By Tiana Jones A1
(aka) Kingdom of Thailand
-Located: South Asia
-Population: 69.52 million (2013)
-51st largest country
Main Agricultural Products
- never eat alone and always share food
- use a fork & spoon to eat, they rarely use chopsticks
- each person always starts with a bowl of rice
- all food is placed in the middle of the table
-Variety of condiments are always on the table
Holiday Celebrations with food
-New Year's Day, Jan 1
(all types of Thai is served)
-Bun Koonkao or Bun Koonlaan, Lunar Calendar – Varies
(After harvest season the farmers will celebrate the new rice at their yard. In the evening, they will invite the monks to their yard and have a chant for the new rice. In the morning of the next day, they will invite the monks again to have breakfast there. After they are finished having the meal, the monks will do a ceremony to celebrate the new rice)
-Bun Kaojee, Lunar Calendar – Varies
(On the day of the full moon of the third of lunar month, there is one ceremony called “Bun Kaojee” or “Sticky-rice barbeque festival”. It’s also a big Buddhist holiday, Makabucha. The people wake up very early to make sticky-rice barbeque. This is how they do it; they will make sticky-rice as a peace, covered by salt and barbeque on the shackle fire. And they will cover by egg and barbeque it again)
-Asanha Puja Day: Thailand Public Holiday, July 26, 2010
(Buddhists all over the country perform merit-making actions and observe Silas (Precepts). Some people go to the temples to give food and offerings to the monks, and they also listen to a sermon to purify their minds.)
-Bueng Khan Boat Racing Festival, September 10-12, 2010
(Thais compete with other Thai teams and also Laos teams. Celebrations, food, music, dancing, and parades are presented.)
Thailand Part 2
-Tom Yam Goong ( spicy & sour soup with jumbo shrimp (goong) and mushrooms)
-Som Tam (papaya salad)
-Gai Med Ma Moung (Chicken Cashew Nuts)
-Geng Kheaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)
History Behind Native Dishes
Thai cuisine is more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern , Central, and Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or foods derived from those of neighboring countries and regions: Burma to the northwest, the Chinese province of Yunnan and Laos to the north, Vietnam and Cambodia to the east, Indonesia and Malaysia to the south of Thailand. Its refinement, cooking techniques and use of ingredients were of great influence to the cuisine of the Central Thai plains.
Thai cuisine and the culinary traditions and cuisines of Thailand's neighbors have mutually influenced one another over the course of many centuries. Southern Thai curry tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice. Many popular dishes eaten in Thailand were originally Chinese dishes which were introduced to Thailand mainly by the Teochew people who make up the majority of the Thai Chinese. Such dishes include (rice porridge), kuai-tiao rat na (fried rice-noodles) and khao kha mu (stewed pork with rice). The Chinese also introduced the use of a wok for cooking, the technique of deep-frying and stir-frying dishes, and noodles, oyster sauce and soybean products. Dishes such as kaeng kari (yellow curry) and kaeng matsaman (massaman curry) are Thai adaptations of dishes originating in the cuisine of India and the cuisine of Persia.
Common Herbs, Spices, and Foods
If you're one of the many people who has trouble finding special Asian ingredients like tamarind paste, not to worry - you can still create delicious pad Thai without it. In fact, the original pad Thai didn't contain tamarind at all (the makings of pad Thai being brought to Thailand via the Chinese), and the following recipe is based on this earlier version of the dish. When I was last in Thailand, I went back to the same pad Thai street seller everyday because of her amazing pad Thai, and it wasn't until just before I left that she told me how she makes it (without tamarind). If you're living in a place where Asian ingredients are difficult to find, then this [tamarind-free] recipe might just make your day. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: SERVES 3-4
- 9 oz./250 g. pad Thai rice noodles (click on link to see what these look like)
- 3/4 lbs./.34 kg. boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into small pieces or strips
- 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 fresh red or green chili, sliced
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 egg
- 2-3 cups bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts or cashews, ground or roughly chopped with a knife
- 1 fresh lime, sliced into wedges
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- PAD THAI SAUCE: (without tamarind*)
- 1/3 cup good-tasting chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce*
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- Place prepared chicken in a bowl and toss with 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce. Set aside.
- Combine 'pad Thai sauce' ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Note that this sauce needs to taste sweet first, followed by sour and then salty to create good pad Thai. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in rice noodles and switch off heat. Allow noodles to soak approximately 6 minutes, OR until soft enough to bend easily, but still firm and 'undercooked' by regular standards (this is the key to good pad Thai, so be sure not to over-soak or boil the noodles. They will finish cooking later). Drain and rinse noodles briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, chili, galangal/ginger, and half of green onion (or just the white parts), reserving remaining for later. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
- Add chicken and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until cooked. If pan becomes dry, add 1-2 Tbsp. of the pad Thai sauce, just enough to keep ingredients frying nicely.
- Push ingredients aside and crack egg into center of pan. Stir quickly to scramble, then combine with other ingredients.
- Add prepared noodles plus 3-4 Tbsp. of the pad Thai sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn noodles to stir-fry and combine with other ingredients. Continue frying in this way, adding more of the sauce every minute or two, until all sauce has been added and the noodles are chewy-delicious and a little bit sticky (8-10 minutes). When sauce has been absorbed and noodles are cooked, fold in the bean sprouts (you want them to stay crispy).
- Remove from heat and taste-test, adding more fish sauce until desired taste is achieved (I usually end up adding 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce, but I like mine on the salty side). Portion out onto individual plates and add a lime wedge on the side. Before eating, top with remaining green onion and squeeze over the lime wedge, then finish with a generous sprinkling of chopped/ground nuts. For those whole like it extra spicy, serve with Thai chili sauce on the side, and ENJOY!