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 : tour2siam.com|
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: thaitravels.co.uk|
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 : temp.allthaifood.com
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 Laab, Duck 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 common.wikimedia.org /user: takeaway|
|....usually by pounding the ingredients using a mortar and pestle..|
photo credit : thaisabai.org
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 Curry, Green 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.
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
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
SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY VIA LINKY BELOW
2. FACEBOOK USER
a. Like the ASIAN FOOD FEST FACEBOOK PAGE
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.