to Thai people, represents life, and it's
the most highly regarded of all grains.
Rice is traditionally served with most
meals and accompanies curries, soups and
side dishes, or is used to make fried
rice. One of the more popular varieties
of rice in Thailand is fragrant Jasmine
rice. Rice is also ground down into flour
and used to make rice
noodles which are typically cooked
then tossed with stir-fried foods, or
added to soups. Bean
thread (cellophane) noodles and wheat
noodles are also enjoyed regularly.
with rice and noodles, vegetables form
the foundation of a Thai meal.
of all shapes, sizes and colors are used
in traditional Thai cooking including
onions, scallions (spring onions), garlic,
red and green bell peppers, broccoli,
cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potato, carrots,
chilies, tomatoes, bamboo
shoots, cucumbers and lettuce.
vegetables are used in a wonderful array
of dishes including stir-fries, curries,
noodle dishes, soups, side dishes and
as mangoes, pineapples, bananas, papaya
and melonsare commonly eaten as
a snack and dessert.
nuts and seeds
(beans, peas and lentils) are used regularly
in Thai cooking. Tofu, which is made from
soybeans, is a popular addition to a wide
range of Thai dishes. Peas, snow peas,
green beans, bean sprouts and snake beans
(very long green beans) are also eaten
are ground into pastes to add flavor,
richness and texture to food. Crushed
or whole peanuts and cashews are typically
sprinkled over foods such as noodle dishes
of Thailand borders the coastline, and
fish and seafood are traditionally eaten
on a daily basis. Commonly eaten fish
and shellfish include tuna, mackerel,
sea bass, shrimp, scallops, crab, squid,
oysters and mussels.
fish and shellfish are gently poached
milk curries; steamed in banana leaves;
added to stir-fries, noodle dishes, rice
dishes and soups; or marinated and grilled.
doesn't feature prominently in Thai cuisine.
Beef is eaten rarely, and pork is eaten
in moderation -- or used sparingly in
such as chicken is eaten regularly and
is enjoyed hot in curries and rice and
noodle dishes or shredded cold in salads.
Eggs are enjoyed in moderation and are
typically beaten and tossed through stir-fries
and fried rice, or hard boiled, then sliced
and added to hot and cold dishes.
achieve the hot, sour, sweet and salty
flavors characteristic of Thai cuisine,
a variety of seasonings and herbs are
sauce (nam pla), a pungent,
salty sauce made from fermented fish (usually
anchovies), salt and water is one of the
most commonly used flavoring ingredients.
It's used to enhance the flavor of curries,
noodle dishes, fried rice and soups, as
well as dipping sauces and condiments.
Soy sauce is also used to add flavor and
richness to food.
vegetables and herbs such as garlic, ginger,
lemongrass, chilies, kaffir lime leaves,
cilantro (coriander), basil and mint are
a fundamental part of Thai cuisine.
seasonings are finely chopped or crushed
and added to flavor dishes or ground down
with a mortar and pestle to create richly-flavored
condiments, sauces and curry pastes. Popular
curry pastes include red
curry paste (typically made with red
chilies, garlic and spices) and green
curry paste (typically made with green
chilies, garlic and spices). Fresh herbs
are also added to food towards the end
of the cooking process or used as a garnish.
commonly used flavor enhancers used to
balance flavors include lemon and lime
juice and palm sugar (similar to brown
sugar, which can be used as a substitute).