Thailand's 4 Region Cuisine
At basil, our talented culinary team invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey through the four regions of Thailand. Using local seasonal ingredients and traditional recipes passed down through the generations, chefs at basil create truly authentic Thai dishes, each beautifully with contemporary flair. The "Four Regions" menu is a culinary adventure and a truly memorable experiences. Dishes highlight key ingredients and seasonings from each region. The menu of enticing local appetizers, fragrant soups and curries, and traditional desserts are served with genuine warmth in basil's stylish contemporary setting.
The astonishing diversity of Thai cuisine makes the country one of the most exciting places in the world to dine. The Thais' love of eating together is perhaps best illustrated by the frequently heard greeting "kin khao yang?", or "have you eaten yet?" - the English equivalent "how are you?" Thai cuisine encompasses dishes from four distinct regions; the central plains, the north, northeast and the south. The unifying factor is the way each uses elements of spicy, sour, sweet and salty to create vibrant and balanced flavors. Key ingredients include the ubiquitous chili. Fresh, dried or ground, the chili is used to add fire to almost every main dish. Lime juice and tamarind provide the sour taste while sweetness comes from palm sugar. The salty taste is added using fish sauce, known as nam pla, as well as kapi, shrimp paste, and in the landlocked northeast, fermented fish paste known as pla ra. Rice is the staple of Thailand; a grain that has shaped the landscape and defined the culture. Served at every meal, the preferred choice is jasmine rice, also known as fragrant rice due to its floral aroma. In the north and northeast sticky rice is more popular. Sticky rice also features in a number of desserts and many sweets are made using rice flour.
Central Thai cuisine is a combination of varioius tastes, hot, salty, sweet and rich. Main courses are usually quite peppery and desserts are famous for being rich and highly fragrant. The use of spices such as dried red peppers, onion, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime and leaves, sweet basil, and turmeric are favored.
Traditionally, the residents of the North almost exclusively eat khao niew or sticky rice. The cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of seasonal ingredients, favoring bitter and dried spice flavors. It is also regarded as being the least spicy of the four major regions of Thai regional cuisine.
Northeast Thailand - Isan
Northeastern Thai cuisine is predominated by key dried ingredients such as chili peppers, peanuts, and dried shrimp. Lime, cilantro, mint and other fresh herbs also feature heavily in most dishes. The combination of flavors are layered and complex despite the simplicity of food preparation. Isan cuisine is characterized by its fresh, brightly flavored savory salads or "yum".
Southern Thailand's cuisine has been heavily iinfluenced by its Muslim population majority in addition to significant touches from Malaysian, Lao, and Indian cuisines from along the coast. The defining characteristics of the cuisine are, heavy, rich, pungent, intense and very spicy. Curries are one of the most popular forms of meal in Southern Thailand. Nearly all curries are highly spiced with chili and turmeric, with the exception of milder, Arab inspired meals. As much of Southern Thailand is bordered by expansive coastlines, seafood plays an ubiquitous role in Southern Thai cuisine, more so than in any other region of the country.