Samui Thai Cuisine is the nationwide cuisine of Thailand.Samui Thai Cuisine places prominence on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is known for being spicy. Balance, detail and variety are important to Thai cooking. Thai food is known for its balance of the five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter.
The element found in almost all Thai dishes and every area of the country is nam pla, a very perfumed and strong tasting fish pulp. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in Samui Thai Cuisine and imparts a unique character to Thai food. Fish sauce is prepared with fermented fish that is made into a fragrant condiment and provides a salty flavor. There are many varieties of fish sauce and many variations in the way it is prepared. Some fish may be fermented with shrimp and/or spices.
Pla ra is also a sauce ready from fermented fish. It is stronger than nam pla, and, in contrast to nam pla which is a clear liquid, it is opaque and often holds pieces of fish. To utilize it in som tam (spicy papaya salad) is a matter of choice.
Kapi, Thai shrimp paste, is a mixture of fermented ground shrimp and salt. It is used, for instance, in red curry paste, in the famous chili paste called nam phrik kapi and in rice dishes such as khao khluk kapi.
Rice is an affix grain of Samui Thai Cuisine, as in the majority Asian cuisines. The extremely prized, sweet-smelling jasmine rice is indigenous to Thailand. This physically aromatic long-grained rice grows in plenty in the verdant patchwork of paddy fields that blanket Thailand's middle plains. Steamed rice is accompanied by highly aromatic curries, stir-fries and other dishes, sometimes incorporating large quantities of chili peppers, lime juice and lemon grass. Curries, stir-fries and others may be poured onto the rice creating a single dish called khao rat kaeng (Thai: ข้าวราดแกง), a popular meal when time is limited. Sticky rice (khao niao) is a unique variety of rice that contains an unusual balance of the starches present in all rice, causing it to cook up to a sticky texture. Sticky rice, not jasmine rice, is the staple food in the local cuisines of Northern Thailand and of Isan (Northeastern Thailand), both regions of Thailand directly adjacent to Laos with which they share this, and many other cultural traits.
Thai dishes use a broad diversity of herbs, spices and leaves hardly ever found in the West, such as kaffir lime leaves. The characteristic taste of kaffir lime leaves appears in nearly every Thai soup or curry from the southern and vital areas of Thailand. The Thai lime (manao) is smaller, darker and sweeter than the kaffir lime, which has a rough looking skin with a stronger lime flavor. Kaffir lime leaves are frequently combined with garlic (krathiam), galangal (kha), lemon grass (takhrai, turmeric (khamin) and/or fingerroot (krachai), blended together with liberal amounts of various chillies to make curry paste. Fresh Thai basils are also used to add spice and fragrance in certain dishes such as Green curry, of which kraphao has a distinctive scent of clove and leaves which are often tipped with a maroon color. Further often used herbs in Thai cuisine include phak chi, cilantro or coriander), rak phak chi (cilantro/coriander roots), culantro (phak chi farang, spearmint (saranae), and pandanus leaves (bai toei). Other spices and spice mixtures in Thai cuisine include phong phalo (five-spice powder), phong kari (curry powder), and fresh and dried peppercorns (phrik thai)
Samui Thai Cuisine doesn't have very specific breakfast dishes. Very frequently, a Thai breakfast can consist of the same dishware which are also eaten for lunch or dinner. Fried rice, noodle soups and steamed rice with something simple such as an omelette, fried pork or chicken, are commonly sold from street stalls as a quick take-out. The following dishes tend to be eaten only for breakfast: