Thai food recipes explained by region, ethnical groups, royal cuisine, ingredients and a list of delicious and easy to make recipes from Thailand.
How do you define the cuisine of a country comprising out of more than 40 ethnical groups with tropical islands, rain forest, mountains in the north and a river basin in the center and Bangkok?
The use of fresh ingredients is dominant in lots of Thai recipes, out of which Thai basil and lemongrass stand out.
Fish sauce (nam plah) is the mane salty ingredient found in Thai dishes. It is basically a drained liquid from fermented (dry) anchovies: it sounds weird yet it gives Thai cuisine its typical flavor.
Regions near to the border are influenced by the cuisine of the neighboring country, as lots of the time the ethnical groups are similar. The 4 biggest regions when it comes to different food are:
- Northern Thai food has influences from Burma and Northern Laos.
- The north east of Thailand is influenced by the southern cuisine of Laos.
- More to the east you will find Vietnamese and Cambodian influences and
- in the south, the resemblance to Malaysian food is easy to spot (the use of coconut milk is typically found in the south).
Add to that a royal Thai cuisine and knowing that many of the dishes that are now eaten are from Chinese descent, you will understand that simply saying that Thai food consist out of a mixture of sweet, sour and mainly spicy. Fried rice or fried noodle, pad Thai, tom yum goong soup and Thai green curry (paste) chicken, generally become the dishes the first time visitor to Thailand will experience. However there is an abundance of different food on offer in the country, when you dare: go eat in the local food stalls and taste a bit of everything.
It is fair to say that Thai cuisine seems to combine the most flavors as possible in each Thai food recipe:
- hot (spicy-hot from chilies),
- sour (from limes, lemon grass or lime leaves),
- sweet (palmsugar),
- salty (fish sauce) and
- bitter: all coming together in a balanced dish.
Tom Yum Soup
Tom Yum Goon (ต้มยำกุ้ง) is a favorite on the menu card in Thai restaurants worldwide. It basically combines the 5 mentioned flavors as one in an overly delicious prawn soup.
This soup seems to please almost every westerner yet can easily be "mimicked" using tom yam paste out of a jar from the (Asian) supermarket. Now when you taste the authentic soup in Thailand, you will notice that the taste could differ from location to location.
For those familiar with oriental cooking and oriental cooking recipes: pad Thai is a fast and cheap spicy stir-fried noodles recipe.
Pad Thai is one of the national dishes. Pad Thai literary means frying "Thai style" and these recipes usually combine cooked noodles, fish sauce, tamarind sauce, with any of the following:
- shrimp and or chicken,
- bean sprouts,
- tofu and
- garnished with peanuts and fresh coriander.
Enough said, have a look at our Thai food recipes.