Thursday, September 26, 2013

Obsessive food photographer and blogger, Marion Weil continues to discover amazing dishes prepared throughout Thailand. Her passion for Thai food began when she tried out Thai food for the first time in 1997. Since then, she has been traveling to Thailand and enrolling herself in Thai cooking classes in aims to publish her very own self-made cookbook.

Coming to Thailand means exposing yourself to a whole new culture, traditions, locales and its world-recognized dishes. In Thailand alone, there are several hundreds of famous dishes scattered across the country from North Thailand to the tip of South Thailand. Each dish is distinguished by their ingredients, preparation methods and of course, taste. When tourists travel to Thailand, sometimes food becomes a challenge. Many people are unable to handle large quantities of spice or even eat Thai food due to the intense amount of coconuts and peanuts in dishes.

This alone shouldn’t deter you from trying out Thai food! Luckily there are many dishes which don’t contain heaps of spice or smothered with coconuts. This list hopefully will benefit any would be travelers coming to the Kingdom of Thailand without worrying what they’re next meal is!

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

This simple dish is mostly listed in any Thai restaurant. Why? This dish is easy to do and it tastes great! There’s 2 variations of the dish; spicy and non-spicy. You can opt out of the spicy one and try the non-spicy flavor which doesn’t jeopardize the taste in any way. The dish tastes milky (due to the coconut milk), has a nice aroma (thanks to lime leaves), with a pinch of sour and salt mixed in and it’s a great way to fill your stomach. Tom kha gai is slightly coconut heavy but doesn’t have to be; it’s up to personal preference, really.
First timers coming to Thailand are highly encouraged to try out this dish! It’s fragrant and it’ll make your taste buds tingling for more!

Kuay Teow Reua (Boat Noodles)

If you happen to be adventurous and feel like eating noodles, kuay teow reua is one of the simplest foods to eat when you’re in a rush!

From first glance, the noodles may not appeal appealing due to the thick broth (which at times, foreigners call it pork blood, but it isn’t), some fish or pork balls and noodles. You may think it’s such a simple meal but in fact, there’s more to it. To enjoy the dish, you need condiments. We Thais love dishes to be spicy. However, you can opt to eat boat noodles plain. Of course, if you need a bit of flavoring, you can add in nam pla (fish sauce) to a pinch of saltiness. Maybe a small pinch of sugar as well! Condiments will be laid out for you and it’s up to you what you want to put into your bowl to make this regular dish appealing and drool worthy!

Som Tum Polamai (Fruit Salad)

This isn’t your normal fruit salads you get at commercial stalls; som tum polamai takes fruits salad to an entirely new level of yum!

Thailand is mainly known for its spicy papaya salad which in itself is a sensational side dish which targets at numbing your tongue. But you can also try out som tum polamai in a different light; many street vendors can make this delectable dish for your throwing in apples, oranges, dragon fruit, peaches, apricots and whatever else that’s offered. Most of the fruits tossed in will be sweet to the taste and delicious to the touch. This dish isn’t meant to be served spicy at all, like its vegetable counterpart. It’s supposed to be sweet, healthy for you and in a way, makes you eat your daily dose of fruits for the day!

There's tons of variations to this dish and all are highly customizable! If you're planning on trying this out at home, go ahead, you'll love it! This is just the beginning to discovering the different varieties you can do with Thai food!

Larb Pla Duk (Catfish Salad)

Hands down, this is one of the most common Thai dishes; it can be ordered at pretty much any given street stall in Thailand. For those who can’t stand the heat (literally and metaphorically), the dish can be ordered without any chili flakes; the lime in the dish can compensate for the taste!

The main star in this dish is actual, deboned catfish. The catfish is grilled and deboned. Once tasted, the meat should be soft and juicy thanks to the smoke from the grill. If you happen to go to a restaurant that serves it but the taste is ‘off’, meaning, you don’t taste the catfish… then it’s probably not real catfish; it can instead be artificial catfish flakes. If you see it, avoid eating at all costs. It’s not like the artificial catfish does harm to your body, it just doesn’t taste right.

If you’re planning on seeking a dish with a tingly taste, this is the right dish for you.

Moogata (Thai BBQ)
Okay, maybe this isn’t really a dish but it’s darn well popular in the country to be considered one. You won’t find restaurant serving moogata much as this is meant to be eaten outside and enjoy the ambiance of night. Moogata is essentially Thai BBQ.

Served with a hot pan in the middle of the table, you order what you want to put on the pan such as raw pork, beef, chicken, seafood—you name it, the place will probably have it.
And there you have it; top 5 Thai foods you need to try once you set foot in the Land of Smiles. These dishes are full of flavor, delicious and extremely affordable. You can find these dishes almost anywhere in Bangkok; from street stalls to 4-star exclusive Bangkok hotels, they’re there to challenge your taste buds. Everywhere you go, the ingredients will remain the same but the taste matters on how the dish is actually made!

Bon App├ętit!



Image credits:
stu_spivack

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