Thai cuisine is known for its blend of flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy — a combination of contrasts that is not only admired, but craved. From intense heat to pucker-worthy sour to mouth-watering sweet, Thai food is not shy to say the least.INGREDIENTS
Like the country itself, Thai cuisine is exotic and intriguing. Ingredients like papaya, mango, and coconut are strong nods to Thailand’s tropical climate. But things are far more complex than that here, with culinary roots in China and India that add complex, savory flavors like curry, garlic, and coriander. These mother cuisines impart influence in taste and texture, yet never overwhelm the strong individuality of this country's native foods. It’s a reminder that independent Thailand has never been occupied by its Asian neighbors.
Vietnam has been called the Tuscany of Asia for its fresh, flavorful ingredients and simple preparations. Meats, seafood, and tofu are marinated with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, then grilled, stir-fried, or steamed. Meals are often served with fresh, raw herbs; leafy greens; and dipping sauces on the side. This complexity of contrasting flavors and textures also applies not only to savory dishes, but also to sandwiches, soups, and even desserts and drinks.INGREDIENTS
Vietnamese food is layered with ingredients for a diversity of tastes and textures, just like their culture thanks to influences from France, India, and China. Three distinct regions also add diversity due to their varying climates and traditions. In Vietnam, the street is an important cultural venue where the food and those who make it are held in high esteem. Food here has a delicate execution not found in other Asian cuisines, even though they may use similar ingredients. Some say that Vietnam may have one of the healthiest cuisines in the world due to its abundant use of vegetables and greens, its emphasis on fresh herbs and table salads that accompany many dishes, and with its style of serving dipping sauces on the side. Phở (soup) and bánh mì (baguette sandwich) are two of the country’s best-known dishes.
Reflecting the Koreans’ love of bold, pungent flavors, gochujang is a spicy chili-based paste (found in Lemon Grass Kitchen’s Korean-Style Grilled Chicken) and a quintessential seasoning ingredient. It’s used as a flavor base in barbecue dishes, stews, stir-fries, marinades, and condiments.INGREDIENTS
There is no more quintessential Korean dish than kimchi, a side of fermented vegetables. It’s a fantastic example of this country’s forward, robust flavors. Bold notes come from radishes, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, and red pepper powder. Because Korea is surrounded by water, seafood is a common protein, though Koreans love all their meats. Marinades and barbecue have become trademarks of their cuisine and have now led the advance of Korean food into the US and beyond.