The formal presentation of food is another important aspect of Thai culture. Developed primarily in the palace to please the King of Siam, Thai food presentation is among the most exquisite in the world. Serving platters are decorated with all variety of carved vegetables and fruits into flowers and other pieces of beauty (see my Thai chili flower pictured above). Palace-style stir-fries include elegantly carved vegetables within the dish itself. For such artwork, Thai chefs use a simple paring knife and ice water (the ice water prevents discoloration of the vegetables as they cut them).
Most people outside of Thailand only know a few Thai dishes, usually the ones available back at home like pad Thai, spring rolls and a few curry dishes. Visitors here are often surprised to learn that Thai cuisine is much more complex and varied than what you’ll find in the typical Thai restaurant abroad. Here are five delicious Thai dishes you might not have heard of but should try if you get the chance.