Thai foods are known for spiciness, colorful presentation, and the many types of curry you can use to make the dishes a delight unto themselves. Many Thai dishes have wonderful taste combinations that are good for you with plenty of vegetables. Just as in any ethnic cooking, not all Thai food is as healthy for you. Here are some Thai dishes to avoid if you are looking for something that is better for you when cooking the Thai way.
Pla Rad Prig
Sometimes this dish is also called pla rad prik but the preparation is still the same. You take a fish and deep fry it for about ten minutes in your favorite kind of oil. My issue with this dish is that it uses deep frying to cook the fish. Deep frying is notorious for adding unnecessary fat into your diet.
Perhaps a better way to make this recipe is to bake the fish in the oven instead of frying it in a wok. You can still make a delectable sauce from peppers and garlic that uses only a teaspoon of oil to sautee the ingredients in this recipe from Thai Table.
Green Curry with Pork
Thai Food and Travel explains that a green curry with pork recipe is easy to make and is a typical food throughout Thailand. However pork as a type of meat may not be the best choice for your diet. Chicken or even lean beef is probably a better nutritional choice as far as fat content and vitamins.
When you compare pork tenderloin to certain cuts of beef, yes, the beef will have a higher fat content. The pork versus beef debate is another issue. My point is that you can substitute chicken or even fish for this curry dish and still have an authentic taste of Thailand.
Dumplings are yummy but they are also deep fried in oil that can elevate the amount of fat in your diet. If you add fattier meats such as pork or beef then you add even more fat to your meal.
Food.com has a nice Thai dumpling recipe that uses vegetables even though the dish is deep fried in three tablespoons of oil. There are plenty of other dishes you can have that aren’t dumplings that are an expression of Thai vegetables and their style of cooking.
Deep Fried Thai Ribs
UCanCookThai.com has a lovely looking recipe for deep fried Thai ribs. Of course it uses curry and exotic spices as well as all kinds of cooking wines. But again, deep frying will only make your fat and possibly cholesterol content of your diet go higher.
If you are looking for healthy alternatives to deep frying on a wok then you should always feel free to bake the meat so that it is cooked thoroughly. The key to Thai food is the curry and presentation and not necessarily the method of cooking. You can still have the spicy foods you like without the unhealthy cooking methods.
One of the most popular Thai dishes is Pad Thai. It can have hundreds of combinations and varieties but the preparation is the same. Noodles and eggs are deep fried in a wok according to Thai Table.
Even adding vegetables instead of meat can still make this common dish unhealthy as the deep frying may take away any nutritional value out of the vegetables. If you are looking for heart healthy ways to enjoy Thai food you may not want Pad Thai.
This article may sound negative but you must remember two things. First is that not all Thai food is unhealthy. Second is that you really need to ask yourself how you want the food prepared. There are healthy ways to make food and turn unhealthy foods into something much better.
The best thing you can do is prepare your own Thai food at home. If you want an authentic Thai experience there are plenty of dishes that aren’t deep fried and are completely vegetarian that taste every bit of Thailand as those with tons of fat. You’ll also want to talk to your local Asian market for some authentic Thai peppers and spices that you may not be able to find normally in the United States.My sources for this article include
WebMD, Thai Table, Thai Food and Travel, Food.com, and UCanCookThai.com.