As the books have told you, chicken soup is good for the soul — and the Thai version is good for your tastes buds too. Thai chicken soup is exactly like any other chicken soup, but the broth (made with chicken bones, onions, ginger, and garlic), just like the pork noodle soup broth, sits out there for a while collecting all those delicious flavors. It’s a taste explosion in your mouth. I also love putting some basil, fish sauce, and sugar in it.
Pad See Ew
This is a dish of fat rice noodles cooked with eggs, chicken, and bok choy. The noodles are darkened with a soy sauce that adds lots of flavor to the otherwise bland noodles. The noodles are quite sticky, and when you pick them up on your fork, you usually get about half the dish too.
This dish is a staple of Thai cuisine, and you can’t throw a stone without hitting a dozen som tam sellers. Shaved papaya is tossed in a mortar and pestle with carrots, peanuts, tomatoes, string beans, palm sugar, fish sauce, and a whole lot of chilies. It’s as delicious and amazing as it is fiery. It’s so spicy, I simply don’t get it made with any chilies. As it’s used throughout the day, the mortar is coated with chili pieces and seeds, so when they make mine, the residue coats my dish with enough spice for me. But I often put up with the fiery taste, because it’s just so delicious. You want to stop eating it, but you can’t.
This is a southern Thai dish that is Muslim in origin. The dish usually contains coconut milk, roasted peanuts or cashews, potatoes, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, palm sugar, fish sauce, chili, and tamarind sauce. I typically have it with chicken, and it also comes with a side of rice. Massaman is my favorite curry. I love the thick, nutty flavor of the sauce and the overall heartiness of the dish. I mean, I love anything that has to do with potatoes, and the overall mix of the flavors leaves me very satisfied.
Tom yum soup is a spicy, clear soup that will burn the roof of your mouth off. Tom yum is characterized by its distinct hot-and-sour flavor. The basic broth is made of stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers. You add your meat of choice, though the most popular is tom yum kung (shrimp)