Thailand is known for many reasons. Tourism has taken the country by storm and so has its acceptance been. Every year more and more tourists and travelers flock the country for its shopping, its night life and of course the obvious. In the two times that I have been in the country, it was the food that left a lasting impression on me.
I would start the day with Papaya salad that fits in perfect after last night’s massive party session. Papaya salad is fresh, healthy and the best cure for your unappetizing self in the morning. The tomatoes, cilantro, chilies, green onions and green beans topped with the soya and vinegar dressing and garnished with peanuts just tosses up energy for a day of your major energy consumption in Thailand. Don’t forget on keep sipping on your coconut water. It works better than Red Bull.
Walking the streets of Bangkok, I could not stop eating the entrees. One is better than the other. Out of the many that I ate, pork and duck satay topped my list and also the fish eggs with kaffir lime leaves and basil. Served with vinegar and soya dressing, they give it in a glass and a bamboo stick to eat.
By the time you start enjoying it, it is over as it literally melts in your mouth and the sauce lingers. Calls for another helping! All the fresh fruits and juices are also to be tried and relished; one exotic fruit at a time. While I dug into mangoes, pineapples, bananas and coconuts like no tomorrow, fruits like Dragon Fruit and Durian took some courage before I could put it inside my mouth. I did not regret though. I found strawberries in a local market and they were serving it in glasses and topping it with ice. Delicious in another level.
Because of its tropical climate, I preferred eating fresh fruits and juices even for lunch but the widely made stirred fried pork with basil leaves and asparagus leaves me weak in my knees and only at 60 THB it is hard to resist.
The Thai take their spices very seriously and all dishes usually have all four palettes of sweet, sour, spicy and salty. The curry is usually the stew of the meat being boiled to perfection andÂ added with lemon grass, kaffir lime and green leafy vegetables. Add to it salt and soy sauce and knock yourself out as you eat it with rice. As the stew keeps boiling, they serve it with the meat of your choice and you cannot stop until you eat three four helpings.
The Red Curry and Green Curry are most probably the most widely known dishes of Thailand. With coconut cream and Red curry, the meat is cooked to melt succulently in your mouth and even though it tastes best with rice, I was taking generous bites as I washed it down with my Singha. The flavor in the Green Curry reaches its pinnacle because of the bamboo shoot, coriander, coconut milk and sweet basil in it. Coming to Thailand, you cannot miss on the Pad Thai which is Thai noodles tossed up with bean sprouts, fish sauce, sugar, chilli powder and peanuts. The onion and the sunny side up is to accentuate all its flavours. The Khao Pad is the one which I ate every time I was doubtful. Simple yet so elegant. It is fried rice and nothing else. The beauty is in its simplicity and every one has its own rendition. Served with a dab of lime and cucumber it is the perfect lunch.
After a whole day of hogging around Jatujak market and streets, the end of the night calls for some serious relaxing. As you sit by the beach or one of the many shops in Khao San Road, the food will be there by your side making you desperate to eat and yes, you cannot say no. Dinner is usually before the night starts. Dinner is preparing yourself for the night. For a foreigner in Thailand, it is quite tempting to give in to my natural taste buds and eat from one of the many Indian restaurants that are spread well over Thailand. But that defies all the purpose.
When in Phi Phi, the dinner was usually very early and sunsets and drinks continue till dinner. Seafood is delicious and fresh here. Famished after a day of island hopping and snorkeling, we started with Shrimp Cocktail and their signature sauce.
Pad Krapow Moo Saap which is stir fried basil and pork is my favourite dish to order and the spicy beef salad to go with my chilled beer. Soup is also another pre party dinner item that I relish. The Tom Yum Shrimp Soup with its generous amount of lemongrass, chilli, galangal and lime leaves prepares you for a stormy night of mojitos and tequila shots. The green papaya salad is also a good choice as it gives both protein and energy with its green beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic and chillies mixed with peanuts and dried shrimp or salted crab for extra taste.
The food is Thailand should be the only reason to visit this amazing country. In many occasions it was just the food that uplifted my spirits and motivated me to hog a little bit more with more spirit. I was sulking the whole day I was to leave Thailand because I realized that even though I will eat a little more, I wonâ€™t be able to eat this tomorrow or day after unless I come back faster than even Immigration can detect. Jokes aside, Thai Cuisine is, according to me the most organically prepared cuisine and even if you eat like a glutton, it will not give you a paunch or obesity for that matter. This is the kind of food that needs to be propagated more in diets and by propagating I also mean Go to Thailand and try out as much food as you canâ€. Because for whatever reasons, Thailand is booming, it is about time that the food gets the mention it deserves.
Originally published here
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