Thailand is renowned for its culinary delights, and in this article, we’ll be discussing just a small segment of its entire cuisine. More specifically, we’ll talk about foods that are typically enjoyed for breakfast. Here are four examples of some of the most iconic breakfast staples in the country.
Chok is a type of rice porridge that is a staple dish in most of Thailand. While most commonly eaten for breakfast, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. There are many variations to the dish, but the base usually consists of Jasmine rice boiled in either water or meat stock until it takes on a think consistency.
From there, other ingredients—such as pork, shrimp, chicken, fish, or eggs—are used to make the dish a more substantial meal. When it comes to toppings and flavorings, chok is typically dressed with ginger, spring onions, garlic, and cilantro, and then seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce, white pepper, and vinegar.
Thai donuts, called pa thong ko, are usually eaten alongside a bowl of chok, and we’ll be discussing these sweet nibbles in the following section.
2. Pa thong ko
These puffy treats start off as a dough that consists of flour, yeast, baking powder, water, baking ammonia, alum powder, salt, and sugar. The dough is kneaded and then allowed to rest, before being shaped into form and finally being submerged in hot oil to give it color and texture.
Pa thong ko is usually enjoyed throughout the day as well, but many Thais enjoy it a way to start off the day. Typically, these donuts are served with condensed milk, custard, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
3. Khao tom
Khato tom is similar to rice porridge in that the dish’s main ingredient is rice. However, khao tom is more akin to a soup than an actual porridge, since the dish’s main highlight is the broth. This broth is packed with tons of flavor—usually provided by a generous addition of fragrant lemongrass, shallots, ginger, and garlic.
Similar to chok, khao tom can be topped with many different kinds of meat, but tofu and chilis are some of its more unique components. Regardless of what you put in it, the dish is best enjoyed steaming hot, either as a breakfast food or a late-night indulgence.
4. Sai krok isan
Many cultures have some form of sausage in their cuisine, as well as a fermented ingredient that adds unique flavor to any meals. In Thailand, they’ve combined the two concepts to come up with sai krok isan—a fermented sausage made with pork and sticky rice. Other ingredients that go into it include garlic, salt, and pepper, and the whole mixture is stuffed inside a natural casing.
The sausages are then allowed to ferment for up to three days, which imparts the distinct sour notes that make this dish special. Cooked in either a pan or on a grill, sai krok isan are usually eaten with fresh chilis, ginger, and garlic—with a bit of raw cabbage to add freshness.
As you can see, breakfast in Thailand can consist of all the typical sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors that make Thai food so delicious. There are plenty of other breakfast items that are eaten around the country, and with today’s ever-evolving culinary methods and techniques, many of these traditional treats are being enjoyed in new ways.
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