If you’re a lover of contrasting, aromatic flavours, Thai food is the perfect cuisine for you!
Thai cuisine combines hot and spicy flavours with light, citrus notes from ingredients like lemongrass, mango, and lime to deliver the ultimate burst of flavour.
Striking the ideal balance between sweet and savoury, Thai food appeals to all kinds of people with different palates and preferences. That’s why it’s the perfect cuisine for event catering.
Here are 21 delicious Thai catering food ideas that are packed with flavour and reflect the authentic nature of Thai cooking.
We have options for self-serve buffets as well as sophisticated sit-down meals. So no matter what kind of event you’re planning, these Thai foods will fit right in.
For many people pork or chicken satay skewers is one of the first appetisers they choose when ordering Thai food. In fact, this tasty entree has its origins in Indonesia and the Philippines, though it is now served along side a number of Southeast Asian cuisines.
Wherever, these yummy snacks come from, we are sure they’ll fly off the buffet.
We love the contrast of the creamy peanut sauce with the sharp notes of lime and garlic, all brought together by the sweetness of the brown sugar. Plus, these skewers are so versatile. They work as part of a larger buffet selection or as hors d’oeuvres.
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Another great option for a self-serve, Thai-themed event (although they also work perfectly as a starter) is Larb Gai.
These Thai lettuce wraps make for fun finger food. Inside the lettuce shell, they’re packed with authentic Thai flavours, including lemongrass, chilli, ginger, and coriander (cilantro). The chicken mince helps to make these wraps surprisingly filling, too.
Sydney has some superb Thai Restaurants. See our recommendations.
Thailand is known for its delicious soups, and this coconut shrimp soup is a perfect example of simple yet elegant and flavoursomeThai cuisine.
The creamy coconut base of this soup is given a kick with red curry paste, fish sauce, minced lemongrass, and lime juice. You get a hint of chicken broth as well as fresh ginger notes and, of course, the sweet-and-salty taste of prawns (shrimp).
Worried about your soup getting cold? Check our piece on Ways To Keep Things Warm At A Party
This Thai peanut noodle salad can be served as an appetiser. However, it’s also the perfect light and refreshing choice for guests to help themselves to alongside other foods at a buffet.
While salads often aren’t considered an exciting catering option, this one is definitely an exception. Dressed with a sauce made from peanut butter, fresh ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper, honey, and sugar, this dish will have your guests coming back for second helpings.
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Thai red curry is one of the most popular Thai dishes worldwide. If you’re considering serving a Thai-themed sit-down meal at your event, this is definitely a dish to add to the menu.
This curry recipe is healthy, filling, and aromatic, marrying mild and spicy flavours such as coconut and ginger perfectly. It’s definitely one of our favourite Thai catering food ideas.
Talking of favourites, see our rundown of Popular Catering Dishes
Khao Tom Mud is a traditional, authentic Thai dessert. Sweet and satisfying without being too heavy, this dessert is the perfect way to end a Thai-style meal.
This dish consists of sticky coconut and banana rice wrapped in banana leaves. However, it can also feature jackfruit or mango. It’s easy and fun to eat, and as desserts go, it’s a great healthy option.
On the hunt for some interesting sweets? Check out our Traditional Chinese Desserts
Pla Goong, a Thai spin on a salad. It is a light appetiser that can be prepared in larger quantities if you want to serve it as part of a buffet.
This particular recipe is quite spicy, in keeping with traditional Thai cuisine. However, you can always make it milder by using less chilies than called for in the instructions.
Click here for the Best Thai Restaurants in Adelaide
If you’re looking for a filling Thai entree to serve either as part of a sit-down meal or a self-serve buffet, look no further than this Thai chicken casserole.
This is a filling catering option made with thick rice noodles, chicken broth, and delicious peanut sauce. When served hot, it’s the perfect hearty main course for cold-weather events.
Do you get confused working out how much food you’ll need? See our post on Calculating Food Portions For Catering
Noodle dishes can often feel quite heavy, but these pineapple udon noodles will tickle your guests’ taste buds while ensuring that they still have room for more.
The udon noodles in this recipe are topped with a sweet, aromatic pineapple vinaigrette as well as chunks of fresh mango for a fruity and filling taste experience.
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Yet another prawn (shrimp)-based recipe (because you can’t go wrong with prawns). These versatile Thai shrimp cakes can be served as finger food or with a side of salad as an appetiser or entree.
The ginger in this recipe pairs perfectly with the flavour of the fish sauce in a shining example of real Thai cuisine.
Want to serve finger food but unsure in quantities? Check our article on How Do You Calculate Finger Foods?
Mango sorbet is a staple dessert in Thailand and it’s an excellent palate-cleanser. Especially after a meal filled with powerful Thai flavours.
This dessert is especially fitting for events hosted during the summer months when guests are likely to be craving something sweet and refreshing.
Are you feeding guests at an Engagement Party? See our suggestions.
Pad Thai is a traditional Thai dish. Typically served as street food, Pad Thai has found its way into Thai restaurants worldwide. So we couldn’t really give you Thai catering food ideas and not include it.
This recipe is vegetable-based to help you get your 5-a-day. Luckily, it’s so delicious that it doesn’t even feel like the ‘healthy option’.
Pad Thai is one of the many fabulous Food Ideas For Catering Vans and Food Trucks
These Thai Turkey Burgers will work great as entrees, but you could even make miniature versions if you wanted to serve them as appetisers or hors d’oeuvres.
Topped with a combination of cooling cucumber and slaw as well as hot and spicy sriracha aioli, the balance of flavours delivered by these burgers is incredible.
Do you feel like calling in the caterers? Try our post on Ultimo Catering for some price and menu ideas.
BBQ prawns (shrimp) in the shell (Thai-style) makes a perfect entree or appetiser. The shrimp can easily be paired with rice and vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.
Furthermore, the flavour of the shrimp is enhanced by the fish and oyster sauce in this easy yet innovative recipe.
Fancy a fish dinner tonight? Check our Seafood Restaurant recommendations for Melbourne.
Larb salad makes the perfect side dish to accompany almost any of the appetisers or entrees suggested in this article. It’s light, crunchy, and absolutely packed with flavour.
Even better, it’s a highly versatile catering option because it can be served hot or cold depending on your preference.
Are you toying with the idea of starting a catering business? See our piece, Is A Catering Business A Good Idea?
Just like Thai red curry, Thai green curry is much-loved dish to feature on your Thai catering menu.
As you can see from this recipe, it’s easy to adjust the classic Thai green curry to any dietary requirements. For example, you could use tofu and vegan fish sauce for any guests who prefer plant-based dishes.
This is a creamier and slightly richer, yet still light and refreshing, alternative to mango sorbet for the dessert section of your Thai menu.
One reason we love this Thai dessert option is that it’s dairy-free but it doesn’t taste like it.So again, vegan and non-vegan guests alike can enjoy it at the end of their meal.
Have you heard of the Flexitarian Diet, and would like to know more? Read our piece on Flexitarianism
No Thai catering menu is complete without a delicious rice dish. This pineapple fried rice meets that description perfectly.
We love the combination of flavours in this specific recipe, from the powerful punch of curry powder and chilli flakes to the fruity, citrus zing of lime and pineapple.
Do you like some spicy, flavoursome dishes? See our post on Mexican Catering Foods Ideas
Spring rolls are an excellent finger food option for Thai-themed events, but you could also plate them up with some salad, noodles, or rice as an entire course.
Our favourite thing about this recipe is that it pairs the light and crispy vegetable spring rolls with a traditional Thai peanut sauce. You can add some prawn to the recipe or, to make it vegetarian, tofu.
Do you want to keep the costs down? Read our article, Cheap Catering Food Ideas for some tips
This mango chicken recipe can be served alongside rice, vegetables, or one of the salads on our list as an appetiser or entree. If you can keep it warm, it also works on a self-serve basis.
The mango sauce features an interesting and authentic combination of Thai flavours. The fish sauce, garlic, chilli, turmeric, and soy sauce cut through the sweetness of the mango and brown sugar.
Our final Thai catering food recommendation is another dessert. If you’ve been serving fairly light courses throughout the meal, it’s nice to treat your guests to some indulgent coconut cake.
The cake is made with flour, sugar, coconut cream, coconut flakes, whole eggs, and egg yolk. It’s easy to bake in large trays so that all guests can have a sizeable slice of cake.
This is also a convenient dessert for guests to take home with them at the end of the event because the squares can be boxed up or wrapped in paper towel without falling apart.
Do you need to feed guests with gluten issues? Try our Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Mousse Recipes
We hope that the 21 Thai catering food suggestions in this article have given you some ideas about what to serve at your Thai-themed event.
Bear in mind that many of these recipes contain common allergens such as peanuts and shellfish, so make sure to ask your guests about their dietary requirements before you start planning your menu.