The Features of Thai Cooking

Thai dish

Thai cuisine, the national cuisine of Thailand, is a blend of Southeast Asian ingredients, methods and flavors. It is a style of food which has a long history and a relatively short life in terms of international recognition. It is one of the most popular cuisines worldwide. Thai cooking, known for being spicy emphasizes lightly prepared dishes that bring out strong aromas. Thai chefs place great significance on balance, detail and variety. Thai food is known for its balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.

Quoted from Wikipedia

Regional cuisines and external influences

Thai cuisine is more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern (or Isan), Central, and Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or foods derived from those of neighboring countries and regions: Burma to the northwest, the Chinese province of Yunnan and Laos to the north, Vietnam and Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south of Thailand. In addition to these four regional cuisines, there is also the Thai Royal Cuisine which can trace its history back to the cosmopolitan palace cuisine of the Ayutthaya kingdom (1351–1767 CE). Its refinement, cooking techniques and use of ingredients were of great influence to the cuisine of the Central Thai plains. Western influences from the 17th century CE onwards have also led to dishes such as foi thong and sangkhaya.

In the list of the “World’s 50 most delicious foods”, compiled by CNN in 2011, som tam stands at place 46, nam tok mu at 19, tom yam kung on 8, and massaman curry stands on first place as most delicious food in the world.[17] In a reader’s poll held a few months later by CNN, mu nam tok came in on place 36, Thai fried rice at 24, green curry stands on 19, massaman curry on place 10, and Thai som tam, pad Thai and tom yam kung hold places 6, 5 and 4.

The basic components of a standard Thai meal are rice and noodles. Aromatic jasmine rice is an indigenous form in Thailand which makes Thai meals unique. It has a sweet smell and is used in more creative dishes.

Typical meals include curries, noodle soups, vegetable dishes and fresh but unique salads. Thai food is an extremely varied cuisine with many ingredients which are also associated with other cuisines often used in an authentically Thai fashion, so as to create new dishes.

Some popular dishes are:
Kaeng phet pet yang: roast duck in red curry
Thai seafood curry
Tom yam kung nam khon (Prawn tom yam with coconut milk)
Phrik nam pla is served with nearly every meal

Thai cuisine utilizes a wide range of spices and generally uses fresh herbs, unlike many other cuisines which use dried herbs. Fruits,vegetables and herbs such as chilis, limes, basil, garlic, lemongrass and garlic are commonly used. Other ingredients which are typical include eggplant, bean sprouts, tomatoes, coconut and mushrooms. Fruits are mainly eaten as a staple dessert.

Fish and other seafood in general, are more common than other meats in Thai cooking. Where meat is used it is generally chicken. Additionally, fish sauce, created from fermented fish is a source of flavor used in many traditional recipes.

The features of Thai cooking are fresh, varied and often numerous ingredients cooked simply together, though face value simplicity is a stylistically achieved goal which hides specific and detailed recipes. It is deemed impressive to mix a variety of ingredients and achieve a balanced dish which suggests simplicity despite complexity.

I noticed Papaya Thai Cuisine right about when it opened and looked forward to try it. Last Friday night I finally made it out there to see what it was all about. I arrived with my friends Anne and Justin at about 7:45PM, a little …More at #95: Papaya Thai Cuisine « Eating Through Roseville


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About LindaS

Love to cook and share my culinary experiences. This blog is filled with recipes that were used by my mother and grandmother for 60 years or more. Lived in Dallas, Texas my entire life.
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One Response to The Features of Thai Cooking

  1. John says:

    Pin my tail and call me a donkey, that relaly helped.

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