Thailand was one of my earlier traveling experiences, and I have vivid memories of what seemed to me at the time to be the strangest of produce. Lemongrass, Kafir Lime Leaves and Coconut Milk proved to be very important elements of Thai cuisine. The Chili Peppers vary in strength, and seem to be used in most everything! After spending time in various regions of Thailand learning how to prepare authentic Thai food, I made it a mission to learn how to make the famous Thai Curry Pastes from scratch. The basic difference in the preparation of the Curry Pastes comes down to the roasting and blending of the Red and Green Chilies. The Green Curries are made with dried Green Chilies, the Red Curries with dried Red Chilies, and the Yellow Curries use a blend of small and large Green and Red Chilies, together with Yellow Curry Powder and often Tumeric. All include other wonderful ingredients such as Ginza (a variety of Ginger), Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Leaves, and Cilantro to name a few!
The Curries throughout Thailand are a reflection of the region. While all use similar ingredients, they vary in colour and heat. My favourite is the Penang Curry—spicy and well flavoured but not too hot, and it is delicious with Beef or Pork.
The amazing Thai Curries, which vary in flavor and potency, can be enjoyed on the Mainland or in the Islands, with certain heavier Curries used with meat and lighter coconut based Curries used with seafood. To this day, the flavors and culinary traditions of Thailand remain some of my very favourites.
Here are some of my favourite dishes, best enjoyed family style:
Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
Yam Wun Sen (Spicy Glass Noodle Salad)
Tom Yum Goong (Hot & Sour Soup)
Tom Kha Gai (Spicy Chicken & Coconut Soup)
Plaa Nin Laat Prik Bai Horapa (Whole Fried Chilli & Basil Fish)
Tort Man Plaa (Thai Style Fish Cakes)
Satay Neua (Beef Satay)
Selected Curries (Red, Green , Yellow, Penang), with Chicken, Fish, Beef or Pork
Mee Grob (Cripy Rice Vemicelli Noodles)
Pad Thai (a Peanut, Vegetable & Shrimp Noodle Dish)
Khanom Maw Gaeng (Baked Mung Bean Cake)
Khanom Kluay (Steamed Banana Cake)
Khaaw Neow Dam Piak (Black Sticky Rice Pudding)