About Thailand » Thai Cuisine

Thai Cuisine

thai food traveler vacation thailand hotel cheaphotel tour packagetourThai cuisine has become world famous, not only for its spicy taste, but an excellent combination of other flavors such as sour, sweet, salty and bitter. It is common to share dishes of various types with other people eating at the same time. Eating a dinner is a family event in Thailand.

Thai food is characterized by frequent usage of fresh herbs and spices, which are combined with fermented fish sauce almost every time one eats. This may cause certain inconvenience to vegetarians, unless one indicates of being vegetarian by saying “jay”.

There are regional variations of the Thai cuisine. Going to a local restaurant helps a traveler discover the genuine, local tastes. Thai recipes are affected by the neighboring countries’ cuisines, such as China, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Laos. A typical Thai restaurant serves all major dishes from the whole of Thailand, and it is common to see Western dishes on the menu as well.

Rice is the most important food in Thailand. The same as in other Asian countries, rice is the staple food in Thailand. It is eaten on every occasion, with every dish that is on a table. In fact, when a traveler says he or she wants to eat, in Thai language one would say “I want to eat rice”, the same as in the Chinese language. This tells the importance of rice in the Thai cuisine and culture. In fact, Thailand is the biggest exporter of rice in the world. There are various types of rice grown in Thailand.
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Jasmine Rice is the most famous brand of rice in Thailand. It smells sweet and its grains are of long shape.. This strain of rice is native to Thailand and is frequently served steamed, which best shows it culinary values.

Jasmine rice is a delicacy in Thailand; therefore its price is higher compared to other types of rice. Majority of food outlets offer Khao Suoy (meaning beautiful rice), which is a regular white rice that grows in many parts of Thailand. It is common to use leftovers of Khao Suoy to make fried rice (Khao pad) with pork or chicken, chilly and fish sauce, to prevent the waste of food.

For breakfast, it is very common to eat rice in another form: Khao Tom, which is a porridge soup with pork, garlic and other spices.
Northern Thailand is home to sticky rice (Khao Niaw), which is customarily eaten by hand, together with various dishes such as grilled chicken or spicy papaya salad. Moreover, sticky rice is frequently used in Thai desserts such as sticky rice with mango.

Curry and Thai Soups
Thai meals are usually served like a family dinner, which includes sharing entrees, and often a soup of Thai curry goes along. Each Thai curry is different. Some are spicier, some are considered to be a soup, others not. Despite the variety of Thai curries, most of them are based on coconut milk. Gaeng Massaman is a mild, peanut and potato curry; Gaeng Kiaw Wan (Thai green curry) is a medium thick and spicy curry, while Gaeng Daeng (red curry), also called Gaeng Pet (spicy curry), is a thin but spicy curry. Tom Kha, a mild coconut soup, is a dish on the verge of a soup and curry; finally, Tom Yam Kung, which is the most popular Thai soup, is usually extremely hot.

Thai curries are commonly shared with other people and are placed on top of rice, while soups usually go separately on the side and are eaten out of small bowls. Some curries and soups are suitable for vegetarians; it is worth to know that majority of Thai dishes contain fish sauce, which in Thailand is used instead of salt.

Thai Noodles
Although majority of dishes are shared between people eating a meal together, this custom does not apply to noodles, which are usually given individually. Most restaurants serve various dishes based on Thai noodles, but it is recommendable to try street food; regular food stalls found on many streets, where genuine Thai noodle dishes are served. There is a plenitude of Thai noodle dishes of various sizes, such as angel hair (sen mee), and x-large (gway tiow). Rice-based noodles are most popular; however, there are also egg noodles (ba mee), as well as glass noodles made of mungbean.

Thai Salad or Yam
One of the spiciest Thai dishes are Thai salads, which are often based on raw vegetables combined with chili, lime, and fish sauce. It is also common to encounter Thai salads containing meat, for example beef or chicken.
One of the most popular Thai salads is Som Tam, most widespread in Northeastern Thailand, and originating partly from Laos. The salad looks unsuspecting, but is extremely spicy when tasted, especially for foreign travelers not used to hot food. The dish comprises primarily papaya and goes together with dried shrimp or salted crab.

Thai Food Delicacies
Even though international travelers often use the name Thai food, in fact each region of Thailand has its own distinctive cuisine. A traveler in each region of Thailand will find variety of food dishes and cooking styles that are different from each other. Northern Thailand cuisine has many traits in common with the Lao cuisine; however, Thai dishes tend to contain more chilly than Laotian. Southern Thai cuisine tends to be less spicy and intertwines with the Malaysian cuisine. It is common to use coconut and turmeric in the south.  All Thais love dishes based on fish; however, the best seafood dishes are always served on Thai beaches, be it in posh tourist resorts or regular beach towns off the beaten track.

Cooking Lessons: We offer travelers/visitors an awesome opportunity to learn more about Thai cuisines. We have "Educational Tour Packages" specially created and designed for Thai-cooking lessons while on a grand vacation. Learn to get that spice on!