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What Comprises a Thai Meal
Titbits
These can be hors d'oeuvres, accompaniments, side dishes, and/or snacks. They include spring rolls, satay, puffed rice cakes with herbed topping. They represent the playful and creative nature of the Thais
Salads
A harmony of tastes and herbal flavours are essential. Major tastes are sour, sweet and salty. Spiciness comes in different degrees according to meat textures and occasions.
General Fare
A sweet and sour dish, a fluffy omelette, and a stir-fried dish help make a meal more complete.
Dips
Dips entail some complexity. They can be the major dish of a meal with accompaniments of vegetables and some meats. When dips are made thinly, they can be used as salad dressings. A particular and simple dip is made from chilies, garlic, dried shrimps, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and shrimp paste.
Soups
A good meal for an average person may consist simply of a soup and rice. Traditional Thai soups are unique because they embody more flavors and textures than can be found in other types of food.
Curries
Most non-Thai curries consist of powdered or ground dried spices, whereas the major ingredients of Thai curry are fresh herbs. A simple Thai curry paste consists of dried chilies, shallots and shrimp paste. More complex curries include garlic, galanga, coriander roots, lemon grass, kaffir lime peel and peppercorns.
Single Dishes
Complete meals in themselves, they include rice and noodle dishes such as Khao Phat and Phat Thai.
Desserts
No good meal is complete without a Thai dessert. Uniformly sweet, they are particularly welcome after a strongly spiced and herbed meal.