Thailand’s food history is rich and multi-faceted, the borders of the massive kingdom touching Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos as well as Malaysia. Aside from cuisines from its various neighbours, Thai food was also influenced by the assimilation of Chinese settlers which still makes up a significant proportion of the country’s population today.
Found everywhere from small villages, well-known restaurants to street hawkers all across Thailand, pad thai is a staple dish for the Thai people. A simple stir-fried noodle dish, pad thai is typically made with pork, chicken and prawns and served all-day long. Notes of sweet, spicy, salt and sour are balanced harmoniously in this humble dish, best enjoyed fresh off the wok with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.
PAD SEE EW
One of Thailand’s most popular noodle dishes, pad see ew is a must-try for first-time visitors to Thailand. As opposed to pad thai which is seasoned with fish sauce and tamarind juice, pad see ew is liberally seasoned with light and dark soy sauce. A protein (usually beef, pork or chicken) is typically stir fried with eggs and broccoli, and thicker rice noodles are used. Sweet and salty notes dominate this lovely dish, which can also be made spicy according to one’s liking. Try your hand making this lovely dish with our simple recipe!
By now, you should have realised that Thai people likes their stir-fried cuisine. A common street food that you’ll find on the alleys and street vendors in Thailand is pad krapow. Pad krapow is basically a stir-fry with holy basil, an aromatic and bold variety of basil used in Thailand. A meat such as minced chicken, pork or beef is stir fried simply with minced garlic, bird’s eye chilli and holy basil before being seasoned with fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and soy sauce. Served atop white rice with a fried egg, pad krapow is a perfect quick street side meal one can enjoy anytime in Bangkok.
The quintessential soup served at every Thai meal in Bangkok, tom yum is one of the country’s most popular dishes. In fact, local potato chips, instant noodles and seaweed snacks are inspired by the dish’s flavours. Tom yum is an aromatic hot and sour soup made of lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Mushrooms, tomatoes, chillies and some sort of protein (typically prawn or pork) is added, before freshly squeezed lime, fish sauce and freshly-cut chillies are added as a finishing touch. Sometimes, coconut milk is added to make a heartier broth.
One of our favourite Thai dishes is the green curry. The startling green colour of the curry is due to the use of green chilli peppers and holy basil in making the green curry paste. The paste is typically made fresh from holy basil, shrimp paste, galangal, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, garlic, shallots and kaffir lime zest. Once ground to a fine paste with mortar and pestle, the paste is stir-fried in oil till fragrant. Meat such as fish, chicken or pork is added, alongside eggplant and bamboo shoots before being with coconut milk and seasoned with palm sugar, fish sauce and salt. Sweet, spicy and beautifully satisfying, green curry is perfect with a bowl of piping hot jasmine white rice.