About Thai Cuisine

About Thai Cuisine

Globally, Thai cuisine is one of the most popular types of food because we can find Thai restaurants all over the world. The same is true of Italian, Chinese, French and Japanese food. You do not, for example, find English or German restaurants in each country that you visit. The reason for the popularity of Thai food is its unique taste and the interesting ingredients that are used.

Thai food makes extensive use of coconut oil, phrik nam phla (fish sauce) and hot chilis. Not all Thai food, however, is spicy. Below I introduce three of my favorite Thai dishes.

Masaman Curry

I first tried Masaman curry when I stayed on Thong Nai Pan Yai beach in Koh Phangan. The name for the dish means muslim curry as it is influenced by Indian cuisine. It is a rich beef curry that is not overly spicy. The secret to making good Masaman curry is to let it sit to allow the spices to penetrate the meat. To make Masaman curry you need red curry paste, big pieces of potato, beef, coconut milk, tamarind, cinnamon stick, cardamom and cashew nuts. Masaman Curry is best served with rice. It is also a popular dish in the USA.

Som Tum

This is another classic dish. I found a place on Sairee Beach in Koh Tao that made really good Som Tum. It can be an entrée, a snack or a side salad. Whereas, lettuce is not common in Thailand, papaya is – so why not make a papaya salad? Som Tum is a green papaya salad that also includes cherry tomatoes, lots of finely diced red chilies and green beans. A freshly squeezed lime is used as a dressing for Som Tum. Often in restaurants frequented by foreigners they tone down the potency of Som Tum; otherwise this is a very spicy dish.

Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum Goong is one of the most famous dishes from Thailand and the name of one of Thailand’s most successful movies. It is a clear soup with a complex, unique taste that some people love and others can’t stand. I think it is wonderful – an exciting combination of hot and sour. Tom Yum Goong uses shrimp, mushrooms, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, fish sauce, chili peppers and 1 or 2 freshly squeezed limes. It is the combination of the citrus tastes with the chili peppers that really makes this soup.

I hope this brief introduction to a few Thai dishes has got your mouth watering. It is possible to make these dishes at home. You can find the out more about the recipes at

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