For those who love light, fresh, sophisticated dishes, the Thai food recipes bring in not only aromatic ingredients, but also balance and variety. “Thai” comes from Thailand and is the word that commonly describes the national cuisine of this Asian country. In Thai culture, each meal should equally combine the five tastes: sour, sweet, spicy, bitter and salty and its refined cuisine can be tracked down to the historical times of the Ayutthaya kingdom (14th – 16th century).
Thai foods have accumulated influences from all the neighboring countries – Vietnam, Laos, China, Cambodia, Burma or Malaysia – and have equally influenced their national cuisines. For example, the so called “fried rice-noodles” or the “stewed pork with rice” were originated in hina and brought in Thailand by the Theochew people.
The Thai dishes were eaten with the bare hands, but due to the influences coming from the West, people eat it today by using a spoon and a fork – the food is pushed with the fork into the spoon. Chopsticks are also used, but only when it comes to noodle soups. Almost all dishes come along with a specific sauce and spices that include: lime juice, sweet or hot chili, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, peppers and sugar. Spicy foods are accompanied by slices of cucumber, often used to cool the mouth after a hot mouthful.
The vegetarian Thai food menu includes a lot of fruits, which are especially served after the main meals. There are several fruits specific to Thailand, like the rambutan, the lychees, the langsat, the jackfruit, the longan or the durian. There’s even a festival organized by Chantaburi for the durian fruit: World Durian Festival, held in May. Thai dishes use many types of eggplant, cabbage, yardlong beans, tomatoes, bean sprouts, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and corn. They also use some kind of mushrooms. The broccoli usually seen in Asian restaurants is not very common in Thailand and it was never used in its traditional cuisine.
Here are some of the best Thai food dishes, which can be served individually, regardless the time of the day:
-Khao Man Khai (boiled chicken served with rice and a specific sauce)
-Phat Si-Io Khanom Chin Namya (rice noodles, boiled and topped with a sauce based on fish and fresh leaves of lettuce or cucumbers)
-Kuai Tiao Nam (a soup made of rice-noodle that can be accompanied by a large scale of vegetables or spicy condiments)
-Phat Thai (rice noodles fried in a pan, served with fish sauce, tamarind juice, sugar, eggs, smashed peanuts and chicken or tofu)
The culinary refinement of Thai people has extended even in the insects’ world. Thai eat certain species of insects, especially in the Northern part of the country. Tourists can easily find cooked grasshoppers, silkworm, crickets, ant eggs, bee larvae or the bamboo worm. Deep-fried, dipped in a sauce or in soups, insects are always accompanied by exotic spices that make foreigners forget what they’re actually eating. People who have tried it on the spot say that the Thai food recipes will always remain surprisingly tasty in their simplicity and exotism.