How Fresh Ingredients Make Thai Food Taste True Thai
Posted by LauraDerb on February 11th, 2021
The traditional taste of Thai food is a blend of four primary tastes that are sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. These four flavors often come together and balance each other to form that special taste of Thai food that is most commonly found in traditional dishes like Pad Thai and Panang Gai. Most people think of the traditional taste of Thai food as being a tangy and spicy blend that invokes memories of the famous sweet red curry. While there certainly is the dominant taste, there are subtle nuances that you won't be aware of unless you are a seasoned Thai chef. Here, we'll take a closer look at the flavors and subtleties of traditional Thai food.
In Pad Thai the Thai will traditionally add onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, and fish sauce to the dishes. If you are eating at a restaurant where Thai is the primary language, the restaurant staff should be willing to let you try these additional ingredients for yourself. However, most Pad Thai restaurants are more honest than this, and while the addition of ingredients will typically be more prominent in traditional dishes, they are not essential to the overall flavor of the dish. As with many dishes in Thailand, the primary seasonings used are coconut oil, fish paste, chicken stock, peanut oil, red chilies, Thai chilies, raisins, sesame oil, and Chinese soy sauce. All of these ingredients have their own distinct flavors and play an important role in balancing the sweetness of the traditional peanut sauce with the spiciness of the chilies.
One of the more subtle but significant differences between traditional Thai fare and that of modern Thai cuisine is the use of lime juice. Unlike Chinese cooking, which frequently adds lime juice to a dish to add its taste, traditional Thai dishes tend to be more restrained. Lime juice is sometimes used in very thin slices or even added as a condiment for a salad. While lime juice can give a bright taste to dishes, it can also result in a sour taste when left on the food for a longer period such as over-ripe mango. Read reviews of Sawadee here to avoid this. such as over-ripe mango. For this reason, a simple solution for this problem is to wipe any lime juice off the fruit before adding it to the table.
Because of its mango-related taste, mangoes are one of the primary ingredients in Pad Thai, a popular main dish in southern Thailand. Although mangoes are often overlooked in modern Thai cuisine, they have long been a staple of the Thai diet. Mango is an important part of the Thai diet, especially during the cold months when other fruits such as pineapples and watermelons are insufficient for long-term energy supplies. Often times, mango is even added as a main ingredient to rice noodles to help thicken the rice.
Lemongrass is another spice that is crucial to making authentic food. It adds a distinct flavor to many dishes. At a Thai restaurant, lemongrass tea is sometimes offered as an alternative to coffee. Although there is no substitute for lemongrass tea, there are certainly many occasions where this herb is omitted from a meal, and it is not reflected in the price tag. For this reason, some Thai restaurants tend to use a little less lemongrass in their dishes than others, but this variation is acceptable for most people.
Apart from these three main ingredients, there are other subtle nuances that are important to Thai dishes that can make a big difference to your dining experience. The Pad Thai that you get at your favorite Thai restaurant may be made with coconut milk. This makes it a light, refreshing Thai soup, and it can also add a distinct nutty flavor to your food.
Another example of subtle regional flavor that is important to Thai food is fish. You will often find dishes like Pad Thai or Massamun Curry that are prepared using fish sauce as the base. A speciality of Thai restaurants that emphasizes this type of fish sauce is called "nuat phad" or "nam phad" in Thai. This is the Thai equivalent of a hamburger. However, instead of being cooked in a bun, this curry is served in a coconut shell, and it usually contains vegetables and fish.
Whether you dine out in a fancy restaurant in Bangkok or in your own home in California, Thai food can have a truly distinctive flavor that can't be replicated in a bottle. If you are fortunate enough to live near one of the authentic Thai restaurants in Los Angeles or Orange County, you know that having fresh ingredients will make all the difference. The next time you are in Bangkok, take a look around at the fresh ingredients that have fueled this popular regional cuisine since it first began.
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About the AuthorLauraDerb
Joined: October 25th, 2017
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