Thai food varies from region to region due to geography and history. The Central Plains are geographically, climatically, and culinary in the middle of Thailand. It has allowed the people of this region to taste and appreciate the cuisines of every part of Thailand and then integrate the various ingredients and cooking styles into their dishes. This history made the Central Thai dishes evolve as we know them today.
Tom yam – Central Thai Sour Soup
One mouthful of Tom Yum Soup is enough to pop your taste buds! The flavors are bold yet balanced with a refreshing blend of fragrant aromatics like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili, lime juice, shallots, and fish sauce. Succulent, large, juicy fresh prawns and oyster mushrooms soak up all that soupy goodness. Two variations of these Central Thai dishes are clear soup or coconut milk.
Tom Kha Kai – Delicious Central Thai Dishes
Tom Kha Gai is the sibling of Tom Yum, but it is a mild, tamer version. This soup combines the fiery, hot bird’ s-eye chilies, crushed shallots, finely-sliced galangal, stalks of fragrant lemongrass, tender pieces of chicken, and springy mushrooms. Adding creamy coconut milk helps tame the spiciness, and lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, and palm sugar perfectly balance the soup.
Kaeng Som – Central Thai Sour Curry
Kaeng som is a sour, water-based Thai curry with fish or shrimps and a thick paste that usually incorporates shallots, chilis, and shrimps. The dish comes in numerous varieties and can significantly differ depending on the region. Central Thai dishes have several variants; the southern Thai kaeng som variant uses tamarind, Assam fruit, and lime juice.
Kaeng Khiao Wan – Central Thai Green Curry
It is the Thai phrase that indicates a green curry. Shrimp (kung, khung, or goong) is a trendy green curry dish, but you can substitute fish, chicken, beef, or shellfish according to your taste. One of the authentic Central Thai dishes, green curry is the spiciest of them all, with a perfect balance of sweetness from the added coconut milk. Green curry has some of the most mouthwatering ingredients, including fresh green chilies, ginger, eggplant, and plenty of coconut milk. Eat with lots of steamed rice to bring down the spice level.
Pad Thai – Famous Central Thai Dishes
Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes and is a go-to for tourists exploring Thai cuisine. Pad Thai is a fried noodle dish with shrimp or chicken as the main ingredient. However, the vegetarian option is popular too. Pad Thai is available on almost every street corner and is a cheap and tasty meal. This ubiquitous dish needs no introduction and is available in every Thai restaurant across America. It has fast become the epitome of Thai cuisine. Pad Thai combines rice noodles, chopped shallots, crunchy bean sprouts, and egg stir-fried in a screaming hot wok. It can complement a quartet of condiments on the side — chili powder, sugar, fish sauce, and finely-ground peanuts, and a nice squeeze of lime to freshen the dish.
Som Tum – Spicy Papaya Salad
Som Tum, it is a love-hate relationship for some because of how viciously spicy it can get. Nonetheless, this is one of the globally known Central Thai dishes packed with loads of intense umami flavor, which keeps you coming back for more. The key ingredients are shredded raw papaya, garlic and chilies, green beans, and cherry tomatoes. The ingredients are then pulverized inside a pestle and mortar, releasing a wholesome, unforgettable sour, sweet, and spicy flavor. There are many variations across the region; some add in dried shrimp, peanuts, salted crab, or pla raa (fermented fish sauce).
Khao Pad – Comfort Central Thai Dishes
Khao pad is maybe comparable to England’s love of sandwiches – consumed on a mass, khao pad is a Thai go-to. Khao pad translates to “fried rice” and is just that with some egg, onion, and that’s about it. If you have leftover rice and ingredients in the fridge, it only takes minutes! The typical elements in Thai Fried Rice would be steamed rice (preferably left overnight), egg, shallots, cilantro, and any protein or vegetable you want to add. This humble dish can accompany a quartet of condiments (chopped chilies in fish sauce, roasted chili flakes, sugar, or chopped green chilies in vinegar). Slices of cucumber, a wedge of lime, and some raw, crunchy scallions are mixed in this dish when served.
Pad Kra Pow – Challenging Central Thai Dishes
Pad kra pow usually uses minced pork or chicken (it’s also great with tofu), which is stir-fried with Thai basil and plenty of chilies. Pad kra pow is not a dish for picky eaters: The Thai basil has a very sharp, peppery flavor, while the chilies add a hefty dose of spice. You can always take the heat down by asking the vendor to make it “pet nit noi” (only a little spicy). The dish is served with white rice and topped with an oozing running friend egg, “kai dao,” which blends through the rest of the food for an unforgettable taste sensation.
Gai Med Ma Muang – Chicken With Cashew Nuts
Locals and foreigners alike love this Central Thai dish. This sweet and flavourful dish is stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, soy sauce, honey, onions, chilies, pepper, mushrooms, and whatever vegetables the chef has. It’s like a party on a plate with its contrasting textures of ingredients and seasonings that complement the chicken. Like the sweet soy sauce, onions, chilies, carrots, mushrooms, roasted cashews, and sometimes a dash of honey. The spice level is tame but delicious.
Gaeng Daeng – Central Thai Red Curry
The red curry is made similarly to the green curry and completed by adding a protein of your choice (chicken, pork, duck, fish), creamy coconut milk, and some finely sliced kaffir lime leaves. The red curry paste consists of shallots, garlic, (dried) red chili peppers, salt, galangal, shrimp paste, cumin seeds, lemongrass, peppercorns, coriander root, kaffir lime peel, and coriander seeds. This highly aromatic curry is bound to win the heart of any food lover.
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All of the above soups have unique flavors with the best satisfying creativity if you are looking for a place to try out one of these Thai soups! Yummy Thai Coppell is the perfect destination for you!
Why not visit our authentic Thai restaurant in Coppell with your family or friends for lovely Thai soups? There’s nothing like a family bonding with satisfied, full stomachs!
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