Thai cuisine has a unique combination of five tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy. These flavours are balanced with the addition of coconut, palm sugar and fish sauce.
The main types of Thai dishes are rice, curry, noodles and snacks. These can be served as an appetizer, a lunch dish or an entree.
Rice is a staple food in Thailand and a must-have part of every Thai meal. It can be eaten alone, topped with curry, soup or a variety of other accompaniments.
Non-glutinous rice (Oryza sativa) is usually boiled with a variety of spices and served in a bowl or plate. It is also used to make a variety of fried dishes, and is the basis for congee, which is a thick rice porridge that is popular for breakfast in Thailand.
There are many varieties of rice available in Thailand, including white jasmine rice and brown khao hom mali. Both types are prized for their delicate flavor and are grown in abundance in the paddy fields of Thailand.
Curry is one of the most popular dishes in Thai food. It has a unique combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy ingredients that makes it a delicious dish.
The spiciness of curries can vary significantly depending on the type of chilies used in the recipe. However, the ratio of paste to liquid (coconut milk or water) is a good rule of thumb for adjusting the strength of the spice.
There are three main types of curries in Thai cuisine: red, green, and yellow. Each has its own flavor base and can be customized to your liking with vegetables, seafood, chicken or beef.
Noodles are an integral part of Thai cuisine and a popular way to enjoy a tasty, light meal. Whether they’re cooked in soups or stir-fries, noodles are easy to find and affordable at most Thai restaurants.
One of the most well-known dishes is pad Thai, a classic stir-fry made with rehydrated rice noodles, tofu, eggs, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, peanuts, and a variety of other ingredients. It’s seasoned with tamarind juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
Another noodle dish is phad kee mao, a spicy stir-fry that is also called drunken noodles because it’s said to help cure hangovers. It’s typically made with wide rice noodles, but it can be ordered with egg noodles as well, and is tossed with garlic, onions, eggs, Chinese broccoli, and seasonings such as oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Snacks are a key ingredient in many Thai meals and are often served in the same dish as a main course. They can be served hot or cold and are a great way to complement any meal.
While most snacks are light and refreshing, some stand out from the crowd and can actually be quite satisfying. One of the most recognizable Thai snacks is the khao neow moo ping – flat egg noodles slurped up with a spicy pork broth.
Another iconic Thai food is the yam kai dao – a fried egg salad with wedges of tomato and onions doused in lime juice. Other notable snacks include the gai tod – crispy chicken skin coated in a savory egg batter and deep-fried until crunchy and golden brown.
Thai desserts are a delicious and refreshing addition to any Thai food menu. They are light and sweet, yet they are low in calories and fat.
One of the most popular desserts in Thailand is mango sticky rice, which is a traditional dish that is found all over Bangkok during mango season. It is made with fresh yellow mangoes topped with coconut cream syrup.
Another popular and tasty dessert is mung bean pudding. It is similar to a rice pudding and can be made easily at home with just mung beans, tapioca flour, coconut milk, salt, and sugar.
Another popular Thai dessert is ruam mit, which is a mix of starchy noodles and other ingredients. It is a great dessert to cool down on a hot summer day.