Thai Food: What makes Thai food spicy?

Most of Thailand’s popular dishes contain ingredients that make them spicier than any other food worldwide. The stinging, tingling, and burning sensation in the food comes from using chilli peppers, ginger, garlic, and peppercorn. In this article, we are going to help our readers understand what makes Thai food spicy.

Spices : Common Spices Used in Thai Food

Thai cuisines combine five basic tastes; sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savoury (umami). All this brings in the spicy taste. Depending on how the family or guests love it, the ingredients used may cause a ‘heat’ sensation to an intense, fiery sensation. If eaten raw, ginger and garlic creates a burning sensation in the sinuses. On the other hand, black pepper comes from peppercorn and causes a sharp and irritating sensation on the tongue and the inside of the nose; it comes from a chemical compound known as piperine. The spicy and hot feeling emanating from chilli peppers comes from a compound known as capsaicin. Ginger gets its mellow taste from gingerol, while garlic’s taste comes from a chemical known as allicin. Other vegetable spices used in Thai cuisines are eggplant, tomato, broccoli, bean sprouts, and squash. They make the food more enjoyable and you will find them in any restaurant in Bangkok

Benefits of Spicy Foods

While these spices are used to make the food more aromatic and flavoured, they also have exciting health benefits to the consumer’s body. Looking at ginger, the product is a perfect remedy for stomach upsets and is effective for nausea treatment, morning sickness, motion sickness, and diarrhoea. It also contains antioxidants to reduce inflammations. Garlic is a useful component in treating the heart and circulatory systems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. The consumer’s body gains better a better immune system. During the preparation, the cook may add whole cloves of garlic or crush it into a thin paste.