When visiting Thailand you might find yourself in
one of the biggest open-air kitchen in the world.
Everywhere you look people prepare food and create
delicious meals with fresh vegetables, exotic fruits
and tasty spices.
The main food in Thailand is rice. Everyone has
eaten it since they were born. But we can't really
eat rice alone so we have to have something to go
with it. There are many dishes of food to go with
rice. Most of them are hot and spicy and that is
what Thai food is famous for.
people are used to eating rice with their meal. Most
Thai people can't have sandwiches for their meal.
They call sandwiches a snack. Also, most Thai people
do not sit down to eat a proper meal because they
usually eat when they are hungry, especially kids
If you know some Thai person, you might hear them
say "gin khao yung" every time you meet them. It
means "have you eaten yet?" or more precise "have
you eaten rice yet?".
Thai food is internationally famous. Whether
chilli-hot or comparatively blands, harmony is the
guiding principle behind each dish. Thai cuisine is
essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and
Western influences harmoniously combined into
something uniquely Thai.
Originally, Thai cooking reflected the
characteristics of a waterborne lifestyle. Aquatic
animals, plants and herbs were major ingredients.
Large chunks of meat were eschewed. Subsequent
influences introduced the use of sizeable chunks to
With their Buddhist background, Thais shunned the
use of large animals in big chunks. Big cuts of meat
were shredded and laced with herbs and spices.
Traditional Thai cooking methods were stewing and
baking, or grilling. Chinese influences saw the
introduction of frying, stir frying and deep-frying.
Culinary influences from the 17th century onwards
included Portuguese, Dutch, French and Japanese.
Chillies were introduced to Thai cooking during the
late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had
acquired a taste for them while serving in South
Thais were very adapt at 'Siamese-icing' foreign
cooking methods, and substituting ingredients. The
used in Indian cooking was replaced by coconut oil,
and coconut milk substituted for other daily
products. Overpowering pure spices were toned down
and enhanced by fresh herbs such as lemon grass and
galanga. Eventually, fewer and less spices were used
in Thai curries, while the use of fresh herbs
increased. It is generally acknowledged that Thai
curries burn intensely, but briefly, whereas other
curries, with strong spices, burn for longer
periods. Instead of serving dishes in courses, a
Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners
to enjoy complementary combinations of different
A proper Thai meal should consist of a soup, a curry
dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish
and vegetables. A spiced salad may replace the curry
dish. The soup can also be spicy, but the curry
should be replaced by non spiced items. There must
be a harmony of tastes and textures within
individual dishes and the entire meal.
Thai food is eaten with a fork and spoon. Even
single dish meals such as fried rice with pork, or
steamed rice topped with roasted duck, are served in
bite-sized slices or chunks obviating the need for a
knife. The spoon is used to convey food to the
mouth. Ideally, eating Thai food is a communal
affair involving two or more people, principally
because the greater the number of diners the greater
the number of dishes ordered. Generally speaking,
two diners order three dishes in addition to their
own individual plates of steamed rice,
Diners choose whatever they require from shared
dishes and generally add it to their own rice. Soups
are enjoyed concurrently with rice. Soups are
enjoyed concurrently with other dishes, not
independently. Spicy dishes, not independently.
Spicy dishes are "balanced" by bland dishes to avoid
ideal Thai meal is a harmonious blend of the spicy,
the subtle, the sweet and sour, and is meant to be
equally satisfying to eye, nose and palate. A
typical meal might include a clear soup (perhaps
bitter melons stuffed with minced pork), a steamed
dish (mussels in curry sauce), a fried dish (fish
with ginger), a hot salad (beef slices on a bed of
lettuce, onions, chillies, mint and lemon juice) and
a variety of sauces into which food is dipped. This
would be followed by sweet desserts and/or fresh
fruits such as mangoes, durian, jackfruit, papaya,
grapes or melon.