Top 10 Must-Not-Miss Thai Food

Thai cuisine is one of the best gourmets in the world. It is well known for the diversity of ingredients, outstanding spiciness and ample medicinal properties. Most of Thai food is cooked and refined with more than two types of herbs or spices which are beneficial to health.

The (mostly unconscious) principle Thai food is the balance of five flavors which are spicy, salty, sweet, sour and bitter. The one indispensable ingredient which is generally used in seasoning a majority of Thai cuisine is fish sauce. Thai food is eaten either as a single dish or with rice. Steamed rice is the staple food although sticky rice is more popular in the north and northeast of Thailand.

Thai food is one of many things that you should not miss while you are traveling in this beautiful “Land of Smiles”. Since there are numberless delectable Thai dishes, I am writing this guideline for you to select the most distinctive and authentic ones out of the plethora of Thai signature dishes.

The following list is a top 10 rank of Thai food most powerful immune boosting herbs that you must not miss. The consideration and ranking is based on the popularity, uniqueness and authenticity of the delicacies. Here are the winners.

1. Kai Pad Med Mamuang Himmapan (Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts)

Even though Kai Pad Med Mamuang Himmapan does not represent the overview of Thai food but it is a very nice treat to your bland taste buds. Since it is by no means spicy or hot, this slightly sweet and salty chicken fried with crunchy cashew nuts is aptly satiating for children or beginners who are not used to spices.

2. Por Pia Tord (Fried Spring Roll)

Fried spring roll is one of the most popular appetizers among foreigners because it is not spicy and comes with sweet and sour dip. Spring rolls are crispy pastries with fried vegetable fillings. Though spring rolls are commonplace in many Southeast Asian countries, Thai Por Pia is different in flavors with a special dip prepared from Japanese apricot.

3. Panaeng (Meat in Spicy Coconut Cream)

Panaeng can be cooked using either pork, chicken or beef. Panaeng tastes like Thai red curry but the coconut milk sauce is relatively thicker and richer. Compared to Thai red curry, Panaeng is mildly spicy and sweet. Paneang is best served with warm steamed rice. There is nothing to dislike about Panaeng expect the fact that it can be too greasy or fleshy for some people.

4. Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad)

Som Tam is one of the most popular foods among Thai people for its fiercely spicy and sour flavors. Som Tam, which literally means “Sour Pounded”, is a spicy salad made from a mix of fresh vegetables including shredded unripened papaya, yardlong beans and tomato. Som Tam is unique that the spicy dressing and salad vegetables are pounded and mixed in the mortar using a pestle. Somtam is usually served with grilled chicken and sticky rice. Som Tam is good for your health that it contains no fat, low calorie and high vitamins. This is a truly authentic Thai dish that will make a great impression. The only reason why I’m ranking Som Tam at No.7 (though it deserves higher rank) is its strong spiciness that might leave your tongue burned and swollen. Just say “Mai phed” (not spicy) to your waiter if you really want to try.

5. Moo Sa-Te (Grilled Pork Sticks with Turmeric)

This tantalizing sweet-flavored grilled pork sticks are refined with rich, juicy sauce made of turmeric and curry powder. Moo Sa-Te makes a savory hors d’oeuvres that will appease any taste buds. These juicy grilled pork sticks are usually served with two saucy dips – one is a mildly spicy thick sauce with ground peanuts, coconut milk and curry powder and another one is a sweet and sour vinegar sauce with chopped shallot, pepper and cucumber to mitigate its oiliness.

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