Thai cooking is rich in terms of the ingredients that are used for the preparation of a complete meal. Essentially, a Thai meal comprises of three to four components including a soup (which is generally spicy), a curry which is served with a number of condiments (the curry is not usually spicy, in order to maintain a balance of taste), a fish/meat dish served with a special dip and various vegetable or herbs and lastly, a salad made using a variety of vegetables and spices.
The Thai focus primarily on the use of herbs and spices in their cooking. Some of the most commonly used ingredients in Thai cuisine include ginger, garlic, turmeric, holy basil, lemon basil, Thai sweet basil, Kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, dill, chili pepper, wax pepper, lemon grass, black, white and long pepper, five spice and curry powder, Screw pine leaves and Bird’s eye chili.
All dishes must generally have a dash of a special paste or sauce as well which gives it a distinct flavor. Some famous pastes and sauces that are commonly used in authentic Thai cooking include shrimp paste, curry paste, soybean paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Rice and egg noodles are staple food in Thailand and are served with almost every meal. Exotic delicacies are prepared using mussels, shrimps, prawn, cockles, eel, crabs and other forms of seafood combined with authentic Thai sauces and spices to create mouth, and in some cases eye watering masterpieces.
Perhaps the most famous of all Thai dishes recognized globally is the Pad Thai, which is a dish prepared using pan fried rice noodles combined with fish sauce, pulp of tamarind, seafood/chicken, egg, tofu and peanuts. Khao Pad is another authentic Thai preparation made using fried rice, served with meat (pork/chicken/crab/beef/shrimp) and pineapple. The most famous soup of the Thai cuisine is the Tom Yam soup, which is typically hot and sour soup with different variations depending upon the type of meat used.
The red, green and Massaman curries are not for the faint hearted, and are the perfect representation of the love for spices possessed by all Thai people. Laden with crushed and dried red and green chilies, these curries may be served with meat. It is a fact that the authentic green Thai curry is perhaps that spiciest of all Thai dishes!
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