What the Thais would call fun food or dinner on a stick the westerners are more likely to term as appetisers or starters. So if you are thinking about laying on a fantastic Thai dinner party and inviting some guests, but don’t know where to start then part one of this introduction looks at 8 top Thai appetisers for a party. Further parts will look at soups, noodle dishes, rice dishes, main dishes and desserts.
As opposed to a dinner party a lot of these dishes can be absolutely superb for a finger food garden party. People enjoy the finger food treats whilst continuing to socialise with glass in hand on a beautiful sunny day.
Chicken Satay (ไก่สะเตีะ)
Although massively popular in Thailand it is believed that satay originated in Indonesia. In this regard it would be chicken marinated in turmeric, grilled and served on a skewer. Finish off this tasty appetiser with a delicious peanut sauce dip. Chicken is not the only meat to be used when making satay also popular is Pork and Beef. In Thailand you can locate your favourite satay dish at a street side restaurant or a travelling street vendor. For the dipping sauce peanut butter can be used as opposed to ground roasted peanuts.
Chicken Satay Photo
Spring Rolls (บอเปี้ยทอด)
Spring rolls are actually Chinese in origin, but now widely popular in Thailand. Spring rolls are equally nice with or without meat and another fantastic appetiser for a Western based Thai dinner party. The vegetables consisting of vermicelli noodle, shredded carrot, cabbage wrapped in thin filo pastry and lightly fried and all accommodated with a sweet chilli dip. Another good thing about Spring rolls is they can be frozen before and after frying. They will of course need heating up after being defrosted if they have already been fried.
Spring Rolls Photo
Green Papaya Salad (ส้มตำ)
True name Som Tam, a spicy salad made from Papaya. A dish popular with both Thais and foreigners. This dish is very fresh and healthy and contains the four main tastes in Thai cuisine being sour,hot,salty and sweet. Som Tam can contain a number of ingredients according to the person’s ordering preference. However most contain chilli, garlic,lime, fish sauce and tomatoes. Som Tam from the North-East of Thailand is usually more spicy and may have a few different ingredients included and can be served with sticky rice. Som Tam Thai or from the central region is more likely to include crushed peanuts and be sweeter and milder.
Papaya Salad Photo
Kanompang Na Moo ( Crispy toasted pork ) (ขนมปังหน้าหมู)
Kanompang na moo is yet another fantastic finger food treat that can be used in a walk around garden party way or equally good as an appetiser. The treats consist of mix pork, coriander, eggs, garlic, spring onions and fish sauce spread over elegant looking square-cut bread slices. Finally fry until golden brown and complement with a delicious cucumber dipping sauce. The dipping sauce consists of cucumber, shallots, vinegar, sugar and a fine sprinkling of red chillies. Simply delicious.
Kanompang Na Moo Photo
Yam Met Mamuang (Chicken with cashew nuts) (ไก่ผัดเม็ดมะม่วง)
Chicken with cashew nuts is a very popular dish full stop in Thailand, but we have found that here in the west it makes for a very tasty appetiser. The dish is actually Chinese in origin, but the Thais adopted the dish and of course adapted the dish more to the liking of a Thai. If you love cashew nuts then you will love this full of flavour dish. Very popular and surprisingly easy to make. Ingredients consist of chicken breast, cashew nuts, garlic, onions, red chillies, spring onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar.
Thai Fish Cakes ( Thot Man Pla) (ทอดมันปลา)
Thai fish cakes or Thot man pla in Thai are one of the most famous starters of the lot. As well as being great as a starter they are also magnificent for parties. Made for delightful garden parties on beautiful sunny days. The beauty with Thai fish cakes is you can never make too many. Once they have been deep-fried and left to cool they can then be frozen, so you can make as much as you like. Once they have been left to unfreeze they can then be popped in to a warm oven to heat through. Fish is the popular choice, but chicken, pork and prawns can also be used for this tasty starter. The ingredients in Thai fish cakes are white fish fillets-minced, red curry paste, fish sauce, lime leaves and thinly sliced long beans.
Thai fish cakes (back left)
Thot Man Khao Phot (Corn Cakes) (ทอดมันข้าวโพด)
Seen more on a street vendors stall or found in some restaurants in Thailand. In the western restaurants possibly found more as part of an appetiser combination. Corn cakes are good as a dinner party appetiser, but we have also found they bed in just as well as part of a main course. However versatile is the nature of Thai corn cakes sitting comfortably as Thai street food, dinner party food or a canape orientated garden party.
Corn Cakes Photo
Gung Sarong (กุ้งสร่ง)
Delightfully freshly cooked prawns in thin filo wrapped pastry and served with a delicious sweet chilli dipping sauce. These can be used as an appetiser or as part of a finger food garden party menu.
- I would just like to point out that each Thai person will have their own way of cooking a certain dish depending on how they were taught to cook it by their predecessors.