Thailand has diverse flora and fauna, ranging from mountains to sea beaches and tiny exotic islands. And the food speaks volumes about the natural beauty and vegetation. There’s something about the flavors in Thai food that tantalizes the taste buds like nothing else. And this is perhaps because of the fact that the Thai pay a lot of attention to detailing, ranging from miniscule decoration to providing condiments that not only enhance the taste bud, but also provide many benefits.
There are some herbs and leaves that are fundamental to Thai food, which are unique to the country and even if cooked in any other place in the world. It is vital that you get familiar with these herbs and ingredients before you commence your culinary journey on Thai food. These are little things that do make a difference when you put together the cuisine or even savour it outside-
One of the most basic ingredients would be the Thai basil, which is so fresh and yet has a subtlety that doesn’t steal the taste of other ingredients. It is used in curries, pastes, condiments and even for decoration. Complimenting the flavor of the basil are Kafir lime and its leaves, which again are used in a range of noodles, curries, rice, meaty stews, etc. Chili is the heart of Thai food because they sure love their spices and like it real hot. Apart from this, some other commonly used herbs here include Thai ginger or galangal, star anise, cumin, lime and many others. Garlic follows suit and is crucial to all ingreidents cooked.
This forms the basis of the Thai food but like a pyramid, there are different tiers of Thai food. Once the flavors are enhanced with the herbs, comes the time for some exotic sauces and pastes. This includes shrimp paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce, coconut milk or cream. Most of these ingredients are mixed together and then used for creating popular dishes like Thai curry, Pad Thai noodles, Mian Khaum (basically a started to enhance taste buds).
Preparation And Old School Techniques
The beauty of the Thai food lays not only its preparation and cooking but also how the food is served. Prep is done using mortar and pestle for grinding the herbs and making pastes to retain natural flavors and maintain that rustic taste. The cooking is done in giant woks and utensils… Eating less is not something the Thai believe in because they are hard-core workers. No wonder that carb laden staples like rice and noodles are so easily digested by them and they remain as skinny as ever.
Decor and Serving
Finally, when it comes to serving the dishes, a lot of detail is placed on the décor. Even the basic Tom Yum or Tom kha is served with a garnish of fresh basil and lime to enhance the taste buds. Tiny little condiments are served complimentary with almost all dishes. To help you in better digestion, there is the Thai green tea, which sure makes you feel less guilty about all that eating. And the best part is that all of these are served with an assortment of exotic veggies, sea foods and meats, to make Thai food healthy, sumptuous and so nutritious.
And finally desserts are made with basic and fresh Thai ingredients. Palm sugar and coconut is usually the base of these dishes, which not only makes it healthier but far lighter than heavy cream laden alternatives. You will love the coconut ice creams or the jaggery and pumpkin custards, which are international favorites. So go ahead and enjoy the many flavors of Thai food.