Preparing Thai Food
by Tourism Authority of Thai
Learn about the basic categories of Thai food and how to prepare each type of food. This article, graciously shared by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, includes information about Dips, Dressings, Soups, Curries, and much more.
Preparing Thai Food
A simple kind of tidbit is fun to make. You need shallots, ginger, lemon or lime, lemon grass, roasted peanuts and red phrik khi nu chillies. Peeled shallots and ginger should be cut into small fingertip sizes. Diced lime and slices of lemon grass should be cut to the same size. Roasted peanut should be left in halves. Chillies should be thinly sliced. Combinations of such ingredients should be wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and laced with a sweet-salty sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, dried shrimps and lime juice.
Mixing crushed fresh chillies with fish sauce and a dash of lime juice makes a general accompanying sauce for any Thai dish. Adding some crushed garlic and a tiny amount of roasted or raw shrimp paste transforms it into an all-purpose dip (nam phrik). Some pulverized dried shrimp and julienned egg-plant with sugar makes this dip more complete. Serve it with steamed rice, an omelette and some vegetables.
Salad dressings have similar base ingredients. Add fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to enhance saltiness, sourness and sweetness. Crushed chillies, garlic and shallots add spiciness and herbal fragrance. Lemongrass and galanga can be added for additional flavour. Employ this mix with any boiled, grilled or fried meat. Lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, cut spring onions and coriander leaves help top off a salad dressing.
Soups generally need good stock. Add to boiling water crushed peppercorns, salt, garlic, shallots, coriander roots, and the meats or cuts of one's choice. After prolonged boiling and simmering , you have the basic stock of common Thai soups. Additional galanga, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, crushed fresh chillies, fish sauce and lime juice create the basic stock for a Tom Yam.
To make a quick curry, fry curry or chilli paste in heated oil or thick coconut milk. Stir and fry until the paste is well cooked and add meats of one's choice. Season with fish sauce or sugar to taste. Add water or thin coconut milk to make curry go a longer way. Add sliced eggplant with a garnish of basil and kaffir lime leaves. Make your own curry paste by blending fresh (preferably dried) chillies, garlic, shallots, galanga, lemon grass, coriander roots, ground pepper, kaffir lime peels and shrimp paste.
Single Dish Meals
Heat the cooking oil, fry in a mixture of crushed chillies, minced garlic, ground pepper and chopped chicken meat. When nearly cooked, add vegetables such as cut beans or eggplants. Season with fish sauce and garnish with kaffir lime leaves, basil or balsom leaves. Cooked rice or fresh noodles added to the frying would make this a substantial meal.
Article and Photos Reprinted with Permission from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which is a beautiful and informative site about the culture, history, and food of Thailand. There is a huge amount of useful information about traveling to and in Thailand, sightseeing, festivals, and much more for anyone planning on visiting "The Land of Smiles".