Thai food culture
When cooking Thai food it is important to use the fundamental tastes sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. If you search for recipes online, you’ll find many different ways of preparing 1 dish. There is not one correct way to adjust measurements of sauces and spices, because Thai people are used to eyeball their measurements. You can adjust the flavors to your own preference.
Traditionally Thai food is eaten with the right hand seated on the floor. Nowadays most Thai use a fork and a spoon. A knife is not a common tool at the table. Chopsticks are not originally from Thailand. It is only used to eat noodle soups or elsewhere originated food (like China, Japan, Korea, …)
A Thai meal consist of rice and many side dishes. All these dishes will be served at the same time (soups and things that look like appetizers to us as well) and will be put in the middle of the table. The Thai share every dish. It is custom to have as many or more dishes than guest at the table. It’s also normal to have lots of different dip sauces. They will have a dip sauce suited for each particular dish.
Fish sauce, ‘Nam Pla’, is an ingredient found in almost all dishes. It gives Thai food a salty taste. You can’t replace it by salt though. There are many different kinds of ‘Nam Pla’, it doesn’t matter with brand you use for your recipes.
There is no typical breakfast in Thailand. Thai breakfast mostly consists of rice with leftovers from the day before. There is no difference between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It is not easy to be a vegetarian in Thailand as fish sauce is actually extracted from fish. Most dishes include meat, fish or shellfish. Eggs are also a common used ingredient. And oyster sauce is used in many vegetable dishes.
To put a myth to the end : Although nowadays dog meat is consumed in many parts of China, Korea and Vietnam. Despite to what some people think, Thai people are not dog meat consumers. However in certain northeastern provinces there is illegal dog meat trade. Thai citizens describe it as the ‘Trade of Shame’.