Microwave friendly Thai dishes 

#WFH has been the new normal since 2020, and that has brought a lot of convenience to work comfortably at home. With working from home though, comes the need to cook from home instead of buying lunch at your office cafeteria; it’s also caused those of us without kitchens to eat an absurd amount of instant noodles with “tom yum” soup. 

We created a list of easy Thai recipes that take under 30 minutes to cook for workaholics who have little time to spare and no kitchen equipment. 

These recipes involve only a microwave that you can set to 800 watts, a kettle and spice packets you can buy at your nearby convenience store. 

Note: Ingredients can be adjusted to your liking. All the meals do not include prep time or thaw time.

Microwaveable recipes

1. Chicken Larb with sticky rice – spicy salad with sticky rice 

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes
Larb With Sticky Rice
Image credit: The Woks of Life

Larb and sticky rice is a popular dish among Thais and foreigners, alike. This dish is packed with protein and spices, which makes it perfect for those who want a nutritiously spicy meal. On its own, larb is the perfect lunch due to its rich flavours and high protein content; add sticky rice, and you may feel a little lethargic. So, we’d recommend keeping the sticky rice and larb for dinner. 

Total cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes 


  • precooked sticky rice from 7/11 or ½ cup of sticky rice
  • 3 shallots
  • 50g of minced chicken breast
  • 3 fresh chilis or 3 teaspoons of chilli powder (depending on your taste)
  • 5g of chopped coriander
  • 1 – 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoon of tamarind sauce or 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 2g of ground khao khua (coarse powder)
  • 2 chilis 
  • 2 – 3 limes 

Cooking steps:

  • Put the rice in water and heat in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes
    • The final product of the rice should be glutinous
  • Heat the minced chicken breast in the microwave for 1 minute
  • Mix the cloves garlic and shallots with the meat
  • Add chilis, fish sauce, limes, tamarind sauce, and coarse powder
  • Then mix them together thoroughly

The end product can be a little watery or dry depending on how you mix your ingredients – adding 1 extra tablespoon of water to the minced chicken breast and then having it cooked in the microwave will create a more hydrous final product.

Recipes adapted from: The Woks of Life, Eating Thai food, Evergreen

2. Moo Tod Kratiem – fried pork with garlic

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 MinutesImage credit: Foodof

Moo Tod Gratiem or pork fried with garlic is usually cooked in a wok to ensure the garlic’s extra crispiness. But, now you can cook the widely loved meal in a microwave. As the garlic and meats will be cooked in a steaming microwave, the dish can become oiler than the wok-fried Moo Tod Gratiem so, adjust the oil based on your preference. 

Total cooking time: 10 minutes 


  • 50g sirloin pork/ 70g of chicken breast
  • ½ cup of palm, soybean, olive or whichever oil you prefer 
  • 3 finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of oyster sauce 
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce 
  • 1g of chopped coriander

Cooking steps: 

  • Mix the meat thoroughly with oyster sauce, pepper, brown sugar, and soy sauce
  • In a separate bowl, mix garlic and the oil then heat for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the garlic is semi crispy
  • Add marinated pork to the bowl 
  • Heat it up in the microwave for 5 – 10 minutes

Recipes adapted from: Food Travel

3. Grapow Gai – for chicken stir fried with basil lovers

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes - Larb
Image credit: Thais Mes Center

Chicken stir fried with basil leaves or Grapow Gai is considered as one of the laziest pickings for Thais. Usually, the meat is stir fried in a wok on high heat, which gives an extra punch to the flavours; however, the microwave can bring you something close. You can use 1 chili or none for this dish, because it’s still delicious without spiciness

The dish is extra tasty with rice which you can cook in 2 minutes, or get from 7/11.

Total cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes 


  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chilis (standard Thai spicy)
  • 10g of basil leaves
  • 50g of chicken breast
  • 1 cup of palm, soybean, olive or whichever oil you prefer
  • water (Tto keep the meat hydrated)

Cooking steps:

  • First mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce together and meat thoroughly, then add 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of water
  • Add the garlic, chilis and mix them thoroughly into the batch. Add 1 tablespoon of water if the batch dries up
  • Microwave the batch for 45 seconds – 1 minute twice. The meat has to be 70 – 80% cooked in this step
  • Take the batch out after getting heated and check if the meat is cooked and ensure none of the ground meat is stuck together
  • Add the basil leaves and 1 tablespoon of water into the mixture, then place it back into the microwave for 1 minute

To prevent the dish from being too watery, you can add half a tablespoon of water instead if it dries up.

Recipes adapted from: Food Travel, Thais Mes Center

4. Panang curry – thick curry within 20 minutes

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes
Image credit: Marion’s Kitchen

Panang curry or gaeng panang is a well-known curry that’s rich in umami, sweet and other complementing flavours – if you’re a chicken masala lover, you’ll love this dish.

Total cooking time: 10 – 20 minutes


  • 50g sirloin pork/chicken breast
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of penang curry paste
  • 1 chili
  • 1 cup of palm, soybean, olive or whichever oil you prefer 
  • 1 – 3 bergamot leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or coconut sugar/brown sugar

Cooking steps:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of curry paste, and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk together thoroughly then heat for 40 seconds – 1 minute
  • Thoroughly stir the mix until it becomes a paste
  • Add meat and add more coconut milk to the batch until 70% of the bowl is full
  • After the meat and other ingredients are completely mixed together, add half a tablespoon of fish sauce and sugar after thoroughly mixing the added ingredients
  • After the mix is settled, heat it for 3 – 5 minutes 
  • Add chopped bergamot leaves and chilis for garnish

Then you’ll get Panang curry out of the microwave, this is delicious with naan or rice.

Recipes adapted from: Marion’s Kitchen, Food Travel 

5. Gaeng Kiew Whan – green curry that’s soup for the soul

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes Image credit: Splendid Table

Usually green curry or gaeng kiew whan can take up an hour to cook, depending on your ingredients and cooking experience. The curry isn’t spicy but tastes excellent with some added chillies, making it suitable for both spice lovers and non-spicy foodies alike. The dish is flavourful enough that you don’t necessarily have to eat it with rice or naan, so it can work as a light meal. 

Total cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes


  • 150g sirloin pork/chicken breast
  • 3 Thai eggplants 
  • 2 big red chilis
  • 5 gooseberries
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar
  • ½ of green curry paste
  • 1½ cup of coconut milk
  • Half a tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 chopped bergamot leaves
  • 4 holy basil leaves
  • 1 chili 

Cooking steps: 

  • Heat all of the coconut milk in a microwave for 1 – 2 minutes 
    • Chop Thai eggplants and leave them in salted water whilst the coconut milk is heating up
  • Stir the green curry paste with the coconut milk thoroughly, then heat the batch in the microwave for the next 45 seconds – 1 minute
  • Add chopped eggplants, gooseberries, chopped bergamot, fish sauce and meat. Mix the batch thoroughly
  • Heat the batch in the microwave for another 3 – 4 minutes
  • Add chopped chilis and holy basil leaves as toppings

Voila – now, you have a green curry!

Recipes adapted from: Splendid Table, Bigger Bolder Baking

Kettle Recipes

6. Mama Noodles with homemade Tom Yum soup – easy kettle recipe

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes Image credit: Burpple

Tom yum mama noodles are like the perfect midnight snack for Netflix or instant therapy in a meal. They’re loved by many, but our recipe adds an extra level with a richer tom yum soup to go with the noodles.

Total cooking time: 15 – 25 minutes


  • 3 small prawns
  • 50g chopped chicken breast/minced pork
  • 1 cup of unsweetened condensed milk 
  • Lemon grass
  • 5 chili padis
  • 10g of mama noodles tom yum chili powder
  • 1 package of mama noodles 
  • 2 – 4 limes (depending on sizes)
  • ¼ cup tom yum chili paste (for non-spicy), 1 – 1½ cup (for medium spicy). Depends on the depth of your water.

Cooking steps: 

  • Heat up 700ML – 800ML of water in a kettle (depending on the depth of your kettle)
  • Soak the mama noodles in boiling water using a separate bowl
    • Drain after 3 – 4 minutes for al-dente noodles
  • Add lemongrass and bergamot into the kettle when it’s boiling
    • Using a slotted spoon, cook the prawns until they become orange. Once prawns are cooked, take them out 
  • Add pork or chicken to the kettle 
  • Stir in tom yum chili paste, chilis, condensed milk & chili powder 
  • Once the soup has settled, pour the soup on the mama noodles
  • Add prawns 

You can now officially say you can make homemade tom yum soup.

Recipes adapted from: Anitech Thailand, New Idea Food

7. Yum Woon Sen Moo – spicy glass noodle salad that takes 15 min max 

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes
Image credit: Lanna smile thai cooking

Yum woon sen moo is a spicy glass noodles salad with pork – it can be cooked with chicken, sausages, or without meat if you’re vegetarian. Like the name of it, it’s one of the Thai style salad dishes. If you’re feeling extra lazy, this dish is for you as it only requires 98% of fresh ingredients that don’t require cooking.

Total cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 50g minced pork/chopped chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 5 chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 5g of chopped coriander 
  • 5g of chopped spring onions
  • 2g of celery
  • 1 teaspoon of palm sugar
  • 1 chopped onion

Cooking steps:

  • Preheat the kettle
  • Using a slotted spoon or ladle, cook the meat in the boiling
    • You don’t have to change the water
    • Once the meat is cooked, put it in a separate bowl. 
  • Boil the noodles for one minute, then let sit in a separate bowl 
  • Mix all the vegetables and except spring onions and coriander together first with fish sauce, then add soy sauce and chilis in a separate bowl
  • Add the meat in the noodles and thoroughly then mix them with the vegetables
  • Sprinkle spring onions and coriander as toppings

It will turn out to be a little watery, but it’s more delicious that way.

Recipes adapted from: Lanna Smile Thai Cooking, Hot Thai Kitchen

8. Yum Kai Tom – simple boiled eggs with umami flavours

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes Image credit: NooBeeBee

Spicy boiled egg salad or Yum Kai Tom refers to boiled eggs topped with shallots, garlic, chilis and tamarind sauce. If you’re getting bored of eggs, this recipe will make you forget that – it’s both easy to make and very budget friendly. 

Total cooking time: 10 – 12 minutes


  • 3 fresh eggs
  • 2g shallots
  • 1g of chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce or brown sugar
  • 3 chilis 
  • 3 limes
  • water

Cooking steps:

  • Leave the eggs to boil in the kettle for 6 minutes 
  • Mix the chopped coriander, shallots, chilis, in tamarind sauce, fish sauce, and 1 half tablespoon of water. 
  • Squeeze into the mix and stir thoroughly in a separate bowl
  • Once eggs are completely cooked, carefully peel the shells then cut the eggs in half and pour the mix on the eggs

Having this dish alone is highly recommended, so you could indulge in the zesty eggs.

Recipes adapted from: อร่อยพุง, NooBeeBee

9. Kettle hot pot – suitable for office lunches and dinners too

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes
Image credit: วีถีเด็กหอ

Hot pot has been an Asian hype for food gatherings. Which also has become a #WFH meal for families, friends and five to six colleagues to hang out for lunch or dinner. While hot pot traditionally requires a pot, we’ve made it possible for you and your buddies to chow down on hot pot meals from your office or home kettle.

You’d want to get easily cooked vegetables – such as cabbages, morning glory, or Cantonese lettuce. Thinly sliced meat is recommended for the convenience of it because it could take a little more time to cook if it’s too thick. It’s important not to mix them together all at once, or it’ll take forever to boil everything. 

Total cooking time: 10 – 20 minutes


  • 1 packet of hot pot shoyu mix (or whichever you prefer)
  • cabbage 
  • 100g – 200g of thinly sliced meat (depending on how many people are eating) 
  • iceberg lettuce 
  • bok choy

Cooking steps:

  • Leave kettle to boil at its hottest
  • Add hot pot mix
  • Add thinly sliced meat then wait for it to cook, then throw it vegetables 
  • Wait for the water to boil and settle until it becomes a soup
  • Leave a small portion meat to cook while cooking extra vegetables, if running out of the ingredients inside the soup

This meal is so simple that you can just wait for the soup to settle whilst you’re working.

Recipes adapted from: วีถีเด็กหอ

10. Som Tum Moo Yor – sausages with spices

10 Thai Dishes You Can Cook In Under 30 Minutes Image credit: Steemit

Just like the first two kettle recipes, you only need to boil the processed meat. It’s very quick, easy, and meant for som tum lovers; Som Tum Moo Yor or papaya salad with Vietnamese pork sausages is basically som tum with added sausages – this dish can keep you more full than the regular som tum. If you don’t have Moo Yor, then you can use any sausages or any meats you’d like. 

Most som tums are mixed in a mortar, but you can also mix the ingredients in a bowl. If you can’t handle spicy food, it’s still delish without the chilis – if you added too much chili then sticky rice can help with that. 

Total cooking time: 7 – 15 minutes


  • Moo Yor (Vietnamese sausages) or any sausages 
  • 2 chilis
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • Dry peanuts (optional)
  • 3 chopped long beans
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce or brown sugar
  • 2 limes
  • Half of an unripe shredded papaya (you can use a regular meat knife to shred the papaya)

Cooking steps: 

  • Boil the sausages in the kettle until they’re slightly puffy 
  • Mix chilis and garlic, then add fish sauce, tamarind sauce and limes in a separate bowl
  • Then chuck in the tomatoes, long beans and mix together in the bowl.
  • Add the papaya then mix the ingredients thoroughly 
  • Add the sausages in the end and mix them with the salad

Now, you can enjoy papaya salad with sausages – many Thais love this dish because of its spicy, sweet and sour flavours.

Recipes adapted from: Mark Wiens, Steemit

Bon appetit and enjoy effortless cooking

With these easy recipes, now you know that you can eat and finish up your deadlines at the same time. It’s always important to find easier ways to cook with less time consuming techniques. 

More on DIY Recipes:

Featured images adapted from: Splendid Table, Burpple

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