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Updated by Caleb Falcon on Aug 13, 2014
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Caleb Falcon Caleb Falcon
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Delicious Thai Cuisine in Thailand – Whetting the Appetite

The complex mix of sour, sweet, salty bitter and spicy tastes that is the essence of Thai cuisine has been described by an expert on Thai food as 'juggling disparate elements to create a harmonious finish'.

1

Background to Thai Cuisine

Background to Thai Cuisine

Thai cuisine is made up of the cuisines of the country's four regions, the influences of its South East Asian neighbours, the palace cuisine that has come down from the Ayutthaya Kingdom and western influences after the 17th century. Over the years each of these elements has had an impact on the way food is prepared in Thailand. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa a popular Chiang Mai Resort offers it guests opportunities to taste a range of Thai cuisine.

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Rice & Noodle Dishes

Rice & Noodle Dishes

Like in many other Asian cuisines rice forms the base of the cuisine. Long grained sweet smelling Jasmine rice, sticky rice, reddish brown long grained rice and purple sticky rice are enjoyed as part of the main meal and in deserts. Varieties of noodles made from rice, wheat and mung bean flour are also part of many Thai meals.

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Pastes, sauces and herbs

Pastes, sauces and herbs

These are what make Thai cuisine so special. Fish sauce prepared with fermented fish, shrimp and spices, chili pastes made with red or green chilies, shallots, garlic, coriander leaves and dried shrimp, light and dark soy sauces, oyster sauce form the base of many a dish.

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Ingredients

Ingredients

A range of herbs, spices and leaves native to Asia impart those special aromas and flavours to Thai cuisine. Kaffir lime leaves, five types of chilies, galangal, lemongrass, Thai basil, coriander leaves, ginger, turmeric, pandanus leaves, coconut cream, Thai lemon basil, five spices powder, spearmint, tamarind, fresh and dried pepper corns, various roots, flowers, insects, edible fungi and algae, fruit and nuts are among the most widely used ingredients.

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Vegetables in Thai Cuisine

Vegetables in Thai Cuisine

Vegetables are an important part of Thai cuisine. Eggplant, bean sprouts, long beans, bamboo shoots, cucumbers, tomatoes, winged bean, various types of squash, sweet potato, kale, raw papaya a variety of mushrooms and Chinese cabbage are among the most common. These are generally stir fried by themselves or with seafood and meat or curried in coconut sauce to be eaten with rice or noodles.

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Leafy Greens & Salads

Leafy Greens & Salads

Leafy green vegetables such as morning glory, Thai basil, Asian pennywort, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, water mimosa among others is eaten raw or as a side dish. Thai salads made with fresh vegetables that succeed in imparting hotness, saltiness and sourness all at once are an important part of the cuisine.

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Meats

Meats

In Thai cuisine meat is cooked in small potions and is usually mixed with vegetables. It is stir fried, deep fried, roasted, steamed, boiled and grilled on bamboo skewers or grilled wrapped in pandanus or banana leaves and served with various sauces. Chicken pork, duck and frog are among the most favoured meats.

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Seafood

Seafood

Trying seafood prepared the Thai way is the highlight of a visit to that country. There are dishes with only small portions of seafood or dishes dedicated to a particular type of seafood. Seafood is steamed, seared, grilled, stir fried with vegetables, curried, made into soups and salads, deep fried and some seafood is even served raw.

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Fruit, Deserts & Beverages

Fruit, Deserts & Beverages

Tropical fruits form an important part of Thai cuisine and are generally served by themselves after the main meal or in combination with other ingredients. Rambutan, lychee, mango, longan, papaya, ripe jack fruit, pineapple, mangosteen and durian are among those favoured by Thais. Many of these fruits are used in innovative ways in ice creams as beverages and as fillings for Thai pancakes and sweet sticky rice and are even in traditional alcoholic drinks.