Chillies in Thai recipes

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The cuisine in Thailand is very distinctive.  In most Thai dishes, you will find (among others) a combination of Chillies, lemongrass, shrimp paste, fish sauce and galangal. These ingredients are masterfully blended in different proportions to arrive at some fantastic creations that are as pleasing to the eye as they are flavourful.

This section explores a selection of recipes that showcases how Chillies are used in Thai recipes.

Thai recipes with Chillies

Pad Thai with chicken and prawns
Glass noodles with Sai ua

More about Thai cooking

Thai cooking in a nutshell

Thai cooking is broken down into four basic categories, Tom (Boiled foods ), Yam (pounded dishes). Tam (spicy salads)  and Kaeng ( curries). Thai cooking has also been influenced by Indian and Chinese cuisine. Examples of dishes from these categories include Tom Klong PlaThai cooking with chillies. Ingedients ( a spicy sour soup made with fish and  tamarind), Tom yam boran ( noodles in a spicy sour broth with crushed Chillies, Som tam khai khem (papaya salad with salted eggs) and Kaeng ranchuan ( beef curry with fermented shrimp and Chilli sauce). One thing that is virtually common throughout is the use of Chillies in Thai recipes.

Thai cooking aims to balance five taste sensations: sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter. This is done using ingredients like lemongrass, Chillies, limes, Thai Basil, sugar, fish sauce, galangal, shrimp paste and stocks. Furthermore, attention is paid to the taste, texture, colour,  and smell. To achieve balance in all these factors requires a lot of skill . The Thai people love cooking, and this is finely demonstrated in their cuisine. Indeed, anyone who has tasted well-made Thai food will tell you that it is simply fantastic. It is a harmony of flavour not easily matched.

The world's most popular food

A  survey to determine the "World's 50 Best Foods" by CNN travel in 2017, thirty-five thousand respondentsRed Chillies Worldwide voted Thai dishes a favourite no fewer than seven times. The dishes that appeared on the list were (spicyTom Yum Goong  seafood soup), Pad Thai ( stir-fried noodles, Som Tam (green papaya salad). Massaman curry ( rich, mild Thai Curry), Green curry (seafood curry with coconut milk, basil and Chilles), Thai fried rice ( spicy fried rice)  and Nam Tok mu (pork salad with shallots and Chillies)

Dipping sauces and satay

Another feature of Thai cooking is the use of spicy dipping sauces and satays in their cuisine.  In Chicken satay,  chicken skewers are dipped into a spicy peanut sauce . Nam Jim Jaew( a smoky sweet and sour sauce made with Chillies, sticky rice powder , Cilantro, Fish sauce and other ingredients) is used for grilled meats. One Thai sauce that is particularly popular around the world is Thai sweet Chilli sauce. 

And finally

With all the attention to detail that goes into making Thai food, it is no wonder that it is so good. Their  mastery of combining their world-renowned Chilli, the Thai bird's eye Chilli, into their recipes is an additional factor that  certainly adds to this

Gin Khao!

More reading:  The use of Chillies in Thai cooking