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Whether you do this by visiting Thailand or by going to Thai restaurants in your home country, you're sure to find dishes you like.
And you might even discover some of the most delicious food you've ever eaten! Northeastern food If you visit Thailand and walk around any big city like Bangkok, you'll see people selling street food of many kinds from mobile carts. If they're selling food to workers from a building site, they're probably selling Isan food from the northeast of Thailand.
An Isan meal almost always includes a spicy salad called som tam that's freshly-made with grated green papaya for every customer. Som tam is usually eaten with grilled fish, pork or beef and lots of glutinous sticky rice. Other dishes might include a ground meat salad called larb, or dishes made with a fermented fish paste called pla ra that most foreigners find too smelly and strong-tasting to try. Because of its low rainfall, Isan is a poor region in which people have learned how to eat whatever they can find, including insects of many kinds.
These are now sold from carts all over Thailand, and if you get the chance you should try some deep-fried grasshoppers. They're surprisingly good!
Southern food While people from Isan prefer very spicy dishes and sticky rice, people from the Muslim areas of southern Thailand prefer milder dishes and steamed rice, preferably Thailand's top-quality jasmine rice. Many of the most delicious southern dishes are curries made with coconut milk or coconut cream from which they get their smooth, creamy texture and rich, sweet flavour.
The most famous southern curries are Thai yellow curry with chicken and potato kaeng ku-ree gai and massaman curry, a rich and creamy Indian-style curry made with beef or chicken that was voted the world's most delicious dish by CNN viewers in Central Thai food Thai restaurants usually include a few Isan and southern Thai dishes on their menus, but most of the dishes are from central Thailand.
Si t Down Restaurants Most street food stalls throughout Thailand serve quite specifc dishes. Where Isan food is served, there will be no General Thai food and vice versa. Want to eat Isan food? Go to an Isan stall. Want to eat stir fried dishes? Go to a General Thai food stall. In the mood for noodle soup?
Visit a noodle cart. Search for a cart or eatery loaded with green papayas, string beans, limes and small tomatoes. Bigger Isan street estab- lishments will also be grill- ing up a selection of salted fsh, chicken, or pork, and have some innards dangling inside a display cabinet. If you notice these signs, you are bound to fnd Isan food! Halal Street Food Most Muslim food stalls are sealed with a label on the outside of the cart that ensures that it serves Halal food.
Also, if you see a huge pot with yellow rice and chicken at the bottom khao mok gai - Thai biryani , youve most likely found a Thai Muslim food cart! You will only fnd soup at these stall, not fried noodles. Si t Down Thai Restaurants There is a diverse range of sit down Thai restaurants from low priced to high end. Unlike street stalls that normally only serve a single genre of Thai food or even 1 dish , many sit down restaurants offer a variety or all styles of Thai cuisine including Isan and General Thai food together.
Thai Seafood Restaurants Many street stalls or Thai sit down restaurants will have small bits of seafood, but to eat the wonderful array of fresh seafood that Thailand is blessed with, its necessary to go to a Thai seafood restaurant. Many have water tanks inside the restaurant and offer a selec- tion of crab, prawns, fsh, squid and a host of shell fsh.
Salad Yam , Tam Salads are most common as Isan food Stir Fried Pad - Anytime you see the word pad, it is a stir fried dish and usually trans- lates to General Thai food Deep Fried Tod Loads of street snacks, meat, chicken and fsh are deep fried Steamed Neung Not overly common, but sometimes with seafood or chicken Boiled Tom dtm - Thai soups and curries Grilled Yang yang Chicken, pork and seafood are the most commonly grilled foods in Thailand.
Roasted Pao Not much different from grilled, but fsh is commonly roasted. When ordering noodles, you dont just say I want to eat noodles, youve got to be more specifc.
There are a number of different kinds of noodles, depending on the dish and noodle preferred. Main Types of Noodles Sen Yai - Wide fresh rice noodles 2 cm wide , can be used in fried noodle dishes as well as soup Sen Lek - Dried medium sized rice noodles, almost look like a white spaghetti noo- dle, mostly used in soup Sen Mee - Micro angel hair sized rice noodles, can be used fried or in soup Sen Mee Sen Lek Sen Yai 28 Ba Mee - Yellow egg noodles, normally eaten in soup or dry but cooked in boiling water like spa- ghetti Sen Jan - Medium sized rice noodles, almost exclusively used with Pad Thai and not much else Mama - Thai version of Top Ramen is known as Mama, quite popular at restaurants as a stir fried dish Woon Sen - Similar to glass noodles or jelly noodles, transparent vermicelli made from mung beans Kanom Jeen - Normally served with a spicy curry sauce and vegetables or mixed within som tam green papaya salad , usually only available at Isan restaurants or stalls specifcally serving kanom jeen with curry.
If you order on top of rice rat kao most dishes on the street will cost 30 40 THB per plate. Many Thai dishes include a mixture of sauce that includes fsh sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, chilies and lime juice.
Be sure to look back at the important phrases if you want to modify any dish! Chinese kale, crispy pork, chili peppers, fer- mented soybean sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, fsh sauce, garlic Where: General Thai restaurants Price: Any stir fried rice restaurant or street stall Price: Thai Islam food restaurants or on the side of the street Price: Thai seafood restaurants Price: General Thai food restaurants Price: Isan restaurants Price: Thai seafood restaurants, some Isan restaurants Price: Isan restaurants where they have grilled catfsh Price: Thai seafood restaurant Price: Thai seafood restaurant and streetside Price: General Thai restaurant Price: Isan restaurants and Thai seafood restaurants Price: Isan restaurants and General Thai food restaurants Price: General Thai food and Muslim restaurants Price: Northern Thai restaurants, popular in Chiang Mai Price: General Thai, but rare restaurants Price: Here are the most popular types of curry to eat with kanom jeen: Sweet Coconut Curry k-nm jeen nam yaa g-t.
Green Chicken Curry k-nm jeen gaeng keow wan gi 3. Sweet Curry k-nm jeen nam prk 4. Thin Pork Meat Sauce k-nm jeen nam ngeow.
Southern Thai dish Price: Isan restaurants and stalls Price: Isan street carts Price: If you are happy with the Eating Thai Food Guide, or have suggestions on how it could improve, I would highly appreciate your feedback. Feel free to send me a message here. Become a fan on Facebook for exclusive Thai food photos and updates!
Go to http: There is a growing community of Bangkok food tweeting fanatics that eat-and-tweet using the hashtag BKKFatty. It would be fantastic if you would join in on the ac- tion! Thank you very much for your support! Ying for her expert help with Thai translation. Chris Mitchell and Dwight Turner for their help and support pro- ducing this guide.
Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Sweet Coconut Curry k-nm jeen nam yaa g-t 2. Thin Pork Meat Sauce k-nm jeen nam ngeow 5. Fish Kidney Curry k-nm jeen gaeng dtai bplaa Where: The Recipe Club. Pharmasquire Medics. Jason Lee. Alan Brewis.
Khao soi, flate egg noodles with curry, is a specialty of Chiang Mai, sold by Yunnanese noodle vendors. Khamon jiin and Kuaytiaw types of rice noodles are also popular and Wun sen, mung bean noodles, are used in salads and soups as well as being wrapped in rice paper rolls in the same way as Vietnamese spring rolls.
Another specialty of the area is insects. Deep-fried bamboo worm, water beetles and various other insects are sold as snacks.
Most of the area is a high plateau divided by the Phu Phan mountains. Divided from the rest of Thailand by more mountains, Laos and Cambodia, just over the border, have had a strong culinary influence, with much of the cuisines overlapping. The Mekong rive flows along the border with both countries and has been the main means of trade for centuries. Rice is cultivated over much of the plateau but, unlike in other areas of Thailand, rain is less reliable, thus making the yield patchy.
Sticky rice is preferred in the countryside and long-grain rice in the cities. As much of the area is poorer than the rest of the country, food reflects this. Rice is staple and dishes that are served with it are small in quantity but very pungent in flavor.
Unfermented fish sauce and chilies are the main seasonings. Commonly used pickled and preserved foods are another symptom of an unreliable food supply and also add more flavor to a diet of rice in this form than their original fresh state. The chicken skin is rubbed with garlic, fish sauce, coriander root or lemon grass and black pepper, then the chicken is usually flattened and pinned on a bamboo skewer before being barbecued over coals and served with a chili dipping sauce.
Chicken is also made into Laap, a minced meat salad made with lime juice, fish sauce, lemon grass, chilies or chili powder and Khao khua pon, roasted rice. Duck, fish and buffalo are also used to make Laap, and Neu naam tok, grilled strips of beef, are used for similar salads. Individual portions are pounded together by hand and eaten with sticky rice.
The addition of picked crabs transforms Som tam into Laotian- style dish. Soups are hot and sour style tom, or spicy style, sukii. Sukii are served in steamboats and each person dips in and cooks their own set of ingredients. The very south of the region has some coconut milk in soups. Fish are freshwater, the Mekong river being famous for the giant catfish caught from it, mainly in the months of April and May.
To the East is stretches to the Cambodian border, and to the West as far as Burma. Much of this area, which is watered by many rivers, constitutes the rice-bowl of Thailand. A network of canals further irrigates the region, as well as providing a means of transport. Paddy fields cover most of the area, but fruit, sugar cane, maize, peanuts and taro are also cultivated on a large scale.
Crabs and fish even live amongst the paddy as do the frogs and water beetles that are commonly eaten. Chicken, pork and beef feature in the cuisine, alongside the fish. The fertility of these regions means many vegetables grow easily and cultivated vegetables include the popular Thai eggplants aubergines , cha-om a bitter green vegetable that resembles a fern , and bamboo shoots, as well as snake beans and European vegetables like tomatoes.
Vegetables grown in or alongside the waterways include phak bung water spinach and lotus shoots. Curries include red, green and phanaeng. Soups are tom khaa kai, tom yam and kaeng jeut bland soup. Yam salads are popular as are stir- fries.
Dishes influenced by the Chinese include those baked in clay pots, various noodle dishes as well as some braised dishes flavoured with Chinese spices. Japanese-style sukii similar to sukiyaki is also available. The use of palm sugar makes many recipes sweeter than their southern counterparts.
Si Racha on the Gulf of Thialand is famous for the chili sauce made there and it appears as a condiment on virtually every table.
Once under the influence of the ancient Indonesian Sriwijaya empire along with areas of Malaysia, Malay-Indonesian culture and religion is still apparent in the life and language of the South. Buddhist Thai peoples farm the inland regions and a Chinese minority mainly live and work in the cities.
With the advantage of two long coastlines, fresh fish and seafood is eaten in abundance. It is grilled over charcoal, used in stir-fries or curries, and even more of it is preserved by drying. Racks of dried squid and cotton fish line many coastal roads. Locally made shrimp paste and fish sauce are used in quantity. Coconut and oil palms are farmed in plantations as well as growing wild, fringing the beaches on both coasts.
Further up the Isthmus, sugar palms are grown for their sweet sap. Phuket is home to many pineapple plantations and rice is cultivated wherever it can be persuaded to grow. Thai Buddhist curries and soups are often tempered and enriched by the addition of coconut milk or cream. Spices include turmeric and pepper, and chilies are used with abandon. Yellow curries are popular. Muslim dishes use ghee and oil rather than coconut and use a larger range of fragrant species including cardamon, cumin and cloves.
Indo-Malay dishes such as satay are popular as are indian-style roti. Chinese-style dishes include Khamon jiin Chinese-style rice noodle , barbecued meats, various deep-fried snacks, steamed buns, and dumplings. Coffee shops sell Kopi filtered coffee Khao yam, cooked dry rice, toasted coconut, makrut kaffir lime leaves, bean sprouts and lemon grass.
North For special occasions most Thais will prepare certain food for the various festivals and religious ceremonies. Prapaenee Khao Jee Larm: Prapaenee Dum hua: Prapaenee Kan-Tok: Northeast Bun Khao Jee: Khao Pansa: Boon Khao Pra Dab Din: Tesakarn Boon Khao Sak: Central Songkran: Songkran day is considered the Thai New year, and the important foods in this festival are khao meow daeng, caramea, khao shair.
Tesakarn Sart: Tesakarn Auk Pansa: Open house ceremony: Prapaenee Chuk Phra: Thai is because most Thai dishes contain various ingredients that have medicinal value. The following ingredients are examples of food with medicinal value. After she has given birth, another culture practice --Yoo faiis observed.
A practice that has been followed for generations, the mother is required to stay near a wood fire and keep warm. In addition, the lactating mother is forbidden to consume certain foods. Upheld by lactating mothers in the rural areas, Yoo fai is largely ignore by many urban Thais.