The Essential Flavours of Thai Cuisine

The essential ingredients which set Thai cuisine apart from the rest of the world are the five flavours blended together in each meal. All Thai dishes follow similar rules of having hot (spicy), sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours. Walk past stalls or markets with curries being made and you smell the distinct ingredients. The aromatic, chilli and rich smells are all blended together to make Thai food incredibly more-ish.

In addition to these flavours, Thais have a range of condiments to accompany the already quite spicy dishes. Nam chim or a selection of sauces are served in small containers, which have dried chilli flakes, sweet chilli sauce, nam pla phrik (fish sauce, chopped chilli, lime juice and garlic), sliced chilli in rice vinegar and sugar. Cucumber is found on the sides of a dish, to cool and cleanse the mouth, after eating fairly vicious sounding ingredients.

Anyone who has travelled to Thailand or eaten Thai food will understand the flavours being immense. The spiciness is almost unbearable but after having time to cool down, the addictive nature of chillies makes you want it all over again.

It is not only rice and curry dishes which are sold in Thailand. Noodles, many different type of fish dishes, spicy salads (papaya salad), sticky rice and fried chicken or fish balls are available. Having the right blend of ingredients is highly important and one which the budding DIY chef may get wrong. Replicating a Thai dish is an art and it’s usually easier and cheaper to go and buy it.

To find the correct blend of Thai ingredients, all of which encompass the five flavours, is difficult. Tourists who have been to Thailand will never experience the right taste again, unless they go back there for the addictive nature of the cuisine.

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