The main Food of Nong Khai is rice. There are many dishes of food to go with rice. Most of them are hot and spicy and that is what Thai food is famous for. A proper Nong Khai meal should consist of a soup, a curry dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish and vegetables. A spiced salad may replace the curry dish. The soup can also be spicy, but the curry should be replaced by non spiced items. There must be a harmony of tastes and textures within individual dishes and the entire meal.
Nong Khai has an innumerable amount of restaurants and food stalls where tourists can buy a variety of food. Local specialties in food of Nong Khai include Som Tam (papaya salad), Mekong river fish and Vietnamese spring rolls all eaten with Sticky Rice. There are also many western restaurants to cater for the less adventurous palate.
With their Buddhist background, Thais shunned the use of large animals in big chunks. Big cuts of meat were shredded and laced with herbs and spices. Traditional Thai cooking methods were stewing and baking, or grilling. Chinese influences saw the introduction of frying, stir frying and deep-frying. Culinary influences from the 17th century onwards included Portuguese, Dutch, French and Japanese.
Chilies were introduced to Thai cooking during the late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America. All these influences can be traced in the food of Nong Khai as it is an important part of Thailand and its food habits could be no exception to the general habits of Thailand.