Thai cuisine is a rich and diverse cuisine that is known for its bold and complex flavours. One of the defining characteristics of this cuisine is its use of fresh herbs and spices to create layered flavours. Many Thai dishes feature a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cardamom, which are used to create a unique flavour profile.
Thailand is well recognised for its street food culture, with many popular dishes such as fried rice, satay skewers, and papaya salad available from street vendors. Thai cuisine includes a wide variety of dishes that can be adapted to suit different dietary needs and preferences, making it a popular choice for foodies around the world. Here are 5 Thai-licious dishes to invigorate your taste buds:
Chicken Pad Thai
Pad Thai, literally translated means “thai stir fry”, and is a popular street food and restaurant dish around the world. Chicken pad Thai consists of stir-fried rice noodles with chicken, eggs, vegetables, and a flavourful sauce made from tamarind paste, fish sauce, garlic, and chilli pepper.
To make chicken pad Thai, thin rice noodles are first soaked in water to soften them, then stir-fried in a wok or frying pan along with chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, and other vegetables such as spring onions, carrots, and sweet peppers.
The tamarind based sauce is then added to the pan and tossed together with the noodles and vegetables until everything is evenly coated. Other ingredients, such as crushed peanuts, coriander, lime wedges, and chilli flakes, may be added as a garnish to enhance the dish’s texture.
Tom Kha Soup
Tom Kha soup, also known as Thai coconut soup, is a popular Thai dish that is made with coconut milk, chicken or seafood, herbs, and spices. The soup is typically flavoured with ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, which give it a distinctive and fragrant taste.
Other ingredients that may be added to the soup include mushrooms, chilli peppers, fish sauce, and lime juice, depending on the recipe and personal preferences. The result is a creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy soup that is warming and satisfying.
Beef Massaman Curry
Beef massaman curry is a popular Thai dish that originated in the southern part of Thailand and typically features beef, potatoes, onions, and peanuts, stewed in a slightly sweet curry sauce.
To make beef massaman curry, beef is first browned in a wok or pot and then simmered with potatoes, onions, and peanuts in a curry sauce made from a blend of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg, as well as coconut milk and tamarind paste.
The curry is slow cooked until the beef is tender and the flavours have melded together. Bay leaves, lemongrass, and fish sauce may also be added to enhance flavour. The finished curry is typically served with steamed rice or flatbread, such as roti.
Pork Pad Krapow
Pork pad krapow, also known as Thai basil pork, is an easy to make Thai dish that features stir-fried ground pork with holy basil leaves, chilli peppers, and other aromatics. The dish is typically served over rice and is known for its spicy and fragrant flavour.
To make pork pad krapow, ground pork is first stir-fried with garlic, chilli peppers, and a sauce made from oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Thai basil leaves are then added to the pan and tossed together with the pork until wilted.
Other ingredients such as onions, sweet peppers, and green beans may also be added to the dish to provide additional texture and flavour. The finished dish is typically served over rice, with a fried egg on top.
Som Tam, also known as green papaya salad, is a popular Thai salad that is made from shredded green papaya, tomatoes, chilli peppers, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar. The salad is known for its colourful, crunchy, and salty sour taste which can be made a little sweeter, depending on your taste preferences.
To make Som Tam Salad, green papaya is first shredded to create thin, long strands of the papaya. The papaya is then mixed with cherry tomatoes, garlic, chilli peppers, and peanuts in a mortar and pestle, which helps to release the flavours and soften the ingredients. The salad is then dressed with a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar, which balances the flavours and adds sweetness to the dish.
Other ingredients such as shrimp, crab, or grilled chicken may also be added to the salad to provide additional protein and flavour. Som Tam Salad is typically served as a side dish or as a light lunch.
Cooking Thai dishes at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right ingredients and techniques, it’s possible to create authentic and delicious Thai dishes in your own kitchen. Thai cuisine offers a diverse range of flavours and ingredients so get creative and have fun!