Southern Cuisine

When you think about Thai food, the dish that immediately pops into your head is probably pad Thai, tom yum soup, or Thai green curry. As one of the most popular cuisines in the world, you can find Thai food almost everywhere. Its popularity can be attributed to the luring aroma and distinct taste. However, many people may not know that Thai cuisine is also incredibly healthy because of the herbs that are used in the food. Today, we would like to introduce you to less well known, but still delicious, Thai dishes by their regions.

Southern Thai Surrounded by the Andaman Sea, the south of Thailand has many popular provinces such as Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga as well as islands or “Koh” like Koh Samui, Koh Phiphi, and Koh Chang. As you may have guessed from its location by the sea, this region’s food contains a lot of seafood. The locals fill most of the dishes with spices and eat them with a plate of raw vegetables to battle the brininess of the seafood.
The spicy seafood dish that we would like to present to you first is yellow curry or “gang leung.” You might have tried Thai green or red curry before, and think that yellow curry is probably similar; however, they are slightly different because red and green curry are made with coconut milk, while yellow curry’s main ingredient is turmeric, which gives it its signature yellow color. You can find many variations of the yellow curry, depending on where you go. The most common combinations are prawns with raw papaya, snapper with bamboo shoot, or snapper with pineapple. Every combination is perfect in its own way.
Another great Southern dish would be fish kidney curry or “gang taiy pla.” The name and color of the curry might scare you, but we promise that it is worth it for you to try it at least once. You will not be disappointed, only delighted by its flavor. As the name tells you, the curry is made with fish kidneys as well as grilled fish or prawns, herbs, and shrimp paste. It is also loaded with fresh vegetables like bamboo shoots, long beans, baby corn, eggplants, and pumpkin. It is a southern staple that everyone must try at least once in their life.
Rice salad (khao yum) Khao means rice and yum is to mix in Thai, so the name quite literally means rice salad. The “salad” is a mixture of vegetables, fish-meal, shrimp-meal, crispy rice, rice, sour mango, kaffir lime leaves, pomelo, lemongrass, and Southern-style fish sauce, which is thicker and sweeter than regular fish sauce. We get to mix it ourselves and season it with lime and chili. Not only does it taste amazing, it is also full of important nutrients and low in calories.
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