Thai Food In General

Thailand is definitely an Eat the local food destination. Some tourists think the best part of their trips to Thailand is the local cuisine. If you are not familiar with Thai food in western countries, you are in for a delightful surprise.

Thai food varies from barbeque to stir fried to spicy soups to "salads" that can melt your teeth. Each region has its own variations. Rice porridge (khao thom) makes a great hot breakfast and a bowl of noodles (quay tio), available along the many sidewalks, is a great late night snack.

Freshness and variety might be a good way to begin a discussion of one of the world's great cuisines. Food stalls and gourmet dining rooms alike make the early morning daily trip to the fresh-food markets. They wouldn't consider anything pre-frozen. The meats most commonly prepared in Thai food are chicken and pork.

Beef is becoming more popular, yet it is generally not up to western standards of tenderness. Both fresh and salt-water fish, along with prawn and squid are common. One can see a bewildering array of vegetables that are available year round.

Just because it is Thai, does not mean it is spicy. Flavourful does not necessarily mean heat either. Learning to say "my ow pet" (I don't want it spicy) or "pet, nid noi" (just a small amount of spiciness) will allow you to find you level of culinary comfort.

Thai pepper as well as Thai chillies in fish sauce are often served on the side so mad season to your taste. And even if you get more chillies than you bargained for, the burn doesn't last too long.

Rice is the staple of Thailand and Thai Jasmine rice is some of the most flavourful in the world. Rice is served with virtually all meals except soups, "salads" and noodles.

Sticky, or glutinous, rice is often served with barbequed foods such as chicken and sausage; particularly in the North and Northeast.

Noodles either egg noodles or rice noodles are normally stir-fried or made as a soup.

With the exception of soups, dim sum and some noodles, Thais usually eat with a fork and spoon. Much Thai food is bite sized when it is served, but the edge of a spoon may be used to cut. A fork held in the left hand (or the right for right-handed persons) separates portions of food and pushes it into the spoon. Most Thai restaurants in Thailand will not automatically include a knife in the place setting.

Food will usually be served family style when several are dining together. Depending on the restaurant, you may be given a plate of rice, or rice may be served onto your plate from a large bowl. Take a spoonful or two of your choice of food from one of the "entrees" and place on your plate, fashion spoonfuls of the "entree" with rice, then enjoy some of the best food on the planet.

:: More Thai Food Suggestions

Ba-mee pad gai Fried noodles with chicken. (mild)

Ba-mee pad Fried noodles with broccoli and pepper. (varies)

Gaang ped moo sapparod Pork curry with pineapple. (varies)

Gaang masaman Muslim curry (mostly with beef). (varies)

Gaang goong sapparod Prawn curry withpineapple. (varies)

Gaang kiew wann gai Chicken green curry with bamboo. (varies)

Gaang gai Chicken curry with coconut. (varies)

Gaang ped gai sapparod Chicken curry with pineapple. (varies)

Gaang sapparod Pineapple curry. (mild)

Gaang curry neua Yellow curry with beef. (mild)

Gai yang, som-tam, kaao neow Bar-b-que chicken, papaya salad and sticky rice. Very popular in open air restaurants. Tell them mai ped (not hot) on the som-tam which is the seasoned dish.

Gai pad med mamuang Chicken stir-fried cashew nuts. (mild)

Gai pad yod kaao pod Chicken stir-fried with baby corn. (mild)

Goong pad toaw ngok Prawn with soy bean sprouts. (mild)

Goong pad woon-sen Prawns with glass noodles. (varies)

Goong gratiem Thai Prawns with garlic. (mild)

Gai pad preeow waan Chicken sweet and sour.(mild)

Kai yuud sai Stuffed omelette. (mild)

Moo yang Bar-b-que pork. (mild)

Pad pak ruammit Stir fried vegetables. (mild)

Panang moo Red curry with pork. (mild)

Pla muk prik yawk Squid with pepper and capsicum. (varies)

Pla muk kwayteo Squid with rice noodles. (varies)

Satay gai Chicken satay with peanut sauce. (mild)

Soob kaao pod Corn soup. (mild)

Tom kha gai Chicken soup with lemongrass. (varies)

Tom yum goong Prawn sour soup. (spicy)

Yam nuea Beef salad. (spicy)

Yam woon-sen Glass noodle salad. (spicy)