The main food in Thailand is rice. Everyone has eaten it since they were born. But we can't really eat rice alone so we have to have something to go with it. There are many dishes of food to go with rice. Most of them are hot and spicy and that is what Thai food is famous for. Thai people are used to eating rice with their meal. Most Thai people can't have sandwiches for their meal. They call sandwiches a snack. Also, most Thai people do not sit down to eat a proper meal because they usually eat when they are hungry, especially kids and teenagers. If you know some Thai person, you might hear them say "gin khao yung" every time you meet them. It means "have you eaten yet?" or more precise "have you eaten rice yet?". If you come to Thailand and stay with a Thai family then be careful you don't put on too much weight! All of the visitors that have come to stay at our country always go home weighing more! THAI HERBS CHILLI
Chilli is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavouring in Thai dishes. There are many different species. All contain capsaicin, a biolgically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. Other therapeutic uses include being a stomachic, carminative and antiflatulence agent, and digestant.
"Phrik" in Thai
CUMIN "Yi - ra" in Thai
Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains 2 to 4% volatile oil with a pungent odour, and which is used as a flavouring and condimint. Cumin's therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.
GARLIC "Kra - thiam" in Thai
Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain 0.1 to 0.36%garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, antiflatulence and cholesterol lowering agents.
GINGER "Khing" in Thai
Ginger is an erect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice, Ginger rhisomes contain 1 to 2% volatile oil. Ginger's therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant and antiflatulence agent.
GREATER GALANGA (False Glangal , Galangal) "Kha" in Thai
Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agents.
HOARY BASIL "Maeng-lak" in Thai
Hoary Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavouring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.
KAFFIR LIME (Leech Lime, Mauritus Papeda, Porcupine Orange) "Ma-krut" in Thai
The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavouring in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetiser.
"KRA-CHAI"IN THAI (No Common English Name)
This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow-brown roots, is used as a flavouring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil. The plant has stomachache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and antiflatulence agent.
LEMON GRASS (Lapine) "Ta-khrai" in Thai
This erect annual plant resembles a coarse grey-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as a flavouring. Lemongrass contains 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diuretic, emmanagogue, antiflatulence, antiflu and antimicrobial agent.
LIME (Common Lime) "Ma-nao" in Thai
Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin, scientifically proven antiinflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetiser, and has antitussive, antiflu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.
MARSH MINT "Sa-ra-nae" in Thai
The fresh leaves of this herbaceous plant are used as a flavouring and eaten raw in Thai cuisine. Volatile oil contents give the plant several therapeutic uses, including carminative, mild antiseptic, local anaesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant properties.
Pepper is a branching, perennial climbing plant from whose fruiting spikes both white and black pepper are obtained. Used as a spice and condiment, Pepper contains 2 to4% volatile oil. Therapeutic uses are as carminative, antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic agents.
"Phrik-Thai" in Thai
SACRED BASIL(Holy Basil) "Ka-phrao" in Thai
Sacred Basil is an annual herbaceous plant thai resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and oftentimes reddish-purple leaves. The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavouring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibus antimicrobial activity, specifically as a carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and stomachic.
SHALLOT "Hom, Hom-lek, Hom-daeng" in Thai
Shallots, or small red onions, are annual herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs contain volatile oil, and are used as flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as antithelmintic, antidiarroheal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and antiflu agents.
TURMERIC(Curcuma, Indian Saffron, Yellow Root) "Kha-min" in Thai
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food. The rhizomes contain 3 to 4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics. Turmeric's therapeutic properties manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic. Snacks and Starters Thais love to eat and not just at meal times. Hence snacks and starters are often eaten between meals, at teatime, or at drinking parties as well as at the start of a meal.The variety of snacks in Thai cuisine reflects the abundance of raw ingredients and the imaginative use of indigenous herbs and spices. ๐ Spicy Thai Fish Cakes and Cucumber Salad (Thot Man Pla and Achat) ๐ Chicken Satay and Peanut Sauce. (Satay Kai and Nam Jim Satay) ๐ Fried Spring Rolls (Po Pia Thot) ๐ Spicy Salmon Salad, Thai Style (Lap Salmon) ๐ Marinade for Grilled Skewered Pork (Mu Ping) / Grilled Chicken Breast Thai Style (Kai Yang) Soups and Salads The lack of starch in Thai soups is a unique facet of Thai cuisine. By combining Thai herbs such as galangal, kaffir lime and lemon grass with clear broth, Thai soups are refreshing, while the herbs soothe the stomach. Salad dressings (nam yum) differ from those in the West in that they are not oily and contain no fats of any kind. This makes them light and delicious, however once tossed they should be eaten immediately. ๐ Thai Prawn Salad (Phla Kung) ๐ Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Kai) ๐ Hot and Sour Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Kung) ๐ Carrot or Papaya Salad (Som Tam) Main Courses Thai foods are unique because of the combination of ingredients. Curries tend to be quite light as the curry paste is made from fresh ingredients, while the richness is derived primarily from coconut milk. The use of herbs and spices, plus the simplicity of the cooking process, makes Thai food refreshing, while the imaginative mix of ingredients enhances the taste.