When Thai people enjoy traditional meals together, each of them will have their own plates of rice, sharing the food on the table. If you want to impress your Thai date or cook for a special occasion, there are many things that you have to prepare in order to put together a full Thai course. Here’s what you need to know:
A full Thai course begins with hors d’oeuvres. Usually, people serve spring rolls, satay, or puffed rice cakes for titbits. Seeing as this is just the start of the meal, there is no need to prepare huge quantities and put hours of work into it. You can make something as simple as Miang Kham. This appetizer is made by peeling shallots and ginger, cutting them into small pieces. Lime and lemongrass are then diced into similar sizes. When you have finished chopping, put these aside and move on to peanuts. Shell the nuts and roast them on a pan with a bit of salt. While you are waiting for them to brown slightly, thinly slice some chilies for extra spice. Once everything is done, place each ingredient in a small bowl. Wash some fresh lettuce leaves and put them on another plate. There should be a sweet and salty sauce to go with this dish. You make it by mixing fish sauce, sugar, dried shrimp, and lime juice.
The Thai version of salad is very different from what you traditionally know to be salad. It involves herbs and plenty of flavors – spicy, salty, sweet, and sour alike. The dressing can be made by combining fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. After the base is all mixed together, add crushed chili, garlic, and shallots. If you want to make the flavor even more complex, you can slice some lemongrass and galangal, adding them in the sauce as well. Now, you will have a flavorful salad dressing that can go with any protein or vegetable.
Thai people call the dips ‘Nam Phrik.’ These dips are incredibly versatile. You can eat it with fresh vegetables or even with just plain rice. There are many different types of Nam Phrik in Thai cuisine, but the most basic one has a few standard Thai ingredients that you will recognize – chili, garlic, dried shrimp, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and shrimp paste. Most Thai people like their Nam Phrik to be mind-blowingly spicy, but you can adjust the flavor by putting in less or more chilies.
You can’t forget a delicious bowl of soup when eating a meal with rice in Thailand. There are many recipes for Thai soups, and they all have unique and rich flavors. Most common Thai soups begin from the same base. You can make it by filling a pot with water and setting it to boil. Add crushed peppercorns, salt, garlic, shallot, and coriander roots. Let it simmer for a bit. When you smell a pleasant aroma, put your choice of meat into the soup. If you want to make Tom Yum, add the associated ingredients for that dish – galangal, lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, and lots of chilies. Don’t go easy on the spice – this dish is made to be mouthwateringly zesty!
Real Thai curries involve plenty of fresh herbs rather than powdered and dried spices. If you are looking to put together a quick and simple curry, simply purchase fresh curry paste from the store, frying it in heated oil. When the aromatic smell begins to rise, add coconut milk and stir the mixture well. You can season the curry with fish sauce and sugar, adding your choice of meat and vegetables.
There are plenty of single dishes that you can cook in a short time. One of the most famous single dishes is Thai fried rice or Khao Phad. Prepare the ingredients by crushing chilies, garlic, and pepper. You can pick any vegetable and meat to add. Cut it into pieces. Cook everything in heated oil, seasoning it with fish sauce, sugar, and soy sauce. When the vegetables and meat are cooked, add cooked rice and mix everything well.
Ending an excellent with a dessert is crucial. There is a variety of Thai desserts that you can make, either hot or cold. That being said, Thai desserts can be rather difficult to master. In fact, if you’re all tired out from making the courses above, we recommend that you simply buy a big bag of mango, sticky rice, and sweetened coconut sauce to enjoy at the end of the meal.
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