No, but it is true that Thais love spicy food. In fact, there is no salt in the cruet set, pepper or oil and, instead, they always carry chilli powder and vinegar with chilli.
Nevertheless, there are many dishes not spicy or seasoned to the taste of each diner.
Without any doubt, rice, which is also consumed in the form of noodles. The rice cooker or the saucepan with boiling water keeps the grains or the noodles ready, and the final dish is cooked in the wok.
They often offer the same recipe for rice or noodles, sauteed, with the possibility of combining them with chicken, pork or shrimp.
In the case of noodles, they may allow you to choose the thickness and also ask if you prefer the noodles with broth in the same bowl or separately, that is, with the broth in another cup.
Although they may include some chilli in the dish, it provides more colour than spicy.
The importance of rice is noted when the Thais are hungry and refer to food because they do so with the expression ‘kin kao‘ which means ‘eat rice‘.
The most typical variety is aromatic jasmine rice.
On many occasions, you will have the opportunity to season the dish chosen to your liking, so you can decide how spicy you want it.
Dishes that are seasoned to your liking
How are they seasoned?
They are usually seasoned with chilli, soy sauce and fermented fish sauce. Bad matter if you have a fried egg on your plate, optional in many dishes because there is no salt shaker. In the cruet you will find sugar and vinegar next to the chilli.
Thai gastronomy plays with an unusual sum of ingredients, mixing sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter flavours.
The surprising thing is that the combination usually reaches a balance that makes the dishes delicious.
In the case of the Pad Thai, a few tablespoons of chopped peanuts are also added.
To indicate how spicy you want the dish, you can use the following Thais expressions, which sound more or less like this:
Not spicy = mai ped.
A little = nek noi (gesturing with the hands showing the index finger almost stuck to the thumb).
Very spicy = Ped maaak.
As for curries in Thailand, in traditional cuisine green curries are spicier than red curries, the latter preferably used with seafood and meats such as duck; and that the yellow curry, used with veal and chicken, also spicier than the Massaman curry with which some meats are cooked.
Most popular ingredients
Fresh herbs such as coriander are added at the last moment so that they reinforce the feeling of freshness.
Finally, it is useful to know that:
» Chopsticks are that, Chinese, not Thais. Here it is usually eaten with the spoon and the fork is used to push the food. The knife is not used, the food is served so that the fork is enough to chop it, if necessary.
» The toothpicks to pick between teeth after eating are very common. Always covering the mouth with the other hand, please.
» In the shopping centres you will find the ‘food court‘ where you can eat very well for USD 3 or 4.