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This style of serving food is called khao rat kaeng (lit. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants. Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. An alternative is to have one or smaller helpings of curry, stir-fries and other dishes served together on one plate with a portion of rice. The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth.[22] A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table.[1] It is common practice for the both the Thais and the hill tribe peoples who live in north and northeast Thailand, to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand (and only the right hand by custom) which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten.

In Latin America, dishes may be claimed or designated as a "plato nacional" although in many cases recipes transcend national borders with only minor variations. "princely rice"). In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote: "What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. Other rice noodles, adapted from Chinese cuisine to suit Thai taste, are called kuaitiao in Thailand and come in three varieties: sen yai are wide flat noodles, sen lek are thin flat rice noodles, and sen mi (also known as rice vermicelli in the West) are round and thin. Very often, regular restaurants will also feature a selection of freshly made "rice curry" dishes on their menu for single customers. Thai Red Cargo rice, an unpolished long grain rice with an outer deep reddish-brown color and a white center, has a nutty taste and slightly chewy compared to the soft and gummy texture of jasmine rice.

The dishes are all served at the same time, including the soups, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guests at a table. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy Thai curry or stir-fry, tends to counteract the spiciness. The most notable influence from the West must be the introduction of the chili pepper from the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. Only the husks of the red rice grains are removed which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins, but unlike brown rice, its red color comes from antioxidants in the bran. The most notable influence from the West must be the introduction of the chili pepper from the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. They are similar to the Teochew mee pok.

Only the husks of the red rice grains are removed which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins, but unlike brown rice, its red color comes from antioxidants in the bran. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy Thai curry or stir-fry, tends to counteract the spiciness. Thai noodle dishes, whether stir-fried like phat Thai or in the form of a noodle soup, usually come as an individual serving and are not meant to be shared and eaten communally.. Palm sugar, made from the sap of certain Borassus palms, is used to sweeten dishes while lime and tamarind contribute sour notes. We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes: we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. As in many other rice eating cultures, to say "eat rice" (in Thai "kin khao"; pronounced as "gin cow") means to eat food. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. Stews of meat, plantains, and root vegetables are the platos nacionales of several countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean: Colombian ajiaco, and the sancocho of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama.