Friday, November 1, 2013

Asian Food Fest # 2 ( Nov 2013 ) : THAILAND

Thanks to all who have participated in the Japan Food Fest last month, today will be the last day of submission and you can check the round up of all the entries tomorrow ( Nov 02, 2013 ) over at Alan's blog.

From the Land of the Rising Sun, Asian Food Fest ( AFF ) now moves to the Land of a Thousand Smiles, Thailand. .

photo link :

Many people believe and agree that it is called a land of thousand smiles is because of the warm hospitality and the friendliness of its people, lots of smiles everywhere. Very often when you ask someone why do they like to visit thailand, they will most likely to tell you it's because of the good shopping, the beautiful beaches, the gorgeous temples, the friendly people who always make you feel so welcomed , cheap massages and great Food! yes Food, let's go straight to talk about food but before that, let me clarify that i do not have vast knowledge about Thai food other than pineapple fried rice, green curries and eating tom yam! What i am sharing here in this post is what i have gathered from here there in the internet. Do correct me if you find that there is any misleading information.

Thai cuisine is better described according to the 4 regional districts namely Northern Thai Cuisine, North
photo credit:
Eastern Thai Cuisine, Central Thai Cuisine and Southern Thai Cuisine.
 Due to its geographic location that it is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the extreme southern part of Burma, Thai cuisine and the cuisine of these neighbouring countries do have influences over one another to what it is today, all of which have their own distinct characteristics.

There are 5 key flavours that are primarily used in Thai cooking which are
salty - example the use of fish sauce or fermented fish,
sweet- palm sugar, brown sugar
sour - lime juice, tamarind,
bitter- the use of herbs
spicy - hot chillies

Northern Thai cuisine ( Lanna )
Because of the cooler mountain climate here than other regions in the country, there is a large variety of vegetables grown here. Northerners prefer glutinous rice, which are rolled into balls and dipped into curries. and sauces like Nam Prik Ong. Most dishes in the northern region tends to be less spicy compared to the rest of the regions. Some popular dishes in this region such as khao soi, chicken and curry noodle and Gaeng Hunglay ( braised pork curry ) see the influence from Myanmar and Laos.

Braised Pork Curry
Photo credit :

Mieng Kham, also another very popular snack is said to be originated from this region and Laos. As this part of the region in located a little away from the sea, seafood is seen less on the menu . Instead, pork is more common due to the large farming of native pigs which have played an important role for local household farmers in this region. Sai Ua, a grilled pork sausages flavoured with curry paste and fresh herbs is also another famous food coming from this region.

Northeastern Thai cuisine ( Isan )
Like the northerners, glutinous rice is also the staple diet and it accompanies most meals. North eastern cooking is usually very spicy and hot and strong flavoured with herbs and spices. Isan people also have a reputation for eating unusual delicacies such as ant eggs, scorpions, grasshoppers and some other bugs.The cuisine from this region has more similarity with Laos as compared to other parts of Thailand. One of which is Laab. Laab is a minced meat salad  flavoured with fresh herbs, fish sauce, roasted ground rice, lime juice. There are a few variations of laab like Laab Gai ( Chicken ), Beef LaabDuck Laab and others. Another similiarity is a salad which is well known all around the world is Som Tam, which Laos call their ones Tam Mak Hoong, a green papaya salad which the main ingredient is shredded unriped papaya with different kind of variations. Gai Yang ( Thai Grilled Chicken ) is another common dish originated from this region.

Som Tum, green papaya salad - photo credit to /user: takeaway
....usually by pounding the ingredients using a mortar and pestle..
photo credit :

Central Thai ( Bangkok )
Perhaps most of us are more familar with food from this region, which we often classify them as our 'thai food'. Dishes like Red CurryGreen Curry, Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai are some of the typical food from here. Central Thailand is the dominant area of Thailand and this is where the capital city, Bangkok is located and is the most populated region in the country. As there are many rivers and the two main rivers, Chao Phraya and Mekong passing through it, there are abundance of vegetables, fruits, rice, aquatic animals found here. Therefore food eaten here are mainly consists of seafood in addition to some other meats. Early Chinese immigrants also brought along their culinary food habits and showed up some influences in stir frying dishes like Thai Cashew Chicken and Thai Stir fry Ginger Chicken. Some of other more known dishes from this region includes Tom Gha Kai ( Hot spicy soup with coconut milk, galangal and chicken ) and Gai Pad Krapow ( Thai Basil Chicken )

Thai Green Curry

From my readings, it is also said that the Royal Palace tradition also plays a part in the preparation of Thai dishes, how food was prepared and cooked for people and royals living in the palace and how some chefs today follow and experimenting those ancient recipes to give modern thais and foreigners to have a chance to try those ancient royalty food and Bangkok could possibly be the ideal place to try Royal Thai cuisine.

Southern Thai
This region is located on the Malay Peninsula. Popular holiday destination like Hatyai, Phuket, Ko Samui are located here in Southern Thailand. Due to its geographical location which is surrounded by coastline, fish and shellfish, seafood are also abundance here and are used in curries, soup, grilled and steamed dishes. There is a major Muslim presence here and also early immigrants from the indian sub continent show an influence to their famous Thai Massaman Curry. Not as popular as Thai Red and Green Curry but still as delicious i believe. Why? because it was voted as top 50 world's delicious food in a survey done by CNN in year 2011. It is a coconut based curry and heavily spiced.

Khao Mok,  thai rice curry  or " thai nasi briyani "
photo credit : common.wikimedia/ user : takeaway 

Another curry which is common here is what the southerners refer as Kaeng Som,( sour curry ) which doesnt contain coconut milk, instead the broth is made sour with the use of tamarind paste or tamarind pulp. If direct translated, it is also called ' Yellow curry' but no not mistaken it as the popular Thai Yellow Curry ( Kaeng Karee ).  Sataw or we call it stinky beans ( petai ) is also a favourite here as these trees are grown plentiful in the southern part of Thailand and  Phad Phet Sataw is one simple stir fry dish with dried shrimps.

Also not forgetting coconut trees and coconut palm tress which are grown abundantly especially in this region and other parts of thailand, thus we can also see why coconut milk is widely used in Thai cooking and also Thai desserts.

Confused or you are still with me?  ..hehe..

There are of course much more information related to Thai cuisine but i think as for now for Asian Food Fest event, these basic information up here can give us a better knowledge to what generally Thai Food is.

Hope to see your participation , cook some Thai dishes this month and for more recipes, here are some links and food blogs dedicated to Thai food

Hot Thai Kitchen
Joy's Thai Food
She Simmers
Thai Food Master
Appon's Thai Food

also most of the food that have been mentioned above have been linked to recipes just in case you are interested.

As we understand that you might not be able to get some ingredients to make certain paste or curries, cooking small portions or simply because it is much more convenient , the use of ready made paste is allowed. Please do check the FAQ here

( Submission procedure changed, edited on Nov02, 2013 )
1. Who can join? Anyone can join.
2. Prepare a dish ( sweet or savoury ) that is from Thailand, be it old time favourites, modern goodies or dishes that have been localised. Take a picture of the food or many pictures.
3. Provide a recipe that is credited ( from books, internet, friends or family of your own, be specific ) Submissions without stating recipe sources will not be accepted for all forms of submission.
4.Submit your entry latest by 30th November

a. Prepare a dish that is sweet or savoury that is from Thailand.
b. Blog about it from November 1st 2013 - November 30th 2013.
c. Include this caption below your blog post
" I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Thailand ) - November Month hosted by Lena of frozen wings


b. Prepare a dish ( sweet or savoury ) that is from Thailand
c. Take a picture and upload it into Asian Food Fest Facebook Page, on the timelime.
d. Provide recipe with picture.

Bloggers can submit old recipes to Facebook, but please state " OLD BLOG POST " Anyone that has once cooked a Thai Dish and have a picture or recipe can submit to Facebook. Not necessarily a recent done dish.


  1. Sawadeekah ...... . I like thai food. Tapi tak pandai masak. : ) : )
    Hope can learn from here & share with all. Thanks Lena !

    1. happy to learn from all of you too, thanks joceline!

  2. I think I am the first one to post Thai food, check it out ^_^ very strong support to you huh..hehehe..

  3. Wow Lena!
    You sure have gathered a bushel of Thai food information here and I love it! You would think I would know a little bit more about Thai food since it is one of my favorite foods to eat out.

    I've been wanting to cook a Thai dish at home for so long. I'm really, really going to try to join this event. I've made a note so I remember:)

    Thank you so much for sharing all this valuable information and tempting dishes, Lena...

    1. you are welcome, louise. It would be great to see your participation. cmon, hands-on!

    2. I've been making lasagna for three days now, Lena. Thai food is sounding mighty good!

  4. Hi Lena,
    That is sure a very details Thai food info. I am still with you ...hehe
    I will sure support you :D

  5. Good morning Lena,
    So early in the morning, and my tummy is growling over the curries and tomyam and the delicious mentions of the food, and the pics! Love Thai food!
    Post coming right up!

    1. thx so much, buddy..and thx for that logo alert!

  6. Hi Lena, that was a good introduction to Thai food. AFF is kinda fun isn't it, in no time our kitchens will become international kitchens, lol! Will try to put up a dish or two to join the fun!

    1. hahaha..that's months to come i'm sure we will see more international menus in our blogs.. hope to see your entry, ade!

  7. Lena, I'm ready for this month AFF - Thai cuisine.. I'm not sure how many entries but please count on me yeah!

    Happy holidays.

  8. I love Thai food and I'd be sure to make something for AFF Thailand.

    1. thx mich, looking forward to that!

  9. I love Thai dessert!

    Just submitted a Thai dessert post on FB. It's an old blog post..hehe

    1. just saw that! thx so much for linking!

  10. Hi Lena, thanks for hosting AFF Thailand! Looking fwd to submitting some recipes this month ;)

  11. Lena, stop tempting me already. See la.. now you make me kempunan for some Thai food :)

  12. Hi, Lena, I have submitted my old blog post on fb. The double boiled bird's nest with ginkgo in whole coconut which is kinda popular in Hatyai, is it qualify? I like this dessert so much and wish to cook it for my family.

    1. yes, we accept. I cant see it in fb...go ahead and post!

  13. Wow! Looking forawrd to see lots of Thai food delicacies ! ;)

  14. Like you added the link, so easy to submit, great!

  15. I’m salivating at those pictures!!

  16. Fabulous photos, I miss Asian food here. Ingredients are not easy to get in the French country side. Have a good weekend Diane

  17. Awesome ! One of my fave cuisine :D Great info on Thai food , Lena !

  18. Hi Lena, thanks for hosting this month Thai Food Fest challenge! I have cooked and submitted couple of old recipes blog post that I commonly cook in my household so hope they are good enough for submission. Can't wait to see what are the other Thai recipes and would love to get more inspiration from it :)


    1. hi LC, nice to know you. As for the old recipes, please submit and share it in FB, the link above is only for new submissions that is being posted on your blog from Nov01- Nov30. You can read the submission procedure above. If you have further queries, do not hesitate to contact me here or in FB. Looking forward to your new entries, though :)

  19. Hi Lena, honestly I never cook Thai food before but I love Thai food so much. Glad that this month is AFF for Thailand. I would like to cook some Thai cuisine to support you, Cheers!

  20. Oh wow.. I am loving this month theme~ love love Thai food :)
    I am looking forward to the spread....yummms

  21. Hi Lena, love this theme but I'm afraid I can only share some old blog posts. Very busy this month, hope I can find time to cook some yummy Thai dishes before month end.

  22. Hi Lena,
    oopsie I did enter the wrong 'title' :(

    1. no worries, lisa! i'm in a hurry now..i'll come back and do the amendment for you. Thx!

  23. Hi Lena,
    Sorrry....I have enter my name, not my recipe (Thai Green Curry Chicken).... very very sorry

    1. no worries amie, i will amend it for you soon :) thx for your entry!

  24. Wow! loads of spicy food, better get cracking to submit at least a dish lol! Me getting lazy these days!

  25. all the food photo looks so delicious! i wish it is like a buffet of that in front of me...

  26. Hi Lena
    Understand you are away at the moment, but I need help to rectify the title of my post in the linky, how can I do that? Thanks!

    Thanks for hosting too!

    1. hi choo, just saw your link. I will edit for you in a short while, thx!

  27. Hi Lena! I'm glad that I managed to cook this dish (#104) last Sunday for the AFF!

  28. Firstly thanks to share the post. All the food images looking delicious.Because i love thai food.

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  30. Wow! What a fantastic event & so many yummy Thai recipes to try out ! YUM! ;)

  31. Hi..
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