Things You May Not Know About Thai Food
Food lovers all around the world like eating and enjoying different local cuisines. The best way to understand the food of a particular country is by trying its local food that is eaten by its people daily. But if you aren’t able to travel to some other place, there is nothing to worry about because today you can find any type of food anywhere in the world.
Yes, if you are in Hong Kong and craving Thai food, there is no need to travel to Thailand to relish it. All you need to do is, go to the Best Thai Restaurant in Hong Kong and eat whatever your heart wants. The popularity of Thailand is increasing for many good reasons like Thai people are considered to be very friendly and open-minded. It is not an expensive place and the climate is also warm.
But out of all the best thing about Thailand is its Thai food, its exotic and tasty cuisine. Yes, if you are in Hong Kong, you can still have the best Thai food ever that too from the Best Thai restaurant in Hong Kong i.e., Mint and Basil in Tung Chung.
While you enjoy Thai food, let me tell you some interesting facts about it.
Togetherness: Thai People Like to Eat Together
Sharing is caring. Thai people believe in the concept of enjoying their food together. When a Thai family gathers for a meal, they usually eat together form a single large bowl.
If they are having a big meal at a time, there are many different dishes they keep on the table. It may sound strange to you that no one has his or her own plate when eating together, but it is a fact.
Thai people when eating together would want everyone at the table to try a little bit of each dish present in front of them. Also, they would consider it impolite if you ate more than others.
Noodles Are Not from Thailand
You might be thinking that noodles are common throughout Asia. Well, now people do eat noodles but unlike Japanese people who eat them daily.
But, when we talk about Thailand, this is not the case. Thailand first got noodles during the Second World War when there was a food shortage. Due to war, the country was reeling under hunger followed by floods that destroyed the production of rice. Then noodles were first introduced to Thailand.
Balance is Important
Thai food is characterized by an amazing taste. It is also because Thai chefs use a variety of spices in the food. Thai food is made by using shrimp paste, fish sauce and these ingredients make Thai food even tasty and salty.
To make the dishes sweet, people use palm sugar and different fruit extracts. To add spice, they add fresh herbs, which keep the food healthy. All of the ingredients are not added at once. An experienced chef will dedicate special attention to each dish. He will try his best to achieve the perfect balance.
Fresh Ingredients are Preferred
Thai chefs try to avoid preserved ingredients. You will hardly see dried things of any kind in Thai food. Proper Thai food will usually contain fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. This is the reason that researchers have concluded Thai food is one of the healthiest foods. If you think healthy is not tasty, then you are absolutely wrong because Thai food has all the qualities that one would want in his or her food – rich taste, colorful appearance, and supreme health benefits.
Rice in All Shapes and Sizes
Rice is an indispensable part of Thai cuisine. Thai people prepare it in a number of ways. They combine it with almost every dish they prepare. Just like in many other Asian countries, rice is an important part of their culture, in Thailand too, it is critical to have it with almost every dish. By the way, do you know Thailand is one of the largest rice exporters in the world?
Basil – Widely and Commonly Used
Basil is a common ingredient. You might have heard it being used in Southeast Asia, but this herb is special in Thailand. Even though it is very popular in the Mediterranean. When we talk about basil in Thailand, we talk about an herb that is unique because it cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Also, it is known for its spicy flavor.
Durian – Amazing Fruit
Yes, you heard it right. It is an exotic Thai fruit. This is also called “king of all fruits”. It is found throughout the country. This fruit has more than a hundred known varieties in Thailand. It is characterized by its strong odor – the reason it is banned in public buildings and buses.
Some say DURIAN smells like blue cheese, while others say it smells of onions. However, do not just go by the smell. Must try it if you are in Thailand.
Thai is Not Chinese and Vice Versa
Many people confuse both. Westerners have a difficult time distinguishing the Asian countries and the nationalities. This is the reason they confuse China with Japan, China with Thailand, or even Thailand with South Korea.
It is, however, important to know that Thailand is a completely different nation. It has nothing to do with China and Japan. Similar is the thing with their food. Thai food is a little spicy whereas Chinese dishes usually have a milder flavor. Thai food contains more herbs and is also usually cooked lightly.
Desserts Are Mostly Not Cold
Desserts are usually cold…right? Okay, sometimes those are also served hot. But Thai desserts are usually not cold. Thai cuisine doesn’t contain many cold sweets. Thai people find it rude to serve desserts cold. Unlike desserts in the West, traditional Thai sweet treats like khanom waan are not served cold, unless it is coconut ice cream.
The reason is that quite recently, most people did not have refrigerators. Even if they had, electricity was not cheap. So, to keep the cost down, desserts were made fresh daily, by using palm sugar, sweetened coconut milk, and other different toppings.
For instance, Tub tib krok, a dessert is made using water chestnuts and pandan. Strange you may find, but you will also find a few toppings like red kidney beans or sweetcorn as these are used as a savory snack.
Not just this, you may even find Pumpkin in coconut milk (fak thong gang buad) – a combination of salty and sweet flavors.
Thai food is tasty and healthy at the same time. It has a lot of hidden secrets too. No wonder, Thailand is among the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. If you still think Thailand is too far, just come to Mint and Basil, the best Thai restaurant in Tung Chung. Gift yourself and your friends a trip to the best Thai restaurant and enjoy the amazing taste of Thai cuisine.
Popular Thai Cuisines
Some of the popular Northern Thai cuisines include:
Khao Soi is a creamy noodle soup/curry. Perhaps the most famous Northern Thai dish. The soup is topped with crispy fried noodles and served with chicken drumsticks. Khao Soi is not too spicy but gives subtle flavours of garlic, ginger, and turmeric. The soup is usually served with lime, pickles, red onion, and coriander.
Hang Lae is a stew with a pork belly. It is made by using aromatic spices like tamarind and star anise. This is made by using pork belly which is stewed for hours and it literally melts in your mouth.
Usually, this dish is topped with roasted nuts and finely chopped cilantro. Generally, Hang Lae is not a spicy curry. So, if you do not want something spicy, then go for it.
Nam Prik Ong
This Northern Thai specialty is a version of the common Nam Prik, a dish that is found in Thailand.
Nam Prik Ong is a dip that is made of ground pork, chilies, and tomatoes and served with cabbage leaves. It is mild, full of herbs, and also reminds you of Italian pasta. If you put vegetables in this dip, you will get an explosion of true flavors.
Generally, Nam Prik Ong is not spicy. There are all sorts of variations you will find in the North. Some are served with other Northern Thai specialties like Northern Thai sausage.
There are many other Thai dishes that are famous. If you want to know everything about Thai cuisines, head to our next blog.
See you there!