More than three-quarters of Americans report they enjoy eating ethnic food when dining out. The problem is, they say, finding authentic fare. But what many forget is all ethnic cuisine is really a fusion of the indigenous foods of a place with those of the traders and invaders who have passed through. Each group of outsiders brings new crops to a region and different ways to use the local ones. Traditional cooking methods are modified to accommodate newly acquired utensils and techniques, while commercially made foods eventually replace homemade. Being open to new flavors and “food fusions” is a perfect way to celebrate National Ethnic Foods Month this September.
Best Ethnic Foods - Thai
Influences: Burma, China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia
Classic Dishes: Jasmine rice, Phat thai (fried noodles), Kaeng som (hot & spicy soup), Kaeng phanaeng (coconut curry), Kaeng khiao wan (green curry), Kaeng phet (red curry), Thot man (deep-fried fish cakes), Phat phak ruam (vegetable stir-fry), Kaep mu (fried pork rinds)
Notable Flavors: Cilantro, Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Mint, Thai basil, Turmeric, Fish sauce, Chili pastes, Coconut, Lime juice