Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is known for being spicy. Balance, detail andvariety are important to Thai cooking. Thai food is known for its balance of the five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter.
Thaifood was traditionally eaten with the right hand but it is now generally eaten with a fork and a spoon; this was introduced as part of Westernization during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. It washis brother, Vice-king Pinklao, who, after watching demonstration of Western dining etiquette by American missionary Dr. D. B. Bradley, chose only the Western-style fork and spoon from the whole setof table silverware to use at his own dining table.
Thai food is often served with a variety of sauces (nam chim) and condiments. These may include phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (consisting of fishsauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, or a spicy chili sauce or paste called nam phrik. In most Thairestaurants, diners can find a selection of Thai condiments, often including sugar or MSG, available on the dining table in small containers with tiny spoons. With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu(pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition. Cucumber is sometimes eaten to cool the mouth after particularly spicy dishes. Theyoften also feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy curry or stir-fry, tends to counteract thespiciness.
A Thai family meal will normally consist of rice with several dishes which form a harmonious contrast of ingredients and preparation methods. The dishes are all served at the same time....