Cultured Palate: Dishes from Thailand

Coconut sticky rice

Coconut sticky rice can be found almost anywhere in Thailand from elaborate dishes on restaurant menus to simple treats found on street food carts. The basis of the dish is simple- coconut milk is mixed in with the steamed sticky rice, while the coconut cream is reserved to make a sauce, which is drizzled on top of the rice and sliced sweet mangos. Some street food cart versions use the sticky rice as a base for other ingredients — palm sugar, banana, or even strips of coconut meat.

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Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced tea is a rich concoction of intensely flavored iced tea, served with a healthy pour of sweetened condensed milk. It’s best to get this served with plenty of ice, as it will help you cool down in their intensely hot climate, and it also helps dilute the drink, which is quite sickly-sweet if drunk on its own. Look for it fresh rather than in cans as the taste of freshly-brewed tea can’t be beat.

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Thai whiskey

If you’ve ever been to a Full Moon party in Koh Phangan, you’ve probably had Thai whiskey before. It provides the generous kick of alcohol for the bucket drinks that are so popular. A lot of people don’t realize that it’s made of 95% sugarcane and only about 5% rice, making it more like a rum than a whiskey. These whiskeys, made by distilleries Mekhong or Song Sam, are the drink of choice of both budget-conscious locals and tourists.

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