Types of Phuket Food
Feb 3 , 2012
Phuket has a rich food culture, combining Thai and Asian flavors with the western tastes of the island’s throngs of tourists. The fusions this has bred make food in Phuket very unique. There are many types of Phuket food, and this guide will help you learn more about what the island has to offer.
Thai food, in general, is marked by its use of a variety of flavors and fresh ingredients. These flavors harmonize to make Thai cuisine the unique and delicious phenomenon that we know it as, and Phuket has used this as a base for its own food tradition. By and large, Phuket food can be categorized in the same ways as Thai cuisine, since they both use rice and noodles as the primary base of most of their dishes.
You can't eat in Phuket without eating rice. This isn't an exaggeration, because 'to eat' in the Thai language literally translates to 'to eat rice.' Whenever rice is featured in a meal, it is done so as the primary ingredient, and the other flavors and ingredients (including meat) are introduced as a secondary taste. Those in the know choose jasmine rice as their preferred variety, which is the highest quality, locally grown kind of this signature type of Phuket food.
Noodles are a very common type of Phuket food, and they are generally served boiled or fried. You'll find noodles served with all kinds of dishes, from common street food to Royal Thai cuisine, which features rich and sophisticated flavors that are literally fit for a king. Noodle shops typically serve this type of Phuket food with pork or chicken in a broth, making simple but satisfying soups. Noodles are ubiquitous in the island's cuisine, and you'll find noodle restaurants in every town.
Curry in Phuket is unique. It is different from Indian curry, which uses strong spices for flavoring. Instead, curry in Phuket and Thailand relies on fresh herbs for seasoning, as well as spicy chilies that give it a signature heat. This type of Phuket food is very customizable from restaurant to restaurant, and varying European influences can provide a location with a curry all its own.
Indian and Chinese
Phuket has small but significant populations of Indian and Chinese emigrants who have opened restaurants to preserve their cultures' foods. These are great options if you're a vegetarian, and they serve a type of Phuket food not found in many other restaurants on the island.
Tom Yum is a Thai specialty, and this thin soup has taken on a life of its own as a unique type of Phuket food. Prawns, snapper, seabass, and other fish native to Phuket waters are added to a broth flavored with lemongrass, lime, and other spices, along with vegetables to create a satisfying soup. It can be served as an appetizer or as a main course, and it is an excellent example of a delicious, cherished type of Phuket food.
If you'd like to explore more of Phuket's food scene, check out this guide to the best Phuket restaurants.