As Thai food gains more popularity amongst diners in Western Society, more and more self proclaimed experts seem to be popping out of the wood works to taking advantage of the trend, and in most cases misinforming the public, in order to put in their two cents on their version of what constitutes good Thai food.
There are plenty of articles on how to eat Thai food. Most of them are pretty creative. It’s almost as creative as the recommendations by Western Journalist on their version of a great Thai restaurant.
“I received an email last week that told me Mars would be as big as the moon in August,” I laughed. “Sometimes you have to look up information beyond a single source.”
A more reliable source, would be to read the article written by Palin Chongchinant. It was published by last month in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chongchinant is a native of Thailand, and he offered up his “”wet, dry, yum, spicy” rule. One “wet” dish like soup or curry. One “dry” dish like a stir-fry or anything served on a plate. One “yum” dish, which is his phrasing for salad. And one “spicy” dish.
“A great part of the piece is when he mentions that rice should be thought of as a canvas on which to paint each bite,” “I enjoyed reading it because I know where that comes from. The indigenous people of Thailand didn’t start using utensils until the 19th century.”
As a result, he says, many traditional dishes created prior to the 19th century were made with the intent to be pressed into small balls with the fingers and then dipped into bite-sized pieces. European spoons and forks came later. Their adoption is often credited to King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V), who was educated by an Englishwoman. Their legend was portrayed by Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat in a 1999 Motion Picture released by 20th Century Fox, “Anna and the King”.
The knife never became popular, because the food is already served cut. Chinese spoons were later adopted for soups; chopsticks are seldom used, with the exception of individual noodle bowls.
It might seem like a small thing, but the introduction of metal utensils, civility and class to dining in the Thai Kingdom, also started to influence much of the cooking, “It reveals why jasmine rice became so important to Thai cuisine. Not only for the taste, but because it is the canvas our ancestors painted on.”
Jasmine rice, which is native to Thailand, carries a nutty aroma and has a sweet taste. It tends to cling when cooked, but is less sticky than other rices used in Asia. It is a distinct white fluffy rice. One cup (200 grams) of cooked jasmine rice has about 205 calories.
Most Thai food recipes consider 3/4 cup of rice (cooked) to equal one serving, but some Thai restaurants serve based on Chinese portions with different rice. Livestrong has featured it as a top food, probably because it has less starch compared to other Asian Rice.
In Modern day Thailand, and in traditional authentic Las Vegas Thai restaurants, Thai people dine with both hands, using forks to push food onto the spoon. However, we all can agree with Chongchinant. Unless you’re trying to impress someone with some knowledge about their culture, it’s best to eat whatever way makes you comfortable and happy.
To get more dining experiences with authentic Thai food in Las Vegas visit KungFu Plaza Thai-Chinese Restaurant located at 3505 S. Valley View Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89103, or Call 702-247-4120 for reservations more information or for driving directions