Staple Carbohydrate: Rice
If you have food allergies, the easy thing about Thailand is that they cook their food in the traditional way, so you can usually work out what is safe and count on it to use the same ingredients at different food vendors.
The challenge about Thailand is that it is a very difficult country to communicate in. Although many Thais in touristed areas appear to have good English, some have only just enough to take your order, although they appear to understand more than they really do. Asking exactly what is in the food, and attempting to order a special meal is unlikely to succeed (fancy tourist resorts are probably an exception). In areas with few or no tourists, you will have to learn at least some Thai to find out what is and is not in the food. They will think you highly odd for asking, but they think all foreigners are odd – they are likely to be tolerant.
Easy to Avoid Allergenic Foods in Thailand
- Wheat – (as long as you are not too sensitive). Soy sauce is a common ingredient, and it does have a tiny amount of wheat in it. Other sauces may also be a problem. Watch out for yellow noodles. White rice noodles are available everywhere. Often they are right next to each other in the food stall, so watch out for stray yellow noodles in with your rice noodles.
- Milk – not used in traditional Thai cooking
Hard to Avoid Allergenic Foods in Thailand
- Thais love meat! Strict vegetarians will have very limited choices, although it is possible to get many dishes with almost no meat
- The cuisine is very regional in Thailand. Some dishes are available throughout the country, others only in certain provinces.
Note that fish sauce is used in some Thai cooking, and may contain wheat. This may be more common in Thai restaurants located in Western countries than in Thailand itself, and may depend on the region. This area needs more research. If you can add further information, please leave a comment. Thanks to Sea for pointing out the possibility of wheat in some brands of fish sauce (Thai Food, dangers of).