Taste of Thai Food

There is a secret key to a good taste of Thai food starts with good preparation, cooking techniques, and authentic Thai ingredients including strong aromatic herbs, spices, vegetables, seasonings and pastes. These combinations importantly enhance the distinctive flavors in Thai food and presentation.

Thai food is known for its balanced combinations of the five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal; spicy (ped), sour (priew), sweet (whaan), salty (kem), and bitter (kom).

Yes, the dish is at its best when all flavors are balanced......!

Thai people love to have their meals cooked in a traditional way with well balance of Thai flavors. These tastes of Thai food, in some dishes, might have 2 to 3 flavors while other dishes have 3-5 flavors.

Spicy flavor usually comes from fresh and dried Thai chilies, black and white peppers, garlic, and ginger. This taste of Thai food, spicy, is seldom missed in Thai cooking. Level relatively differs from personal preference.

Sour flavor is extensively added in Thai salads, soups, dips, and some drinks, usually comes from tamarind (makham) both fresh immature fruit (which is light green and very sour), leaves and paste(made from mature brown pulps), lime juice (nam ma nau) white vinegar which are known and available internationally. This taste of Thai food is rarely missed in Northeastern cooking.

However, there are some types of locally grown fruits that give sour taste; pineapple , immature one is usually sour, often used in curry dishes, immature tamarind leaves (bai ma-kham on) used in soups and Garcinia Schomburgkiana Pierre (ma-dan), a fruit that is high in vitamin C, the fruit is found in some Thailand central area its fruit is commonly used in central region’s cooking for soups, and traditional dips. Garcinia (som kaek) is widely used in southern region’s cooking such as curries and soups.

palm sugar

Immature Tamarind Leaves

madan leaves

Madan Leaves

Sweet There are different types of sugar produced in Thailand which are white and brown sugar, palm and coconut sugars . Palm sugar comes from sugar palm tree or palmyra while coconut sugar comes from coconut palm. Both sugars are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds. Palm sugar usually has a darker color, a more fragrant smoky aroma and a more complex flavor than coconut sugar. Palm and coconut sugars are usually used in curry dishes and considerably in Thai desserts.

palm sugar

Palm Sugar

coconut sugar

Coconut Sugar

Salty flavor usually comes from sea salt , soy sauce, and fish sauce. Fish sauce is considerably used in Thai cooking while different kind of soy sauces are mostly used for soups and stir fry dishes and it may be used instead to personal’s preference or for Thai vegetarian cooking.

Bitter flavor in Thai food does not often exits in most of Thai dishes. However, bitter flavor comes from a few kind of vegetables and fruit which is believed to have a medicinal benefit.

They are bitter gourd (ma-ra), known to have several medicinal benefits, is commonly used in soup dishes, stock and noodle soup.

Morinda Citrifolia Linn is known in Thailand as “yor” and called “noni” in Hawaii, Tahiti and USA. In Thai cooking, “yor” leaves or called in Thai bai yor are extensively used in many dishes; southeastern style fish curry – kaeng ped pla, northeastern style soup - kaeng om bai yor, and central style steamed fish curry – hor mok pla. Due to its considerable benefits of Morinda Citrifolia, it became popular as a healthy drink.

Thai Copper Pod or Cassod Tree (kee-lek), is the medicinal plant which its green leaves is often used for spicy curries.

See taste of Thai food presented in 4 Region’s Thai Curry Noodles from the 4 regions of Thailand.

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