Thai food usually is very tasty. Aside from the main ingredients used in Thai cooking. Whether meat or vegetables, seasonings also play important role to enhance flavoring. Thus, one should keep in mind and become familiarized with all the key flavors prevalent in Thai cooking as described below.
SWEETNESS : The sweet taste found in Thai food is partly derived naturally from some of various meats used and partly by adding other sweeteners to further enhance the flavor. The key sweetening agent is, of course, sugar, of which comes in a variety of forms, including refined sugar, palm sugar, and brown sugar. As different kinds of sugars have varying levels of sweetness, the type of sugar used affects the overall flavor of food.
Refined sugar has a sharp sweetness and does not change the color of the food. Palm sugar, on the other hand, has a milder in sweetness and suitable for food containing coconut milk. When dissolved over the heat and added to Thai noodle dishes or even the Thai spicy casserole "Palo", palm sugar can improve the flavor as well as enhance the aroma of those dishes. Brown sugar, in powdered form, is suitable for certain kinds of food and sweet. Yet another kind of sugar namely palm sugar cakes, which are made from boiling palm sugar and ladled into chunks then left to dry.
SALTINESS : The saltiness in Thaifood is derived from fish sauce and salt. Fish sauce is added to main dishes not only for the salty taste but also for its unique aroma. Besides fish sauce and salt, soy bean sauce and other all purpose sauces are now used in Thai cooking, depending upon the dishes made or the preference of the cook.
SOURNESS : Most of the sourness comes from adding lime juice, tamarind juice, kaffir lime juice, or vinegar. The acid agents used in seasonings must be carefully chosen to compliment each dish. For instance, when making salad, lime juice should be used for its aroma. Tamarind juice has a sweet and sour taste, suitable for mixing with food containing palm sugar as a sweetener, in order to enrich the flavor of such dishes. Kaffir lime juice is used in certain dishes that require its aroma. When mixed with lime juice and used in hot and sour vegetable soup, it will greatly improve the flavor.
SPICENESS : Most of the hot taste in Thaifood is mainly from Chilies. Fresh spur chilies are sliced and added to curries and stir-fried dishes to give color and spiciness. Dried spur chilies are also another essential ingredient to make the hot taste in Thaifood. Hot taste from chili also promotes the appetite.