An Explosion of Flavours

In response to a feedback from someone who expected more details of the Thai Buffet in the HomeGems – Cooking page, I am adding this post.

Thai cuisine is “an explosion of flavours”. I am not being original here, I think I got it from watching one of Mom Luang (this is a title) Sirichalerm Svasti’s cooking videos. He is also known as McDang. I understand what he means. Thai cuisine is mainly spicy, but there is also the sour, the salty and the sweet, and sometimes all in one dish. Now, that’s a bit of a feat! Thai cuisine has Indian and Chinese influence, although the use of lemongrass, coriander and basil leaves in many dishes makes me think that there is some resemblance to Vietnamese cuisine.

Almost every year, I make the same crazy mistake of volunteering to prepare a Thai buffet, especially when we have foreign visitors from around the world, which means I have to tone everything down so that I don’t give everyone a shock! (The explosion of taste for unsuspecting diners.)

An opera singer told me about how a spicy meal with her family before a concert caused the concert to be cancelled. Sour dishes cause other problems. So the moral of the story is: If you know what is good for you, don’t volunteer to prepare a Thai buffet.

Having said all that, the dishes in the photo below are: 1. Thai braised chicken in soya sauce; 2. papaya salad; 3. phad Thai; 4. green curry and 5. red curry.

The Thai braised chicken in soya sauce is salty and a bit sweet. The curries are spicy and the papaya salad is sour. There you have it, all the flavours. The phad Thai is unique – it has assam (tamarind), which is sour, but it is served with salty fish sauce, lime, chili flakes and a spoonful of sugar.

The spoonful of sugar always reminds me of Mary Poppins. For fans of Thai cuisine, there is something almost magical about it: the explosion of flavours.

By Chayo, Homskil Editor 1, 7 January 2021

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