In Thai cuisine, many of the typical ingredients are familiar such as basil, garlic, chiles and soy sauce. But when they are combined with a few more exotic ones such as coconut milk, lemon grass and Thai fish sauce, you can create a fresh dining experience for your guests. And although it's fresh, there's nothing to fear from Thai food because at its core, this cuisine is simply a matter of balancing the five flavor extremes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and hot. So forge ahead bravely and invite your friends to a Thai dinner party, one that they're sure to remember for a long time.
Setting the Stage
Set a more exotic looking table than usual for this party. You can use any or all of these ideas to help set the mood.
- Dress up your table with a colorful, silk runner. Place votive candles down the center of the runner.
- Set each place with a bamboo placemat.
- At each place, float a small orchid flower in a miniature glass vase.
- Arrange orchids or other exotic flowers in low vases and scatter them amongst the candles down the center of your table.
- Place small pebbles in the base of narrow glass vases and insert stalks of lucky bamboo plant. Put one at each place setting.
- Tie your napkins with a piece of raffia and insert a pair of chopsticks.
- Play "The Rough Guide to the Music of Thailand" during your party.
Tom Yum Kung - I love to start a Thai meal with this classic Thai recipe for hot and sour soup with shrimp. This light and delicious soup does a great job of revealing the complexity of Thai flavor blending.
Thai Cabbage Salad - Crunchy, sweet, salty and sour all at the same time. This salad adds great texture to your menu.
Grilled Satays with Peanut Sauce - This recipe can be prepared on the grill or under your broiler.
Steamed Rice - This will always make an appearance on the Thai table. Offer your guests a choice of white or brown rice.
Thai Iced Tea - This creamy, sweetened iced tea will be a hit with chai fans at your party.
Singha Beer - Thailand's own full-bodied lager.
Mango Ice Cream - Thai desserts are usually sweet, light, and fruity. If you don't have an ice cream maker and can't find mango ice cream at your local market, it's easy to track down fruit sorbets as a substitute. In that case, serve each guest a trio of fruit flavors.