The traditional way to eat Thai food is to share several different dishes at the same time, enabling each dinner to discover as many different flavors as possible. One spoonful of one dish at a time, ladled onto a plate of steaming fragrant rice (Khao Plow), helps to keep the flavors distinct, while a sip of Chinese tea (Cha Jin) in between mouthfuls helps to prepare the taste buds for the next exhilarating experience. Below are the variety of seafood and how best to enjoy it.
Oysters on the half shell served chilled with a garlic-lemon and chili sauce topped with Chinese mustard. Most restaurants serve this as an appetizer - truly irresistible! Another method of preparing oysters is to have them fried, boiled, or stewed in a clay pot with fragrant basil leaves. Cockles, clams, mussels, and more shellfish choices are available in Samui. These shellfish are either aromatically steamed with sweet herbs, or sautéed in garlic butter. In selecting shellfish, it is deemed fresh when the membrane is clear.
Lobsters are usually kept in tanks. Lobsters can be steamed and served with garlic butter.
Seafood restaurants pride themselves in their own secret sauce recipes to accompany your order. In choosing lobsters the joint between the head and tail must be translucent and not of a black discoloration.
Garlic squid or barbecued squid are savory dishes, but squid deep-fried in batter is a delicious way of preparation. The thin crispy batter crumbles as you bite into the tasty, tender meat.
Crabs taste great when fried with curry powder. A plate of chili crabs with extra hot peppers is for persons who love hot food. Crab claws with glass noodles and celery is a mild and tempting Thai dish served in a clay pot.
Barbecued crabs is an interesting way of preparation, while steamed crabs are the European way of savoring the natural sweetness of the meat. To assure freshness, crabs must be alive when you select them.
Steamed Fish (Pla Neung) is served in a fish-shaped tray atop a burner. Every restaurant has its own varied of garnishing for steamed fish. Some are topped with preserved Soya beans, ginger, garlic and onions. Others combine minced pork with preserved lemon, preserved leeks, chilies, onions, or shallots.
Snapper, groupers, sea bass, sea perch, mullet, skip jack, and trevally are recommended fish for steaming. Sweet and Sour fish (Pla Preaw Wan) is a deep-fried fish with a simmered sauce made from arrowroot, baby cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapple, and onions ladled over the fish. Fish with Tree Sauces (Pla Sam Rod) is a deep-fried fish served with a combination of three sauces. Deep - fried mustard green are used as garnishing. Flounder, skip jack, and sole are recommended for this special Thai dish. Fried Fish with Garlic and Pepper (Pla Thod Krathiam) is pan-fried and seasoned with fried garlic and a strong dash of pepper. Bar-B-Q Fish (Pla Yang) is a tasty treat wrapped in banana leaf and barbecued directly on the grill.
When selecting a fresh fish, the eyes must be shining and not dull or glazed. The body must be firm when pressed and the gills should be a rich red color.
Prawns :Learn Thai cooking :
A wide variety of prawns are available Grey or pink. Tiger prawns are commonly called jumbo prawns. They are usually barbecued and the meat pulls easily away from the shell. slit in half , and sautéed with garlic butter, is another popular way of cooking prawns.
Smaller prawns can be deliciously prepared with steamed herb, fried with garlic and pepper, or baked with salt. But one should not leave Samui without trying Tom Yum Goong , the undeclared national soup of Thailand made of lemon grass, ginger, and shrimp. When selecting prawns, the head should not be discolored, nor should it have and unpleasant smell.
If your interest is simply in learning more about what goes into Thai dishes in order to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment when dining out, you can join one of the cooking classes offered on the island
Terms used in Thai menus