International Spotlight: Thailand

I am a HUGE fan of Thai food and literally, as I am writing this sentence, my mouth is starting to water just thinking about all the wonderful tastes Thai food offers! From its strong aromatic senses to its full-bodied flavor, it covers all the fundamental tastes: hot, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter (optional), which happens to be essential to Thai cuisine. Thai food also tends to be very healthy since much of the ingredients consist of veggies, noodles, rice, and light meats, like chicken or fish. Another incentive, if you are not already convinced, is that it is totally simple to make!

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice, although made in other countries around the world and originated in Indonesia, is also prepared and eaten in Thailand. The sticky rice is commonly known as Khai Niao and is made with jasmine rice, coconut milk, sugar, salt, and water. Traditionally, it is served with oranges to balance the sweetness of the milk and sugar, but mangoes are popular as well. For most of the country khai niao is a staple and pairs well with all Thai dishes, such as curries, stir-fried veggies, light meats and seafood dishes.

One tip though, just be sure to gently fluff and mix the rice so that you catch all the coconut milk solids that might have separated during the cooking process.

Spicy Thai Peanut Dip

Peanut Sauce, or Nam Jim, is traditionally prepared with coconut milk, soy sauce, galangal (part of the ginger family), garlic, spices, and obviously, peanuts. Again, this sauce is made in other countries, but is considered not as sweet. Peanuts sit proud and center for this recipe, although peanut butter is a great substitute, and can be used as a condiment, marinade, or satay sauce. If you want to be authentic, prepare your peanut sauce with a chicken sauté. However, if you are using it as a dressing or with noodles, you may want to thin the sauce out a bit and would then use more coconut milk.

Coconut Soup

Tom Kha Gai literally means chicken galangal soup in Thai, and has a mild, creamy, rich flavor that pairs nicely with chicken or shrimp. However, for you veggie eaters out there, you can toss the meat out all together and add oyster mushrooms if that is what you prefer. It is perfectly simple and filling and if you like a little kick, don't be afraid to add some chili flakes!

Hope I haven't made you salivate too much! See you next time ...

Want more? Try all our easy Thai recipes!

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