Thai food varies from region to region due to geography and history. In the West, the dishes of the Central Plains are the ones most commonly served in Thai restaurants, thereby forming the basis of what many foreigners think of as Thai cuisine. These foods thus come the closest to reproducing foreigner's expectations about how Thai food should taste. The Central Plains lie in the middle of Thailand geographically, climactically and culinarily. This has allowed the people of this region to taste and appreciate the cuisines of every part of Thailand and to then integrate the various ingredients and cooking styles into their own dishes.
Eggs are an all day/every day food and preparations include omelets stuffed with minced pork, fried eggs sunny-side up served on top of gai pad graprow (Chicken Stir Fried with Holy Basil) and boiled or fried salted duck eggs.
The Central Plains version of the famous Issan green papaya salad som tom is sweeter, more sour, and includes the additon of ground peanuts influenced by the King's palace kitchens
Khao Chae, an exotic cooling summertime rice dish also orginating from the Royal kitchen
Soups like the famous hot and sour Tom Yam and coconut-milk-based Tom Kha are also eaten here, but often taste sweeter compared to other regions – Central Thai food privileges heat and sweetness in their flavor palate. Chinese-influence shows up in street foods like Fried Chive Cakes and Stewed Pork with Five Spice Powder and also in stir-fried dishes like Pad Phet, in which meats and vegetables are stir-fried with pungent chilies and Thai basil.
As the Central Plains has a wealth of rivers and lakes, common vegetables are ones that grow in the water including watercress and morning glory.Many other vegetables including wing beans, eggplant and bamboo shoots are also popular. Vegetables are added to curries and stir-fries or integrated into simple salads with meats, fresh shallots, fresh herbs, and dressed with chilies, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. River shrimp and other freshwater fish, along with mollusks and shellfish are frequently on the menu, as are farmed meats like duck, chicken and pork.
Bangkok is also the destination to try Royal Thai cuisine. These are the dishes – made of expensive ingredients, carefully spiced, and ornately prepared and decorated – traditionally made inside the palace kitchens. Though these recipes were historically closed to Thais outside of the Royal family, restaurants for Royal foods are opening up, and modern chefs are experimenting with these ancient recipes, giving modern Thai people the chance to taste these refined foods.
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