Fresh, Fragrant & Flavorful! That is what Thai food is all about. From the delicious taste of condiments to the distinctive aroma of fresh herbs, Thai cuisine offers an explosion of flavors.
Variety is the spice of life & Thai Cuisine offers plentiful! That is the reason more and more people want to experience Thailand’s culture through food. But there still are a few skeptics who believe certain misconceptions about Thai Food. So we are here to break these notions & clear up some widely believed myths surrounding Thai Cuisine.
Myth #1: Thai Cuisine is only for Non-Vegetarians
This is undoubtedly the most common misconception shared by many. Thai Cuisine has some of the most delicious vegetarian-friendly dishes. From flavor-packed Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables) to the mouthwatering Som Tum (Papaya Salad), Thailand offers vegetarian dishes that are brimming with aromatic flavors & nutritionally balanced without any meats or eggs.
Myth #2: Thai Food is Extremely Spicy
Red, Yellow & Green Chilly Peppers
It’s extremely rare that a Thai dish will be so hot, that it burns your tongue. Fact is, chilies are a common condiment in Thai Cuisine. But the degree of spiciness completely depends on the taste palette of the eater. Having said this, some dishes are notoriously famous for being spicy like Gaeng Som, a spicy & sour soupcurry made from dried chillies, garlic, shallots & coconuts grounded fish .
Myth #3: Thai Food is all about Coconut Milk
Contrary to popular beliefs, Coconut Milk is not the primary ingredient in ALL Thai dishes. It is most commonly used in curries but there are many delicious recipes one can make without coconut Thai milk. Tom Yum, Pad Thai, Kway Teow are just a few of the quintessential Thai dishes that are prepared without coconut milk.
Myth #4: Thai Food is too fancy to Cook at Home
This is absolutely not true! Thai Food can be easily made with the common appliances available at home. No special apparatus is needed, but you do require a few special herbs to make your Thai dishes taste authentic. Thai basil, galangal, shallots, fish sauce soy sauce are a few of the condiments that are a must while cooking a wholesome Thai meal.
Myth #5: Thai Food is not Healthy
Thai food is considered to have a good balance of macronutrients- protein, fats & carbs. This is because almost all Thai dishes feature a variety of greens & proteins. Apart from this, primary herbs like Thai Basil, lemongrass, turmeric have plenty nutritional values & health benefits ranging from boosting immunity to anti-inflammation.
Myth #6: Thai Food can only be eaten with Chopsticks
Thai Food is eaten with Spoon, Fork & Chopsticks
A common myth that most people believe is that because Thai Food is Asian, it by default needs to be eaten with chopsticks only. But this is untrue. Thais eat only noodles with chopsticks but everything else with a spoon & fork! They utilize their fork to push the food on the spoon & eat with it. Oh, & did you know? It is considered impolite to use a fork to put food in your mouth or even stick anything with it!
Myth #7: Thai Street Food is unsafe
Thai Street Food
Street food is a way of living in Thailand. And it’s one of the safest in the world. Thai street vendors in general are extremely cautious about hygiene and safety standards. Whether they are wet markets or night markets, Thai street food stalls are a part of the fabric of Thailand. In order to experience their culture, Thai street food is an absolute must try!
Myth #8: There are no Vegan/ Gluten-Free Options
Vegan & Gluten Free Pad Thai – Made from Rice Noodles
Another common myth believed by many are that there are no Thai vegan or gluten-free options. This is another misapprehension many people believe. There’s no need to include meat in your dishes, especially when the protein can be replaced with vegan friendly options like tofu. Similarly, using rice noodles is a gluten-free option for all noodle dishes. So the next time you are in Thailand, don’t forget to check out these vegan friendly restaurants.
Thai Cuisine has a plethora of dishes to offer you. And these myths should not stop you from experiencing the flavors the Land of Smiles has to offer!