In the limelight

By Carl Koppenhagen

In the limelight
Take your tastebuds on a tour of world cuisines. First stop: the Kingdom of Thailand, where harmony of flavour reigns, MiNDFOOD reports.

Take your tastebuds on a tour of world cuisines. First stop: the Kingdom of Thailand, where harmony of flavour reigns.

Travel needn’t always be taken so literally. With that in mind, our new Global Kitchen feature aims to satisfy your wanderlust by taking your tastebuds to the far corners of the globe. First stop: Thailand, in South-East Asia.

Though we commonly think of Thai cuisine as homogeneous, it would be more accurate to say that each of the country’s distinct geographic regions has its specialties and favoured ingredients, along with shared elements, such as the universal use of fish sauce.

Thai ingredients don’t have big egos. Sure, our tastebuds seem intent on identifying the standouts, such as lime, chilli and coriander, but in truth all the ingredients work together to balance the five fundamental flavours – pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty – within each dish or the entire meal.

Let harmony and freshness be your guides when preparing the dishes on the following pages. Embrace the use of fresh (as opposed to dried) herbs and spices that characterises Thai cooking, and don’t be intimidated by the complex combination of flavours – it belies the ease and speed with which these dishes can be prepared.

Importantly, forget any notion of preparing a meal in courses, as Thai dishes are traditionally served banquet-style, all at once, to allow for tasty combinations and that all-important balance of flavours.

It might surprise you that most Thai dishes are not traditionally eaten with chopsticks, so hand your guests a fork and spoon and let their tastebuds take flight.

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