Thai Food – Features, Serving, Popular Dishes
So you came to Phuket, Thailand, on vacation but you are afraid to try Thai food, because you think that all Thai food is spicy? This is not true. Not all Thai food is spicy. Try fried noodles Pad Thai, or classic fried rice, or gourmet coconut milk soup Tom Kha.
Features of Thai Food
Thai food is cooked quickly, by using short heat treatment. Cooked and ready to eat dish is not stored for a long time, mostly it is eaten immediately. As the dish is cooked after ordering, you have an opportunity to make it up to your taste. For example, say “Mai sai plik”, which means “Do not add chili”, or choose the type of meat or fish or veggie for the dish.
Try the rich mix of flavors which Thai cuisine offers. Pay attention to the serving of the popular noodle soup (kuaytiao). The soup is made of light meat broth and served without chili. The remaining ingredients a client chooses by himself/herself: sort of noodles, type of meat (pork, chicken or fish balls). Set of spices offers chili (spicy taste), vinegar (sour taste), fish sauce (salty taste), sugar (sweet taste), which is mixed and added to the soup by the customer as well. Do not be surprised by this set of spices, it is a feature of Thai cuisine – to mix several different tastes to achieve a bright, but always harmonious result.
Popular Thai Dishes
Thailand is world-famous for its mouthwatering national cuisine. Seven Thai dishes were included in the list of “50 best dishes of the world” in 2017:
- Tom Yam Gung (4th place)
- Pad Thai (5th place)
- Som Tam (6th place)
- Masaman curry (10th place)
- Green curry (19th place)
- Thai fried rice (24th place)
- Kuaytiao mu nam tok (36th place).
The list is based on an online poll engaging 35,000 people worldwide by CNN Travel.
Thai National Cuisine
Thai national cuisine emphasizes lightly cooked dishes with strong aromatic ingredients and spicy shades. Thai chef McDang characterises Thai food as demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context. Australian chef David Thompson, an expert on Thai food, observes that unlike many other cuisines, Thai cooking rejects simplicity and is about “the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish”. (Wikipedia)
Serving of Thai Food
Proper Thai food should consist of soup, curry dish with spices (or spicy salad), fish and vegetables with sauce. The soup may be spicy, but curry (or salad) in that case should be replaced by a non-spicy dish. Steamed rice is served with all dishes. Rice is an essential part of any meal, in Thai language “to eat” is “kin kao”, which literally means “eat rice”. The harmony of tastes and textures should be inside separate dishes and the whole meal, food should be equally pleasant for the eyes, nose and taste. All dishes are served immediately, not in courses as it is done in European countries, allowing you to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes.