Thai Food in Thailand
When Thais think of eating, rice is basically the first thing that comes to mind. Rice is such an important part of Thai food that many people eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
How Thais Eat
When Thais eat, they put a few dishes in the middle of the table together with a pot of rice. The dishes are shared by everyone, using serving spoons. Then, they help themselves to rice and put whatever food they like on top. Thais eat rice with a spoon and a fork.
The rice is usually cooked in an electronic rice cooker. Thais do not add salt or any other seasoning when preparing rice because Thai food is already well-seasoned. The main flavors in Thai cooking are sweet, sour and salty while the dominant ingredients in the Thai cuisine are pungent Thai herbs and hot chili.
How To Combine Thai Dishes
When Thais eat, they usually have 3-5 dishes on the table. They like to combine a spicy dish with a mild one and a sauce that's served with fresh and boiled vegetables.
The most popular spicy dish, that you've probably already familiar with, is spicy soup with lemon grass called tom yum. Other hot dishes may be green curry with chicken or chopped pork with sweet basil and chili. Deep-fried fish with spicy sauce is also popular.
Both vegetables and meat dishes can be mild. It could be fried pork with garlic and black pepper, fried chicken with ginger, vegetable soup with chopped pork, omelet and stir-fried mixed vegetables.
Sauces Served With Vegetables
There are many kinds of sauces in Thailand, but the main ones are either shrimp paste based or coconut milk based. Shrimp paste based sauce is one of the most popular dishes among Thais and it's served with fried mackerels. The sauce is basically really spicy since fresh chilies are crushed and mixed with the other ingredients. Thais eat the dish with lots of vegetables, both fresh and boiled.
Coconut milk based sauces vary depending on the main ingredients. Prawns, salty fish, pickled crab and fermented soybeans are the most common. Most of the time it's topped with chopped chilies. If you do not like spicy food, you could always ask the cook to put the chilies on a side dish. Thais eat the sauce with fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, round Thai egg plants, string beans and lettuce.
Thais usually finish off their meals with dessert and fruits. The desserts are known to be really sweet because of the added sugar. Many types of desserts also have fruits. One of the most popular desserts is sticky rice with mango. Since every meal is a combination of a few different dishes, fruits and dessert, Thais quite naturally get all the important nutrients.
Enjoy your next Thai meal!