Thailand has one of the world’s greatest cuisines, rivalling China and India in its astonishing variety and complexity. For many, the taste of Thai curries – flavoured with rich pastes made from herbs, roots, spices and ground-chillies – is the definitive taste of Southeast Asia.
In reality, Thai cuisine is a fusion of tribal cooking traditions from the far north and flavours from the spice trade, which reached the country via the ports of the south. The cornerstone of any Thai meal is rice – most commonly fragrant jasmine rice or sticky glutinous rice – and it serves as a cool counterpoint to the fiery flavours of Thai curries and stir-fries. Not every Thai dish is spicy, but most are – locals say that something sweet will douse the heat!
Tom yam: A hot and sour soup prepared with kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, chilli and lime juice, plus prawns or chicken.
Kaeng khiao wan: Thailand’s famous green curry, based on coconut milk, fish sauce and a curry paste made from green chillies, onions, ginger and lemongrass.
Gang pet: A hot curry with coconut milk, herbs, garlic, chilli, shrimp paste, coriander and seasoning.
Som tam: Pounded green papaya salad with green beans, dried shrimp, and peanuts in a lime juice, chilli and palm sugar dressing.
Pad Thai: Stir-fried rice noodles, served with shrimp or chicken and garnished with peanuts.
Satay: A Malay-inspired dish, made from grilled chicken served with a peanut, shallot and palm sugar dip.
Kaeng phanaeng: A mild coconut curry with a curry paste including roasted spices and beef chicken or pork.
Pad Kaphrao: Chicken, beef, pork or prawns, fried with copious quantities of chilli, Thai basil and garlic.
Tod man pla: Thai fishcakes, flavoured with kaffir lime leaves and served with sweet chilli sauce and a cucumber relish.
Kaeng massaman: A mild Thai curry with star anise, cinnamon, cloves, potatoes and beef or lamb, inspired by Indian and Persian cooking.
Mekhong: Thai whisky, usually served with coke and ice.
Sam Song: Thailand’s most popular rum.
Cha yen: Thai iced tea, made with locally grown tea, sugar and milk.
Singha: The best of Thailand’s local beers.
Chang: Cheaper than Singha and popular for just that reason.
Coconut milk: Served straight from the shell during the harvest season.
Tips for Dining in Thailand
1.Tipping is not commonly practiced in Thailand but it’s specially appreciated.
2.There are top-notched Western restaurants in major tourist places, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Ko Samui. Even in less touristy cities western food is served at cafes.
3.Thanks to the increasing number of western visitors, the staff working in restaurants is able to conversation with English. So the language barrier is cleared!
4.Foods are supposed to be eaten with your right hand for the left hand is reserved for hygiene.
5.In Thailand, dishes are share by all at the table instead of individuals.
6.The Thais use a spoon in right hand and a fork in the left to have meals.
7.Street foods can be inviting, but they can also make you sick. Avoid stands hovered with tons of flies and stick to clean eateries.
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