Perhaps the biggest reason why Thai food is so delicious is that there’s no other cuisine like it on the planet. If you’ve ever had a bowl of hot Tom Yum soup or freshly made Pad Thai noodles, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
So what exactly makes those dishes so mouth-wateringly good? Well, it’s a combination of many different things. From the ingredients used to the rich history behind its evolution, authentic Thai cuisine has become something enjoyed the world over.
In this article, we’ll talk about what makes Thai food so popular in countries all over the world. Let’s take a look!
1 – It’s Big on Flavor
Bold flavors are a defining characteristic of real Thai cuisine, and there’s little room for subtlety. The use of strong and pungent aromatics is common in most dishes, and they alter and bring the other ingredients to life. Thai chilis, for example, add a fiery kick to plenty of foods. Lime leaves and lemongrass are frequently used to impart their strong, citrusy notes. Fish sauce delivers an unmistakably funky note to many authentic dishes.
Don’t be afraid to try out unfamiliar ingredients and get those taste buds fired up. When the right ingredients meet, great things are bound to happen. Just please don’t overdo it with the coconut milk – there’s a lot more to Thai food than just that!
2 – It’s All About Balance
Thai cuisine is all about achieving harmony between the salty, sweet, spicy, and sour notes present in a dish. This can be challenging, but it shouldn’t discourage you from attempting to cook authentic Thai food. This delicate balance is not so delicate after all. It’s all subjective and you’ll often find that trusting your gut is what it takes!
3 – It Requires Varying Levels of Technical Skill
One of the many reasons that Thai cuisine is unique is that the technical skills required to cook its iconic dishes vary with each one. Some recipes are exceedingly simple, yet taste amazing. A quick Thai omelet requires little more than a hot wok, a few pantry staples, and a bowl of steamed rice to achieve greatness. Other dishes, on the other hand, are remarkably complex and time-consuming but certainly worth the trouble.
4 – It Involves Plenty of Food
Another unique aspect of Thai cuisine is that it’s a “flowing” cuisine, which means that there is a constant flow of food when enjoying a meal, especially among large gatherings. Plates are filled and refilled with every course, and the bigger the group, the more courses there typically are.
5 – It’s a Celebration of Herbs
Thai food relies on the generous use of herbs in virtually all its dishes, more so than many other cuisines. Dill, parsley, cilantro, different types of basil, and many more—Thais love them all!
Nowadays, sourcing these ingredients isn’t much of a problem, even in Western countries. Be sure to check out the Asian section of your supermarket or local Thai grocer to get in on the flavors!
6 – It Encourages You to Personalize Your Food
Finally, another unique aspect of Thai food is the amount of seasoning and condiments available to the diner. In Western cuisines, salt and pepper give you the option of adjusting your food’s taste. In Thailand, however, there are a lot more flavor enhancers you have at your disposal—and they’re much more complex.
For example, a combination of fish sauce, chilis, and lime is called prik nam pla, which adds another layer of goodness to that already wonderful Thai omelet we mentioned earlier. Or what about a bowl of Thai noodles that will actually require you to flavor the dish yourself? Those are served with sour, spicy vinegar, sugar, and fish sauce to help you achieve that balance of flavor Thai cuisine is known for.
Now that we’ve highlighted the defining characteristics of Thai cuisine, we hope you’ve come to a better understanding of what this kind of food is all about. You might even consider taking these cooking philosophies to heart and start whipping up some Thai dishes at home. We promise it will be more rewarding and far tastier than anything you’d get in a take-out box!
If you are looking to eat from one of the best restaurants in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, visit Indulge Bar Bangkok today!