Thai Vocabulary Resource: Adjectives to Describe Food

Here is a list of adjectives in Thai language that can be used to describe taste and texture of food. Like any other adjectives in Thai language, it is placed after a noun you are describing – such as “rot-chaad” (รสชาติ) which means “the taste” or “the flavour”; or “aa-haan” (อาหาร) which means “food”; or the name of the dish.

– phed (เผ็ด) = is spicy
– waan (หวาน) = is sweet
– bprio (เปรี้ยว) = is sour
– kem (เค็ม) = is salty
– kum (ขม) = is bitter
– man (มัน) / lian (เลี่ยน) = is oily / is greasy
– aroi (อร่อย) = is tasty / is delicious / is nice / is yummy
– mai aroi (ไม่อร่อย) / rot-chaad yae (รสชาติแย่) = is terrible / is yucky
– grawb (กรอบ) = is crunchy / is crispy
– mai (ไหม้) = is burnt
– suk (สุก) = is ripe / is cooked
– suk phaw-dee (สุกพอดี) = is mature / is just cooked
– mai suk (ไม่สุก) = is unripe / is uncooked
– hawm (หอม) / mee glin hawm (มีกลิ่นหอม) = is aromatic
– men (เหม็น) = is smelly
– men bprio (เหม็นเปรี้ยว) = is rancid / is smelling off (no longer fresh and have an unpleasant sour smell and taste)
– bood (บูด) / men bood (เหม็นบูด) = is gone off / is smelling off
– kem-kun (เข้มข้น) = is flavourful / is creamy (food that is rich, strong and full of flavour)
– rawn (ร้อน) = is hot / is scorching
– yen (เย็น) = is cold / is chill / is cool off
– nim (นิ่ม) = is soft
– kaeng (แข็ง) = is hard
– chaet (แฉะ) = is soggy / is mushy (for food that not meant to be wet and soft; often used for describing rice that has been cooked with too much water)
– na-gin (น่ากิน) / na rap-bpra-taan (น่ารับประทาน) = is appetizing / is appealing / is mouthwatering (because you think it will be good to eat)
– rot-jad (รสจัด) / rot-chaad-jad (รสชาติจัด) / rot-chaad-ded (รสชาติเด็ด) = is flavoursome / is tasty (food that tastes good because it has been seasoned well)
– jeud (จืด) / rot-chaad jeud (รสชาติจืด) = is tasteless / is bland / is flavourless

Observe the following examples below: 

kaao bood laeo phraw waa men bprio
ข้าวบูดแล้วเพราะว่าเหม็นเปรี้ยว
(Rice has gone off because it smells rancid)

mai waa ja sang arai thee raan nan, aa-haan gaw rot-chaad jeud
ไม่ว่าจะสั่งอะไรที่ร้านนั้นอาหารก็มีรสชาติจืด
(Regardless of what you order at that restaurant, the food is tasteless)

chan chawb Som-Dtam thee-nee phraw waa rot-chaad jad lae aroi dee
ฉันชอบสมตำที่นี่เพราะว่ารสชาติจัดและอร่อยดี
(I like Spicy Papaya Salad here because it’s tasty and deliciously good!)

kawng-waan na-rap-bpra-taan maak. chan yak gin dtae glua naam-nack keun
ของหวานน่ารับประทานมาก ฉันอยากกินแต่ฉันกลัวน้ำหนักขึ้น
(Desserts are very appetizing. I want to eat but I’m afraid of weight gain)

kaw-thod krab. aa-haan jaan nee kem maak-maak leuy krab. phom kaw mai dai mai krab?
ขอโทษครับ อาหารจานนี้เค็มมากๆเลยครับ ผมขอใหม่ได้ไหมครับ
(Excuse me. This is dish is extremely salty. May I have a new one please?)

aa-haan thee raan nan rot-chaad ded maak lae gaw ra-ka mai phaeng maak jun geun-bpai duay
อาหารที่ร้านนั้นรสชาติเด็ดมากและก็ราคาไม่แพงมากจนเกินไปด้วย
(The food at that shop is very tasty and the price is also not too expensive as well)