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Spa Cuisine Of Thailand



Thai cuisine is piquant - a mixture of hot, sour, salty, sweet and bitter. Chinese and Indian influences are evident, as most Thai dishes are either stir-fried or steamed in a wok, and spices such as lemon grass, ginger and coriander are ground using a pestle and mortar. Thai cuisine is distinctively hot. Portuguese traders from as early as the 16th century brought chilli to Thailand and it has been a central ingredient in Thai cooking ever since. Chilli is used dried, whole, chopped, crushed, or sliced into rings. The Thais believe that eating chillies is good for health: chillies help to get rid of flatulence, aid digestion and relieve stomach cramps. The thais also believe that those who perspire profusely after eating chilli are in fact ridding their bodies of toxic substances. An invitation to a meal, 'rappattan arhan', literally means 'come and eat rice'. The thais seldom dine without their staple of rice or noodles, served with a few dishes of vegetables, fish and spices. Raw vegetables are preferred for their natural crunchiness and flavor. Salad dressing rarely contains oil or vinegar, and is instead mostly made up of lime juice, shallots and chillies. The following recipes combine organic fruit and vegetables with characteristically Thai ingredients such as nam pla (fish sauce) and kapi (shrimp paste). Nam pla is rich in Vitamin B and protein and makes an excellent salt substitute. The dishes are also cooked with very little or no oil, making the meal tasty and healthy all at once.

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