Have left over massaman curry paste? These massaman curry fried potatoes are an easy and light way to use up any extra curry paste you might have. Get your Thai curry fix now! What is massaman curry? Traditionally, massaman curry is a coconut curry served …
From savory noodles dishes to balanced curries and mouth-watering appetizers, Thai recipes are packed with flavor and different textures. Many of you have probably tried Thai food from a restaurant at least once, but it can just as easily be made at home!
Introduction to Thai recipes
Like Vietnamese food, Thai food is known for its delicate balance between flavors and the use of fresh herbs and veggies.
Common ingredients and flavors you’ll find throughout Thai cooking are garlic, galangal, cilantro, lemongrass, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, and Thai chilies. Palm sugar and coconut milk are used to add sweetness to dishes, while lime and tamarind add a tart, sour punch. Other common vegetables that you’ll encounter are bamboo shoots, bell peppers, bean sprouts, carrot, and broccoli.
Regional Thai Food History
Thai cuisine can be split up into four different regions, where you’ll find slight differences in the cuisine from variance in climate, topography, and country borders.
In the northern parts of Thailand, you’ll find several mountain ranges that bring cooler temperatures to the region and makes it an ideal place to grow herbaceous crops and raise domesticated animals. It shares borders as well as historical ties with Myanmar and Laos. The largest city is Chaing Mai, where you can find popular dishes like Khao Soi(curry egg noodles and sticky rice). The northern region also has no access to the ocean, so seafood and coconut milk are not used as widely as in other regions, making the food slightly more bitter.
The northeastern region, also commonly known as Isaan, is less popular among travelers but is very authentic. Made up of mostly farmland and small towns, cuisine from northeast Thailand is heavily influenced by Cambodia and Laos. The food here requires more simple preparation techniques, such as grilling and boiling, and tends to be very spicy. Popular dishes include larb(salad with minced meat) and som tam (spicy papaya salad).
Central Thailand contains the central plains and the country’s largest city, Bangkok. With a diverse cultural landscape, the style of food reflects regional Thai, Chinese, and other southeast Asian influences. Thai street food is popular amongst locals and tourists, and it’s here you’ll find the foods that are most commonly served in Thai restaurants around the world. Pad thai, Gaeng Phet (red curry), and Pad See Ew (drunken noodles) are staples in this region.
The south of Thailand is known for its white sandy beaches, its limestone karst islands, and its rich and spicy curries. Southern curries get their richness from coconut milk because the tropical climate is ideal for coconut groves, and the spiciness of the food can be attributed to Malaysia, where it shares a border with the south. Seafood is a staple and jasmine rice is incorporated into the main dish or as a side. Khao Yam (rice salad with shrimp) and Gaeng Som (sour spicy fish curry).
Reach beyond popular dishes and dive deep into the culture of Thailand’s cuisine with these Thai Recipes!