Thai food is internationally famous. Whether chili-hot or comparatively bland, harmony is the guiding
principle behind each dish. Thai cuisine is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences
harmoniously combined into something uniquely Thai. The characteristics of Thai food depend on who cooks it,
for whom it is cooked, for what occasion, and where it is cooked to suit all palates. Originally, Thai cooking reflected
the characteristics of a waterborne lifestyle. Aquatic animals, plants and herbs were major ingredients. Large
chunks of meat were eschewed. Subsequent influences introduced the use  of sizeable chunks to Thai cooking.                           

                      
Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Seafood
  Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Seafood

With their Buddhist background, Thais shunned the use of large animals in big  chunks. Big cuts of meat were
shredded and laced with herbs and spices. Traditional Thai cooking methods were stewing and baking, or grilling.
Chinese influences saw the introduction of frying, stir frying and deep-frying. Culinary influences from the 17th century
onwards included Portuguese, Dutch, French and Japanese. Chillies were introduced to Thai cooking during the late
1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for  them while serving in South America. Thais were
very adapt at 'Siamese-ising' foreign cooking methods, and substituting ingredients. The ghee used in Indian
cooking was replaced by coconut oil, and coconut milk substituted for other daily products. Overpowering pure spices
were toned down and enhanced by fresh herbs such as lemon grass and galanga. Eventually, fewer and less
spices were used in Thai curries, while the use of fresh herbs   increased. It is generally acknowledged that Thai
curries burn intensely, but briefly, whereas other curries, with strong spices, burn for longer periods. Instead of serving
dishes in courses, a Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes. 
A proper Thai meal should consist of a soup, a curry dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish and 

vegetables. A spiced salad may replace the curry dish. The soup can also be spicy, but the curry should be
replaced by non spiced items. There must be a harmony of tastes and textures within individual dishes and the entire meal. 

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Dinner at Utopia

A large variety of sweets, most of them based on rice flour and coconut milk are produced. If you have a "sweet tooth"
Thailand definitely is your place! A favorite Thai dessert is Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, or you can try a platter of
sliced local fruit like pomelo, melon, pineapple, rose apple, papaya, etc.

Thailand's rich soil yields an extraordinary variety of fruits including more than two dozen kinds of bananas and
of course the pungent durian! No matter when you come to Thailand, or whatever part of the country you visit,
you'll find fresh fruit vendors on every street and the wide choice of fruits available is sure to be a memorable part
of your experience.

Many herbs and spices used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties. Herewith are some examples:

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Chili: "Phrik" in Thai

Chili is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavoring in Thai dishes. There are many different species. All contain capsaicin, a biologically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. Other therapeutic uses include being a stomachic, carminative and antiflatulence agent, and digestant.

               

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

 Cumin: "Yi-ra" in Thai

Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains a 2-4% volatile oil with a pungent odour, and which is used as a flavouring and condiment. Cumin's therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.

                   

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Garlic: "Kra-thiam" in Thai

Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain a 0.1-0.36% garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as an antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, antiflatulence and cholesterol lowering agents.

                   

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Ginger: "Khing" in Thai

Ginger is an erect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice. Ginger's rhizomes contain a 1-2% volatile oil. Ginger's therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant and antiflatulence agent.

             

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Galanga: "Kha" in Thai

Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agents.

           

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Hoary Basil: "Maeng-lak" in Thai

Hoary Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavouring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.

           

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Kafffir: "Ma-krut" in Thai

The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavouring in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain a volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetizer.

                   

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

(No Common English Name): Krachai in Thai 

This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow-brown roots, is used as a flavouring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil. The plant has stomachache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and antiflatulence agent.

              

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Lemon Grass: "Ta-khrai" in Thai

This erect annual plant resembles a coarse grey-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as flavouring. Lemongrass contains a 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diurectic, emmanagogue, antiflatulence, antiflu and antimicrobial agent.

               

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Lime: "Ma-nao" in Thai

Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin , scientifically proven anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetizer, and has antitussive, antiflu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.

              

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Marsh Mint: "Sa-ra-nae" in Thai

The fresh leaves of this herbaceous plant are used as a flavouring and eaten raw in Thai cuisine. Volatile oil contents give the plant several therapeutic uses, including carminative, mild antiseptic, local anaesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant properties.

               

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Sacred Basil: "Ka-phrao" in Thai

Sacred Basil is an annual herbaceous plant that resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and often times reddish-purple leaves. The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavouring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibits antimicrobial activity, specifically as a 
carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and stomachic.

             

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Shallot: "Hom,Hom-lek,Hom-daeng" in Thai

Shallots, or small red onions, are annual herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs contain a volatile oil, and are used as flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as an antihelmintic, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and antiflu agents.

                   

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Sweet Basil: "Ho-ra-pha" in Thai

Sweet Basil is an annual herbaceous plant, the fresh leaves of which are either eaten raw or used as a flavouring in Thai cooking. Volatile oil content varies according to different varieties. Therapeutic properties are as carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, digestant and stomachic agents.

                   

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Turmeric:  "Kha-min" in Thai

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food. The rhizomes contain a 3-4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics. Turmeric's therapeutic properties manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic.

Copyright © 2007 utopia-samui.com

All Rights Reserved.