Thai chefs consider a dish incomplete if one of these elements is missing or not balanced in the correct ratios.


Salt is incorporated in a Thai dish through fish sauce, table salt, tamari or soy sauce. Chicken Panang Curry uses tamari instead of soy sauce to keep the dish gluten free. 


A common trait of all Thai dishes is a subtle sweetness most often from palm sugar, or cane sugar-derived jaggery which is used in Massaman Vegetable Curry


Depending on the dish, Thai curry pastes incorporate dried red chillies and ground spices, or fresh green chillies. Dried red chillies tend to lend a hot earthy tone compared to its fresh green counterparts. 

Peppery heat also comes from the use of galangal, a root from the ginger family, but more pungent and citrusy than its ginger cousin.


Tangy sour flavours are introduced to Thai cooking in the form of tamarind, lime peel, or fresh lime juice. Beef Massaman includes tamarind puree and lime juice to achieve an intense sourness which is later balanced by coconut milk and palm sugar.


In Thai cuisine, creaminess always comes in the form of coconut milk or coconut cream. This simple ingredient balances the intense salt and spice, adding a silky texture and a rich creamy taste like Chicken Satay

How to incorporate Thai flavours on your menu

Mustard supplies restaurants and hotels with base sauces to incorporate authentic Thai meals on their menu. It takes the pressure off the purchasing and kitchen teams, but allows chefs to be creative with the final dish. 

The same can be applied to a dish like Thai Red Vegetable Curry. It’s an authentic and rich vegan menu option, but can be adapted to add different proteins like chicken breast or beef strips. 

Alternatively, clients with limited prep space, like an outdoor event or festival, require fully prepared meals. Tom Goodchild from Laine Pubs orders Thai Green Chicken Curry for his eventing menu at the Brighton Spiegeltent. “It seems to be the dish of the week at the moment and we have flown through our stock with nothing but great feedback!” says Tom Goodchild, chef and organiser of the Spiegeltent. 

Contact us to request samples of some of the UK’s favourite Thai meals to include on your menu. 

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