An introduction to Thai Food
Thai style chicken spinach
Plenty of 'seasoning' ingredients such as garlic, onions, galanga
root, ginger, basil, tamarind juice, lemon grass, mint, chillies
and lime go into the making of Thai cuisine. Fish sauce
(naam plaa) or shrimp sauce(ka-pi)
is used to flavour food accordingly. Rice forms the staple
of most Thai meals, and this is eaten with one or two curries,
seafood/pork, soup, and vegetables (usually salad).
and green chillies are always discreetly mixed into the food,
which can take the uninitiated by surprise and food can range
from the mild to fiery hot. The hottest of the lot is the yellow-orange
phrik lueng and also phrik khi nu while the others such as phrik
yuak and phrik chi fa are pretty mild.
The infamous tom
yam soup is strongly flavoured with lime and lemon grass. The
soup is normally prawn-based with shallots, chillies, coriander
leaves and either seafood or poultry, and is served ala steamboat-style
ensuring it is kept hot during the meal.
is chicken or beef curry which is green in colour (derived from
the coriander leaves) and cooked in rich coconut milk.
A very popular dish which usually accompanies most meals
is som tam, a salad made with grated unripe papaya, sliced tomatoes,
garlic, chillies, dried shrimps, fish sauce and lemon juice.
Many Thai desserts feature the humble banana in different
ways of preparation as over 20 varieties are to be found in
Thailand all-year-round: kluay cap (banana fried in sugar and
salt), kluay buat chii (in coconut milk), kluay ping (soaked
in syrup and grilled), kluay khaek (Indian-style) and so on.
Coconut in various forms are also popular, e.g..
sangkha-yaa ma- phrao (coconut
custard) and ta-koh (Thai jelly with coconut cream). Coconut
milk is used liberally in many dishes.
In the drinks
department, Singh, Amarit and Kloster beers are brewed in Thailand
with Singha being the most common. Maekhong rice whisky is also
a favourite among the locals. Other whiskies are Singharaj and
VO Royal Thai. Sang Thip is rum made from sugar cane.
This curry is made out of coconut milk with sliced bamboo shoots,
green peppers, string beans and zucchini. Best eaten with rice
Coconut Custard in a Pumpkin Shell
Sweet custard is a popular afternoon tea snack in Thailand.
It is made with coconut milk and steamed in a small pumpkin
or Japanese kabocha squash. Before serving, the dessert is cut
into wedges and the creamy squash and custard are eaten together.
Crab, Shrimp and Bean Thread Noodle Clay pot
This fragrant dish is a popular offering in the seafood market
cafes and garden restaurants of Thailand. Once the dish is cooked,
the pot is carried straight from the burner to the table sizzling
hot, with the savoury aromas escaping from under the lid. If
a clay pot is unavailable, any heavy-bottomed pot may be used.
Fish Cakes with Pickled Cucumber Relish
Asian fish cakes tend to have a spongy texture that appeals
to the Asian palate. They are traditionally made with a mild
whitefish, although salmon makes a delicious substitute. Fresh
fish paste, ground daily, can be found at better Asian fish
markets; or make your own by grinding fish fillets in a food
processor at home.
Mangoes with Sticky Rice
If you cannot find good-quality mangoes for this dish, nectarines,
papayas or peaches can be substituted. This recipe uses sticky
rice, which is also known as glutinous rice.
Although the concept of satay, cooking meats on skewers, originated
in Indonesia, it has been enthusiastically adopted by nearly
every Southeast Asian cuisine and fashioned to suit the local
taste and palate. This satay is a favourite Thai recipe.
Red Curry Mussels over Noodles
In Thailand, dishes like this one are commonly ordered in open-air
seafood markets, where local vendors cook customers' just-purchased
seafood and vegetables in whatever style they request. At home,
with pre-made curry paste on hand, this dish will take only
about 10 minutes to prepare.