Think of the worst food you’ve ever tasted. Soggy, boiled vegetables springs to mind-the kind with all the taste and nutrition leached out of them. No spice or texture, no freshness or goodness. Now think of the opposite, and you have heavenly Thai food. Fresh, spicy, salty, sweet and sour, with a variety of textures and temperatures (crispy and soft, hot and cold), Thai food is a taste explosion in every bite. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to plain old meat-and-potatoes cooking again.
Another way to describe Thai food? Imagine Chinese food, but with more intensity. With more flavors, more aroma, spices, and textures. If you like Chinese food, you’re going to fall head-over-heels-in-love with Thai food!
The roots of Thai cuisine can be found both in regional tastes and flavors as well as in the influence of cooking styles from nearby cultures. Despite the fact that Thailand is at least partially separated from its neighbors by water, it has never isolated itself from other nations. Indian and Malaysian spices and dishes (such as curries) were brought with travel and trade, and the Thais were quick to add these wonderful flavors to their own unique version of curry.
Today there are four main curries in Thai cuisine:
Thai curry dishes start with a very intense and fragrant curry paste or sauce, usually made by hand with pestle & mortar. Once the paste/sauce is made, Thai curry is extremely easy to create, simply by adding any variety of meat, seafood, vegetables, or tofu and cooking it in the oven (like a casserole).
Thailand is also famous for its fragrant stir-fried noodle dishes. Most Thai noodle recipes call for rice noodles rather than those made with wheat or egg, although these can also be found in Thai cooking. Noodles were first brought to Thailand by the Chinese, many of whom remained in Thailand and integrated with the local society. For this reason, Chinese cooking has been a major influence in Thai cuisine, including cooking styles (the Chinese introduced the wok) and key cooking ingredients, such as soy sauce.
Names of popular Noodle Dishes:
From stir-fried local vegetables to dishes that combine meat, vegetables, tofu, or noodles, stir-fries are a common part of everyday Thai cooking. When creating stir-fry sauces, Thai chefs seek a balance of flavors-spicy, salty, sour, and sweet-by using ingredients like fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, fresh chilli (or chilli sauce), and a little sugar. Achieving this balance is not difficult, but it does take practice.
Names of popular Thai Stir-Fry dishes: