In Thai cuisine, as opposed to the cuisine of the West, there is no division into first and second dish. There can even be up to five dishes in a meal!
The cuisine is rich in spices and herbs such as chili peppers, garlic, ginger, onion and curry. These spicy flavors are often offset by steamed rice, light pastas, fresh local tea and coffee, sweet desserts and fruits. Also, seafood, coconuts, tropical fruits, rice, tapioca and sugar cane are abundant and are key elements of the kitchen. A typical meal would include a soup, a bottom with curry, a dish of vegetables, a dish of fish or seafood, perhaps a plate of meat and bowls of rice.
Salads usually combine cooked and raw vegetables with some protein, offered by shrimps, squids or very finely sliced beef cooked on the grill. Usually the salad has a tart taste of salty and sweet together.
The most common dessert is a dish of fresh, peeled and cut fruits, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, lychee, banana, pineapple and mango. Certainly you should not forget the durian, with its spiny shell, which is always offered a dish itself.
Warm Thai beef salad
400 gr. fillet of beef into thin slices
75 gr. lettuce salad
1 / 2 red onion, thinly sliced (small onion)
1 / 2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 / 3 cup (20 gr.) Chopped fresh cilantro
1 / 3 cup (20 gr.) Chopped fresh mint
For the Dressing
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 small fresh red chilli, finely chopped without the seeds
Salt and pepper the beef.
Pour little oil in a pan. When the pan is very hot, add the meat and leave for 3-4 minutes on each side (the slices are cut thin so it will get cooked quickly). Then transfer to a plate and leave for 10 minutes before you cut it into thin elongated pieces.
Place the fish sauce in a saucepan, the lime juice, the sugar and the chopped chili in a very low heat until sugar dissolves. When the sugar is dissolved turn off the cooker and leave it there to be kept warm.
In a bowl, toss the salad, the onion, the tomato, the cucumber, the coriander and the mint and spread on a platter.
Spread the sliced beef on top of salad and pour the hot dressing on top to cover it.
Chicken withCoconut Milk
1 whole chicken cut to pieces
1 package of coconut milk
1-2 teaspoons of red curry sauce
4 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper
Pour the coconut milk in a pan and cook over low heat. Make sure you save some milk for later.
Add the red curry sauce.
Add the sugar, the remaining coconut milk and the salt and pepper.
Add the chicken pieces and leave to heat until it is thoroughly cooked.
How to make easily fried rice that is eaten every day in Thailand!
1 small onion
1 small tomato
2 green onions
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of seed oil
1 ½ cups of uncooked granular rice (or 3 cups of cooked granular rice)
200 gr. chicken, chopped
Sauté the chicken in the seed oil, with the onion for 2 minutes.
Remove the chicken, add the rice and saute and this for 2 minutes. Pour 3 cups of water and let it boil.
Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into small cubes and the green onions into rings.
In a couple of minutes, add the meat and the egg, mixing it well to dissolve it to very small pieces
Finally add the remaining ingredients ( the tomato, the fresh onion, the salt and pepper, the sugar and the soy sauce) and stir them. The dish is ready! You can add a few cashews in the dish if you like
Extra tips: You may replace the chicken with pork, shrimp, fish or squid. Or you may even not add any meat at all!
You can also use cooked rice (3 cups of it) omitting the water in the recipe.
By Nikos K
Travel photo: Arsheffield