Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. People are eating Thai food in all corners of the globe, and Thai restaurants are opening in many different countries, including the Philippines.
But why is it so popular? What about its flavor makes it stand out so much from other cuisines?
If you’re one of the many people who, aside from eating delicious chicken satay or pad thai, want to know more about this very delicious cuisine, keep on reading! We’ll discuss it in as much detail as possible.
Let’s get to it!
How would you describe Thai cuisine?
According to Tasty Thais, Thailand has seven distinct Thai cuisines, depending on which region of Thailand we’re talking about. If you’re not Thai, though, these regional cuisines are typically lumped into the term Thai Food or Thai Cuisine.
Traditional Thai cuisine is generally divided into the following categories:
- tom (boiled dishes)
- yam (spicy salads)
- tam (pounded foods)
- gaeng (curries)
There are some influences of Chinese cuisine on Thai cuisine, especially when it comes to Thai food that is deep-fried, stir-fried, and steamed. However, Thai food, despite regional differences, is the general combination and balance of five key flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and spicy. Some key flavors of Thai dishes include coconut, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime, and sometimes, hot peppers and sugar.
As a result, Thai cuisine is fresh, very colorful, and explosive in flavor.
We can also say Thai cuisine is very unique because it uses a lot of ingredients that you won’t find in other cuisines, like these:
What is the history of Thai cuisine?
There are plenty of versions of the history of Thai cuisine. For example, according to Khao Lak Explorer:
“Thai food originated with the people who emigrated from the southern Chinese provinces into modern-day Thailand many centuries ago. Historically there were many Szechwan influences in Thai cuisine, although over the centuries many other influences have affected Thai food.
In a more distant past, Buddhist monks brought an Indian touch, and southern Muslim states influenced the cooking in the south of Thailand. Much later, Thai food was influenced by European cuisine after contact with Portuguese missionaries and Dutch traders. During these times there were even some influences from the Japanese.”
And according to Taste of Thailand:
“Traditional Thai cookery involved stewing and baking, or grilling. However, the area that is now Thailand, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, and Vietnam were settled by the ancient Chinese an estimated 1,400 hundred years ago. With the migration of Chinese people into Southeast Asia, frying, stir-frying, and deep-frying of food became more popular techniques, and to this day pad thai (fried noodles) and Khao pad (fried rice) remain classic Thai dishes.
Other culinary influences from the 17th century onwards included Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Japanese.”
In short, Thai cuisine is an amazing combination of both Eastern and Western cultures which the Thai have made into their own unique and special blend.
Amazing, isn’t it?
What are examples of typical Thai food?
If you’re a Filipino who likes rice, then you’d be happy to know that rice is also a staple in Thai cuisine! But of course, Thai cuisine is more than just rice. Here are a few examples:
Satay is a grilled meat dish. The most popular satay is chicken or pork, but you can also make beef satay and even tofu satay. To make satay, you cut the meat into thin strips, then marinate the meat in a mix of herbs and spices.
To finish the preparation, skewer the meat on wooden or metal sticks, then grill the meat just like a barbecue. Make it more authentic by serving the meat with peanut sauce.
2) Pad Thai
Pad Thai is probably one of the most common Thai foods you’ve heard of. It’s probably because it’s very delish! It’s a fried noodle dish usually served as street food in Thailand made with flat noodles, tofu, eggs, bean sprouts, and sauces.
3) Thai Green Chicken Curry
Thai cuisine has plenty of curries, but this one really stands out, thanks to the color! It’s chicken cooked in coconut milk with onions, lime leaves, basil leaves, and an aromatic Thai green curry paste. It’s a must-taste!
4) Khao Pod Tod (Fried Corn Cake or Corn Fritters)
These delicious hot fritters are made with cooked corn, ground pork or shrimp, rice flour, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, egg, and a variety of spices. After you mix all the ingredients, shape them into patties then fry them in canola oil.
Serve these on a bed of cool cucumbers and any dip of your choosing!
5) Chicken Pandan
Chicken pandan is a delicious Thai dish where you take chicken pieces like drumsticks, wings, and boneless breasts. You’ll marinate them in some Thai seasoning and spices, then wrap them in pandan leaves. You can then cook them by grilling, baking, and deep-frying.
The pandan will give your chicken a sweet and enticing aroma, and will definitely leave your mouth watering as you wait for it to finish cooking!
Is Thai food spicy?
If you haven’t tasted Thai food yet, what you might have heard is that everything is spicy. Well, generally, the answer is yes, lots of Thai food is indeed spicy.
However, you’re also doing yourself a disservice if you think that ALL of Thai cuisine is spicy. There are many dishes in this cuisine that aren’t. Some are even sweet, like mango and sticky rice.
So even if you’re afraid of spicy food, you shouldn’t be afraid of Thai cuisine as a whole. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on a lot of delicious Thai Food that have no spice at all, like Khao Moo Grob (Crispy Pork with Sweet Gravy) and Ruay Goong Pao (Grilled Prawns).
Is Thai food healthy?
You might be wondering, “Can I eat Thai food every day?” Hey, it is delicious after all. If it’s possible to eat it every day, why not, right?
Here’s some good news: Thai cuisine is very healthy! According to TheTravel.com, Thai food has the most health benefits out of all the cuisines in the world, thanks to the herbs and spices used in its cooking.
You see, much of the cuisine is vegetable-based, meaning that Thai cuisine is full of vitamins and nutrients. And when it comes to meat, you’ll find plenty of Thai dishes that make use of seafood as well as lean pieces of chicken, pork, and beef. A lack of fat means a healthier dish!
The cooking methodology also contributes to the healthfulness of Thai food. The food is either steamed or pan-fried, again, preserving the nutrients of the food.
In short: It’s good for you!
Why is Thai food famous?
According to what we’ve discovered, there are four reasons why Thai food is so popular:
1) Thai cuisine is visually appealing.
According to Thai Phuket Restaurant, within Thai cuisine, the presentation of the food is an important aspect. Attention to detail is always given – even the plate where the food is served should be beautiful. Regardless of the flavor, the dish always has to look appealing.
It’s safe to say that when you eat Thai food, you’re always going to have Instagram-worthy meals.
(Side note: You can always have Instagram-worthy food when you enroll in our Mobile Food Photography Class. We promise!)
2) Thai food’s flavors pack quite a punch.
Speaking of punches, Thai cuisine is always a one-two punch: beautiful AND delicious! Anything from this cuisine tastes so good, thanks to the emphasis on the magical combination of flavors and the use of unique ingredients.
3) Thai food is easy to make.
Thai food is also easy to make. Once you have all the ingredients, spices, and sauces, all you have to do is pretty much put them together. Thai cuisine is simple to do, but packed with exotic flavor.
Any dish is easy to make, even beginners in Thai cuisine can do the procedure.
4) Thai cuisine is value for money.
Thai food ingredients are not expensive at all. Thai restaurants also have large portions, and are offered at very reasonable prices! No wonder Thai cuisine is a popular choice for people who want to eat a lot and feel that they got their money’s worth!
How do you cook Thai Cuisine?
Well, to be honest, there are plenty of ways to get started in cooking your favorite Thai food. But do you know what our best recommendation is?
Discover the secrets to Thai cooking that won’t disappoint with Chef Him. Learn to create well-loved and restaurant-quality Thai dishes from scratch:
- Pad Thai
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Tom Ka Gai
- Thai Chicken Salad
For each dish, you’ll learn proper ingredient identification, cooking procedures, and even the plating. And when you’re done, we guarantee you’ll get the authentic flavors of Thailand on your plate!
So what are you waiting for? Enroll at The Bailiwick Academy to get started on making Thai cuisine with bold, in-your-face, explosive flavors with an introductory price of only Php2799.20!
P.S. Did you know that Thai Cuisine isn’t the only one on sale?
That’s right! If you’re reading this now, June 15, 2022, Philippine Time, then you’re just in Thai-me (okay, we’ll stop with the puns) for The Bailiwick Academy’s MID-YEAR SALE!
That’s right! From today up to June 17, 2022, all classes are at 20% off! You can buy from now until Friday, 11:59 PM, and use your new recipe learnings to add to your food business or even simply to treat that special dad on Father’s Day!
Don’t delay – sign up now at The Bailiwick Academy and learn from THE BEST chefs, bakers and cake artists in the Philippines.
See you in one of our classes!