Food in Thailand
Daily Life :: Food

Thai people eat rice with almost every meal. Favourite foods accompanying the rice include spicy curries; fish, meat and vegetables ... steamed, grilled or stir-fried. Many dishes combine all flavours - sweet, sour, salty and spicy - for a unique Thai taste. Common dipping sauces to give the additional kick are "nam pla" (a salty, fermented fish sauce) and "nam prik" (chili sauce).

There are regional variations and specialities.
  • In the north, glutinous rice or sticky rice is the staple. Curries are thinner, made without coconut milk.

  • The north-east features exotic ingredients such as frogs and grasshoppers. Its close proximity to neighbouring Laos explains typical dishes like "som tam" (green papaya salad) and "larb" (spicy minced meat) which are also found there.

  • In the south, common ingredients are seafood and coconut which are in abundance. Thick curries and satay (small chunks of meat grilled on a stick) are common.
Some famous Thai dishes are "kaeng khiaw-wan" (green curry) and "tom yam" (hot and spicy soup with meat or seafood).

Typically, a Thai meal is a communal affair - shared dishes of food and individual plates of rice. Diners scoop whatever food they want from the dishes with a communal spoon and put it onto their own plate of rice.

Bean paste pastries are sweet and colourful. Other desserts include fruits, coconut custards and cakes made from rice flour and coconut cream. Fruits and vegetables are often carved into intricate shapes.