Barbecued frog and fried water bugs for the true food adventurer.user rating
Thai cuisine blends aromatic fresh herbs, spicy chilies, sweet coconut milk and salty fish sauces to create regional flavorful dishes that enliven the senses. A popular Southern Thai dish is kaeng matsaman, a fragrant Indian-style curry seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and served with chicken or pork sate and spicy peanut sauce. In the North, Som Tam, or green papaya salad, is a Laos-inspired appetizer comprised of julienned fruit, chilies, carrot, garlic and dried shrimp. Other dishes include Thai-style baked fish, covered in basil-curry sauce and wrapped in banana leaves. Rice, the glutinous sticky rice or jasmine, is served with most dishes.
For food adventurers, Thailand has classic offerings such as crispy barbecued frog, fried water bugs and—because Thais use all parts of the animal—fatty pork soup made from simmering pig’s head with cinnamon and star anise or pig liver, thinly sliced and fried or grilled.
Dessert options are tamer and include sticky rice with fresh mango and fried banana with ice cream. Thai beverages range from the caffeinated such as Thai coffee flavored with sesame seed, Thai black tea with cinnamon and vanilla and the local Red Bull to beers such as Singha and Tiger.—Leska Tomash
This curried fish soup—redolent of coconut milk, smoked fish, shrimp and exotic spices—is sturdy enough to eat as a main course. You may choose to add a small mound of rice to each bowl.
Serves: 4 (12-ounce) portions
Cooking Time: 35 minutes