October 13, 2016
Great food is synonymous with Thailand and while it can certainly boast some very strange and exotic dishes, (some of which can kill you), it simplest of culinary delights are the best. Listed here in no specific order, are the 10 Great Dishes from Thailand, chosen by our guests
10 Great Dishes from Thailand
When you have a title of ’10 Great Dishes from Thailand’ then you just have to add this dish. To give it its real and full name Kway teow pad, is not actually native to Thailand. Kway teow in Chinese means rice noodles, it is said that Chinese settlers who came to the country from southern China, brought a previous edition to Kingdom centuries ago.
Eaten all around the world, this simple traditional Thai dish comes in many variations, but usually comes with noodles dressed with tofu, onion, bean sprouts, and the one ingredient that gives this meal its unique flavour: peanuts.
It is then down to the individual to add their own choice of finishing touches, from the bowls of condiments that are served with the dish, by way of fish sauce, sugar, chilli powder, and crushed peanuts. While it is one of the easiest meals to cook, the variations of the dish means, you are never likely to eat the exact same meal twice.
Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
Thai fried rice (Thai: ข้าวผัด, khao phat) in its simplest of terms; fried rice. In Thai, khao means “rice” and phat means “of or relating to being stir-fried”.
A popular dish served typically with a wedge of lime, a few whole spring onions and few slices of cucumber. One of the simplest of dishes, which you can add almost anything, from prawns, crab, pork, or chicken. With the addition of basil, fried egg, chilies, fish source, garlic and any number of vegetables.
In this easy to cook meal you can turn this unassuming dish into a banquet served on a single plate.
Tom Yam Goong
“Tom” refers to the boiling process, while “yam” refers to a Thai spicy and sour salad. The dish is widely served in neighbouring countries, including Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, and has become popular around the world.
With its generous use of fragrant herbs, including lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and shallots, this meal has all the memorable smells of Thailand, with the additional kick coming from fresh chilies and fish sauce. It can be eaten with seafood, pork or chicken.
The flavor sums up Thailand in a single meal, Spicy Hot and Sour, full of dazzling aromas subtly blended with a rich combination of culture and history.
Tom Kha Gai or Thai Coconut Soup
Tom kha kai, tom kha gai or Thai coconut soup (Thai: ต้มข่าไก่), literally “chicken galangal soup.” Is a spicy and sour hot soup with coconut milk, found in both Lao and Thailand, the only real difference in the two countries is, in Lao the dish traditionally contains Dill weed, which is a common herb used in Lao cuisine, while in Thailand we use coriander.
The dish can be made with seafood (tom kha thale), mushrooms (tom kha het), pork (tom kha mu) or tofu (tom kha taohu), all of which will contain the following ingredients; galangal, chillies, palm sugar, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.
The flavor is spicy and sour and a far mellower form of ‘Tom Yam’, as with its fiery sister it sums up in one dish the combination of all the many flavors and aromas that go into most Thai food.
Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himmapan (Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts)
This is the Thai version of the Chinese (Sichuan), style fried chicken with roasted peanuts nuts, known as Kung Pao chicken. In the Thai version we start with fresh, moist, un-roasted cashew nuts. The nuts are deep fried until golden brown before the other ingredients of pre-marinated chicken, onion, bell peppers, carrots are stir-fried with whole dried chillies a pinch of tapioca floor, sweet soy sauce. Along with white vinegar, garlic and the mandatory palm sugar, the nuts are then returned to the stir fry and the dish is served with chopped spring onions.
Don’t forget, while the cooking process will have transferred some of the sting from the dried chillies to the rest of the dish, it is never wise to eat the dried chillies, that are served within the dish, as they will still hold a fiery punch. The combination of the somewhat sticky chicken and the cashew nuts is a real winner.
Pad Pak Boong Fai Daeng (Stir-fried Morning Glory)
Certainly not just for the veggies amongst us……… even if the thought green vegetables are a real turn off, you may still find a liking for this savoury dish. Morning glory is a semi aquatic, tropical vegetable and is also known by many other names including water spinach and swamp cabbage.
This hollow insignificant looking vegetable with small leaves is found in cuisines through-out East and S/E Asia. What you may not know is that in the USA the vegetable is a federal noxious weed, and it is illegal to grow, import, possess, or sell without a permit.
If that was not strange enough; the King Of Spain’s personal physician who worked in Mexico between 1570 and 1575, noted that the local Aztec’s and their priests, were using morning glory seeds (ololiuqui), to produce both intoxicants and hallucinogens……. “to commune with their gods.”
Here in the more enlightened Thailand, the vegetable is lightly stir fried on a very high heat so it remains crispy. Cooked with lots of garlic and fresh chillies, along with a dash of oyster and fish sauce, plus a smidging of palm sugar. A great little dish that is a welcome guest at any table.
Gai Pad King (Stir-fried Chicken with Ginger)
A mouth tingling dish where ginger rules supreme. A fantastic yet unusually, almost chilli-less Thai dish, with the addition of the following ingredients: Huge amounts of grated ginger, boneless chicken, various mushrooms, and assortment of vegetables, onions and chilies. All fried together in perfect harmony with a splash of oyster, fish and soy sauces and of course palm sugar, to which is sometimes added Lao Khao (Thai Rice whiskey).
This dish with its distinctive ginger taste and aroma, is the perfect accompaniment to the likes of Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himmapan (Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts) and Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
The name is generally thought to refer to Muslims and has its origins in Southern Thailand, it is believed to be an interpretation of a Persian meal. The dish has a relatively mild taste and is a far cry from the fiery flavours of most other Thai curries.
The main ingredients are; massaman paste, meat (beef, duck, chicken, goat, pork or tofu), coconut milk, onion, peanuts, potatoes, Star anise, palm sugar, bay leaves, along with fish, chili and tamarind sauces.
The peanuts (or cashews) give it its most prominent flavour and aroma, while the massaman curry paste, (nam phrik kaeng matsaman), is made from spices that are not frequently used in other Thai curries; cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, nutmeg and mace.
All in all this curry is an unusual dish in the Thai arsenal of food flavours, with its smooth mild taste, it should suite the less adventurous of palates.
Khao Tom Moo (Rice Soup with Pork)
The dish is made with boiled rice served in a light broth, usually with minced pork, but can come with chicken, fish or tofu. It is often eaten by Thai people as a breakfast meal (especially by the country folk who start their day at first light), as it is warm, mild and filling, without being too heavy.
The diced pork is gently cooked in the broth, later the rice is added with galangal powder and white pepper once the rice has simmered for 10-15 minutes, fish sauce is then added, the dish is served in bowls to which the guests adds fried garlic, pickled jalapenos, green onions and coriander to their taste.
Kao Niew Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice)
Not much to say about this ever so simple dish, in truth it is a desert that should appeal to most people. How could you not like fresh ripe succulent mango, laid atop of the contrasting somewhat chewy ‘Sticky Rice,’ with the whole treat topped with a drizzle of deliciousness coconut cream syrup. The end result is a dish that can really dazzle your senses.
For more on Thai Cuisine including those dishes that can kill
Blood and Guts food that can Kill
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