What Makes Thai Food Spicy?

What Makes Thai Food Spicy?

Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Chef

Most Thai dishes have a fair amount of kick and some people refer to this as “spicy”. Thai food actually uses few spices, nothing compared to the spice array used in Indian food, Nepalese food, or even in the British dish, Christmas pudding. However, Thai food can be “hot”. Not all Thai dishes are “hot” or “spicy’ but they are very flavourful and aromatic thanks to the delicious flavours and fragrances of aromatics like kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass.

What makes Thai food so hot or spicy
What makes Thai food so hot? This Thai soup was super hot, or spicy, it’s a tom yum goong and here the heat was from chilies. But it also contains gingers, pepper, and garlic, which some people consider “spicy.” This soup was delicious!

Spicy Thai Food

The “spicy” hit in Thai food comes from chillies, peppercorns, and even ginger, galangal and garlic can be considered spicy by some. Some Thai dishes do use other spices such as turmeric in khao soi.

The chillies can be fresh or dry, ground or whole and contain a chemical called capsaicin. This chemical gives all peppers “heat” at various levels.

Ginger contains a chemical called gingerol. Turmeric and galangal are also members of the ginger family. The exact species used from these two families will give the level of “spiciness”

The 5 Flavours Of Thai Food

The 5 flavours of Thai food are often listed as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Umami is a deep savouriness. Thai dishes create perfect balance and harmony between these 5 flavours.

Elsewhere you will see the 6 flavours listed as sweet, sour, creamy, salty, spicy, and bitter. It seems opinions vary! Everyone agrees that in Thai food there must be balance. This makes Thai cuisine one of the most delicious in the world.

Other flavours in Thai Food

How Spicy Are Thai Chillies?

The Scoville Scale, created in 1912 by Willian Scoville, it measures how “hot” or “spicy” a chili pepper is. Examples of Scoville scale measurements are below.

Thai chili peppers are pretty hot in general, but there are several varieties used in Thailand. The heat can be in the curry paste, in hot chili oil, added as fresh chili peppers or added as a condiment.

Thai food uses a lot of condiments and several contain extra spiciness and chilies.

This content was originally published here.

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