Thai people just love to eat food! Some of the best food can be found on the street from the local vendors. Savoury dishes, fruit dishes galore all day, all night.
Thai food uses many of the same core ingredients as other South East Asian countries – chilli, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice yet it manages to retain a unique flavour all of its own.
The essence of Thai food is all about balance – achieving the perfect harmony between sweet, sour, hot and salty. Pungent fresh herbs, such as lemongrass and galangal, tone down overpowering spices, while salty sauces are tempered with sugars and offset by acids, such as lemon and lime.
Thailand’s various regions all have their own complex cooking styles, flavours and unique dishes.
The North of Thailand uses steamed glutinous rice preferred to the soft-boiled rice of the central region and curries tend to be thinner, without the coconut milk and cream that is widely used in central and southern cooking. The influence of neighbouring Burma and Laos are also more apparent in northern Thai cooking.
Southern Thailand sees greater rain and has many coconut and banana plantations and a strong fishing industry. As a result, seafood dishes are highly popular here and the richness of coconut is tempered with sour fruits and hot chillies – southern Thai food is the hottest in the country.
The food of the Central Plains is perhaps the most complex of all, with the influence of Royal Thai cuisine being most strongly felt here. These sophisticated dishes, which use many ingredients, represent the type of Thai food that foreigners tend to be most familiar with.
Fruit! It is eaten with nearly every meal and is available on the street everywhere. So many different varieties of fruit are available in Thailand.