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Demystifying Authentic Thai Cuisine: Four Key Regions Revealed

If you love authentic Thai cuisine, then you would already know that the food of this Southeast Asian destination is all about striking a balance between five flavours: salty, sweet, sour, spicy and bitter. But did you know that it is also split into four key regions?

Thai cooking instructor Professor Srisamon Kongpun sets out to demystify Thai cuisine, appearing on various television programs, teaching at the Palace School of Thai Cuisine, lending her expertise to a range of culinary committees, and consulting to Thai restaurants in Thailand and around the world.

Demystifying Authentic Thai Cuisine Four Key Regions Revealed

Image courtesy: libargutxi used under creative commons licence

Professor Srisamon has also penned more than 25 Thai recipe books. Here she reveals the regional variations of Thailand, including key Thai ingredients and Thai cooking styles.

“Thai cuisine has widely been known for its diversity, which is divided into four regional types of food: Central, North, North-East and South,” says Professor Srisamon. “ This diversification reflects Thailand’s abundancy of natural resources of each region, as well as its own culture.”

Central

“The Central region is the most abundant with natural resources, and therefore there are many more recipes here than other regions,” says the Professor. “It has two different styles of cooking: palace cuisine, which is more delicate and decorative; and local cuisine which is more simple. The main characteristic is its balance of the five different tastes, and its use of various herbs and spices.”

Try: Thai glass noodle salad (yum woon sen) and Green curry beef

Green curry beef

Northern

“Northern food is quite mild in taste, but more greasy because of its cold climate in mountainous areas. However, it uses lots of herbs and spices, which reduces the fattiness of the food.”

Try: Northern Thai sauce and Hang Lay: Thai Northern curry

6 Incredibly Delicious Northern Thai Dishes

North-Eastern

“North-Eastern food represents the dry and hot climate of the highlands. The tastes are more salty and spicy to balance the body’s minerals, many of which are lost to the heat. It does not use much oil or coconut milk.”

Try: Green papaya salad and Country-style barbecued chicken

Country Style Barbecue Chicken

Southern

“Southern food is quite abundant in seafood, owing to its long coastal areas, and lots of rain during six months of the year. Coconut trees are grown everywhere. The taste of southern cuisine is known as being very hot, however it uses lots of vegetables and herbs such as turmeric to dilute is spiciness.

Try: Yellow curry of bugs, pumpkin and tomato and Fried fish in red curry

Thai Fried Fish in Red Curry

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