hot and spicy, and perfect for winter nights

Thai food has an incredibly distinctive flavor and has become one of the most popular meal choices around the world. Traditional Thai cuisine reflects the land and waters, where the Thai people live, and many recipes have been passed down through the generations. Thai food today is heavily influenced by Malaysia, China and India.

Distinct flavors and aromas

Thai dishes are incredibly strong in both flavour and aroma, making them incredibly appealing to prepare, cook and enjoy. Many of the dishes prepared are spicy, and removing these spices, can unbalance the meal. When preparing any Thai meal, Variety, balance and detail are essential.

Five fundamental aspects to Thai cuisine

All Thai dishes, regardless of where they are prepared, will need the five fundamental senses which help to create the best dish possible.

Salty, sweet, sour, spicy and bitter are all vital to create the unique taste and aroma that Thai food is associated with throughout the world. Many of the ingredients which are needed are difficult to find but not impossible.

Common ingredients found in Thai food

Many Thai dishes will use the same core ingredients which help to flavor the food and create the distinctive Thai aromas. Coconut milk, turmeric, fresh lime juice and lemongrass are all used in numerous recipes from Thailand.

Chilli, kaffir lime and galangal are also essential spices, which you will need to create your Thai starter recipe.

Authentic Thai Tom Yum soup

If you follow the recipe correctly, and do not omit any of the ingredients, you will be able to create delicious Thai appetizers like this simple Thai tuna salad with ease. A popular one that is straightforward to make is Thai Tom Yum soup, which is hot and spicy, and perfect for winter nights.

You will need:

· 1 pint 4 floz chicken stock

· 1/2 finely chopped garlic clove

· 1 tbsp tom yum paste

· 2 kaffir lime leaves

· 3 stalks chopped lemongrass

· 2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips

· 4 oz fresh sliced mushrooms

· 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

· 1 tbsp fish sauce

· 1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro

· 1 sprig chopped fresh basil

· 1 tsp chopped fresh chili

Directions to make:

· Place chicken stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil

· Stir in the tom yum paste and garlic

· Cook for 2 minutes

· Add lemongrass and kaffir leaves

· Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes

· Add mushrooms, fish sauce, green chilli and lime juice

· Cook until well blended

· Remove from heat

· Garnish with cilantro and basil and serve

Thai food has an incredibly distinctive flavor and has become one of the most popular meal choices around the world. Traditional Thai cuisine reflects the land and waters, where the Thai people live, and many recipes have been passed down through the generations. Thai food today is heavily influenced by Malaysia, China and India.

Thai dishes are incredibly strong in both flavour and aroma, making them incredibly appealing to prepare, enjoy and cook. Variety, balance and detail are essential when preparing any Thai meal.

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