Thai food as we know it today is a wonderful amalgamation of eastern and western flavors working together to create a balance of sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy flavors. This flavor profile is manipulated in every single dish to give it a certain uniqueness. Though Thailand is a small country, there are different dishes and flavors across the different regions – the north, the northeast, the south, and the central.
There is often a lot of seafood, vegetables, and herbs included in Thai dishes. Meat was not a major part of Thai food until later on, as Buddhist beliefs are strong here. Nowadays however, meat has become a more prominent part of Thai food as other global influences impact cuisine.
In the past, Thai food was often either stewed, baked, or grilled. Today, thanks to the Chinese immigrants that moved to the country hundreds of years ago, pan-frying, deep-frying, and stir-frying have become increasingly popular. Pad thai (traditional Thai fried noodles) and khao pad (fried rice) are two such dishes that became popular after this time.
Besides the Asian influences, there is also evidence of Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Japanese techniques and flavors in Thai food.
Thai people are often praised for their resourcefulness, which we can see evidence of in their food. When Indian food came to Thailand, Thais replaced their ghee with coconut oil and their milk with coconut milk, bringing forth what we now identify as a Thai curry flavor.
Though Thai food remains quite spicy, it actually used to be a lot more so. As the years went by, the spice and the hotness of Thai food was reduced, and more fresh herbs such as kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and galangal were used.
In traditional Thai households, food is placed on a mat on the floor, and people sit around in a circle eating with their right hands. Though this is still sometimes observed in the rural areas, spoons and forks are now more common to see. Chopsticks are often used for noodles, but they are not as commonly used for anything else.
There has been a lot of western influence on Thailand, and thanks to the flow of expatriates and tourists in the country, a lot of western food chain brands can now be seen all over the country, especially in major cities and tourist areas. McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, and more can easily be found. It isn’t just the westerners eating it too – the Thais can be seen indulging as well. Western food is often viewed by Thai people as bland and tasteless. However, this may very well change, given their acceptance of major chain brands.
The Indulge Fusion Food & Cocktail Bar specializes in authentic Thai food. We are based in Asoke, a central area of Bangkok. Get in touch to book a table at the best restaurant in Bangkok today!