11 popular Thai Fruits and how to say them

by | Apr 30, 2020 | Vocabulary

If you are a fruit lover and you come to Thailand you are going to have a great time!

Thailand has a huge abundance of fresh, delicious fruits some of which you will have a difficult time finding in other parts of the world.

If you ever wondered how to say these fruits in Thai, keep reading!

1) Durian ทุเรียน

Probably the most divisive fruit on this list is the Durian. Some people hate it and some people love it.  It is infamous for its bad smell and creamy texture.  In fact, it is banned in many hotels, airports, and establishments due to the smell.

Durian Fruit ทุเรียน

ทุเรียน tú rian : Durian

2) Mangosteen มังคุด

Mangosteen also known as the Queen of Fruits in Thailand is another delicious fruit.  It has a purple exterior, a green stem, and inside it has soft white seeds that you can suck and eat.

Mangosteen fruit มังคุด

มังคุด mang-kút : Mangosteen

3) Mango มะม่วง

This one is probably a fruit everyone is familiar with.  Mangos are one of the most popular fruits to eat in Thailand.  They are not just eaten as a fruit but also are incorporated into many Thai dishes and Salads.

For dessert, you can order mango and sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง Khao Niaow Ma Muang).

For food, you can order mango salad which uses unripe mangoes.

Mango Fruit มะม่วง

มะม่วง má-mûang : Mango

4) Dragon Fruit แก้วมังกร

This is a colorful, weird-looking BUT delicious fruit.  The inside is white with little black dots and the outside is usually pink.

Dragon Fruit แก้วมังกร

แก้วมังกร gâew mang-gon : Dragon Fruit

5) Jackfruit ขนุน

The Jackfruit is another popular fruit in Thailand.  At first glance, from the exterior, it looks like a durian but the Jackfruit doesn’t have such a spiky shell like the durian. The spikes on the Jackfruit are smaller and more like pebbles.

Jackfruit ขนุน

ขนุน kà-nŭn : Jackfruit

6) Banana กล้วย

This is another popular fruit worldwide that is also popular in Thailand.  Thais eat them raw, in chips, and baked goods. There are many kinds of bananas in Thailand that you can find.

For example: กล้วยหอม (glûuay hŏm) is the popular bananas that everyone probably already knows (like in the picture).

There is also กล้วยเล็บมือนาง (glûuay-lép-meu naang) which literally “woman’s nail banana”. These ones are small and skinny.

There is also กล้วยไข่ (glûuay-kài) which are my favorite. These are also small but fatter than the กล้วยเล็บมือนาง.

Banana กล้วย

กล้วย glûay : Banana

7) Coconut มะพร้าว

The coconut is one of the most used Thai Fruits.  You can eat them as-is and drink the water.  You will find many stalls selling coconut and you can watch the worker cut it in front of you with a large machete.

You will also find the coconut used in many dishes such as curries, soups, etc. For example tom yam (ต้มยำ dtôm yam), Massaman curry (แกงมัสมั่น gaeng má-sà-màn), sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง Khao Niaow Ma Muang), etc.

coconut มะพร้าว

มะพร้าว má-práao : Coconut

8) Lychee ลิ้นจี่

The lychee is a delicious small sweet fruit that is shaped like a golf ball. The outside is brownish-red and the inside is a white ball.

Lychee ลิ้นจี่

ลิ้นจี่ lín jèe : Lychee

9) Rambutan เงาะ

Rambutan is another strange looking fruit that is not typically found in western countries. It is usually red and has lots of spikes sticking out.  The inside is white and resembles a lychee.

Rambutan เงาะ

เงาะ Ngór : Rambutan

10) Papaya มะละกอ

A very famous dish is papaya salad also known as somtam (ส้มตำ sôm dtam).  It is made with shredded unripe papaya (green papaya).  Once ripe the papaya turns orange inside.

papaya มะละกอ

มะละกอ Má-lá-gor : Papaya

11) Tamarind มะขาม

There are 2 kinds of tamarind.  There is a sweet one which is delicious for a snack and the sour one which is mostly used for cooking.

In fact, the most popular Thai dish, pad thai (ผัดไทย), contains Tamarind paste as an ingredient.

Tamarind is also a popular candy snack.

tamarind มะขาม

มะขาม Má-kăam : Tamarind

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