Beware: The Truth About Bangkok’s Watered-Down Thai Food

I just saw something at Reuters that seemed ridiculous.

I’m not sure where this Reuters article was really going with this. Let’s just say I don’t “get it”. The taste of Thai food in Bangkok is a mix from the entire country. People from all corners of Thailand move to Bangkok and create food in their own style, relating to where they are from.

There IS inauthentic Thai food in Bangkok, but they were saying that Thais prefer it.

Southern people make a lot of curries. Northern it’s more sweet and spicy, Southern – is more sour and spicy. In Isaan – my favorite, it’s just SUPER spicy.

Thai food in Bangkok is as authentic as you can get. No, it doesn’t hold the same strength of flavors as we get in the different parts of the country outside Bangkok. In Bangkok, they tend to blend the Thai food a little bit mellower for the masses so people from all over the country – that are centered there in Bangkok, can all enjoy it.

The writer goes on to say that Thais are starting to eat a lot more Western food. I don’t think so. I’ve been here for 18 years and the number of times I’ve ever heard a Thai person ask if we could eat Western food over Thai food has been maybe 5% of the time. Thais LOVE Thai food and usually prefer it.

Honestly, I can’t remember it more than just a couple of times. But there had to be more I’m forgetting as I age!

Thais eat Thai food. Thais with a lot of money in Bangkok might be eating Western food – hamburgers and pizza more than other Thais around the country, but nowhere near as much as they eat Thai food.

Here’s the ridiculous article. Thais try to revive ailing cuisine?

Bangkok is a foodie’s paradise, with an endless array of restaurants serving up authentic Thai cuisine. However, there are also a number of restaurants in Bangkok that serve unauthentic Thai food. These restaurants often cater to tourists and may use lower-quality ingredients or adjust their recipes to appeal to Western palates.

Tips for Avoiding Unauthentic Thai Food in Bangkok.

Avoid restaurants in tourist areas. Tourist areas are more likely to have restaurants that cater to tourists and serve unauthentic food. It won’t be bad, you’ll probably like it and maybe even MORE than you would authentic Thai food, but if you’re looking for the real deal – authentic Thai food, follow these tips.

Look for restaurants that are popular with locals. If you see a lot of Thai people eating at a restaurant, it’s a good sign that the food is authentic.

Ask about the ingredients and the cooking methods. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff at a restaurant about the ingredients they use and how they cook their food. This will help you to determine whether the food is authentic.

Sample Unauthentic Thai Food Dishes

Pad Thai with Ketchup. Pad Thai is a popular Thai dish that is made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, eggs, and a tamarind sauce. However, some restaurants in Bangkok use ketchup instead of tamarind sauce, which gives the dish a sweet and sour flavor that is not authentic.

Massaman Curry with Coconut Milk. Massaman curry is a mild curry that is made with coconut milk, potatoes, peanuts, and chicken or beef. However, some restaurants in Bangkok add too much extra coconut milk to the curry, which makes it too sweet and creamy and almost like a soup.

Green Curry with Cream. Green curry is a spicy curry that is made with green chilies, coconut milk, and chicken or tofu. However, some restaurants in Bangkok add cream to the curry, which makes it too mild and bland. Some people do love the taste, but you probably won’t catch Thais eating this!

If you are looking for authentic Thai food in Bangkok, it is important to do your research and avoid restaurants that serve unauthentic food. By following the tips above, you can ensure that you enjoy the best that Thai cuisine has to offer.