Authentic Thai food includes a unique balance of hot, sour, sweet, salty and bitter flavors that hit every taste bud on the tongue.
Thai cooking is similar to much Asian cooking in form, with stir-fries of bite-sized pieces of meat and such vegetables as cabbage, spinach, cucumber and green beans.
But Thai people are intensely proud of their distinctive flavorings, and what sets Thai food apart from other Asian cuisines are aromatics that supply heat, sweetness or salt: fiery bird chillies (hot Thai peppers), pungent holy basil (Asian green basil), palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves, creamy coconut milk and ginger-like galangal
EATING THAI FOOD IS A COMMUNAL AFFAIR
Ideally, eating Thai food is a communal affair involving two or more people, principally because the greater the number of diners the greater the number of dishes ordered.
Generally speaking, two diners order three dishes in addition to their own individual plates of steamed rice, three diners four dishes, and so on. Diners choose whatever they require from shared dishes and generally add it to their own rice.
Soups are enjoyed concurrently with rice. Soups are enjoyed concurrently with other dishes, not independently. Spicy dishes, not independently. Spicy dishes are "balanced" by bland dishes to avoid discomfort.
We give you authentic Thai food, but be aware that we cannot cater for the regional differences that you get when you go to Thailand.
Thai is rendered phonetically into English spelling, so spelling of words will vary on menus. For example, "gaeng," or curry, will often appear as "kaeng" or "kang."
gaeng ped: a hot red curry made with dried red chilles
gaeng keow wan: a green curry made with fresh green chilles
gaeng musaman: literally "Muslim curry," a warmly spiced, hot Indian-style curry
gaeng panaeng: an Indian-inspired curry usually without vegetables.
kaprow: with basil
larb: a salad of spicy ground meat and raw vegetables
pad thai: stir-fried rice noodles
satay: kebabs of skewered meat or poultry
som tam esan: a frequently served salad of green papaya
tam taeng: a refreshing salad of cucumbers
tom yam gai: chicken hot and sour soup
tom yam kung: shrimp hot and sour soup
Coconut Milk (Nam Gati)
Coconut milk is not the clear liquid inside a coconut but rather the creamy juice extracted from grated coconut. It adds creaminess and richness to sauces and soups.
Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
Perhaps the single most important ingredient in Thai cooking, fish sauce might be called the soy sauce of Thailand, an aged sauce that smells rich and complex, rather than fishy.
Vital Thai ingredient, this is a root similar to ginger, but with a deeper, more complex flavor.
Green Paw Paw or Papaya (Malah Goh)
An unripe papaya, it's a crunchy, slightly sour green fruit. Almost every Thai meal includes a lightly dressed shredded green papaya salad.
Jasmine Rice (Kao)
A long-grain Thai rice with a seductive fragrance.
Kaffir Lime Leaves (Bai Makroot)
A crucial Thai ingredient, these dark green, glossy leaves impart a wonderfully perfumed lime flavor.
Lemon Grass (Takrai)
A tough stalk with a delicate citrus and ginger fragrance.
A dark brown sugar made from coconut trees. Palm sugar is used in desserts and to add a hint of sweetness to savory dishes.
Thai Basil (Horopa)
A distinct anise flavor makes this basil very different from the usual kind.