Three unique Thai foods to try at your next incentive trip

Almost nothing brings people of different cultures and perspectives together like sharing delicious food. 

Making food and sharing meals with others, whether bonding over a simple dinner or feasting at a massive celebration, is believed to lead to a happier and healthier life. Food has been known to let one’s guard down and provide a safe space for people to get to know one another better. Having a sense of connectedness with the people around us benefits our well-being, leading to better communication, collaboration and productivity.

After an exciting day of workshops and team-building activities, here are three lesser-known Thai foods to chow down on while learning about Thai produce and their unique flavours and cultural expression.

1. Kaeng Liang

Kaeng liang has long been a staple in Thai kitchens. Its properties are almost medicinal when the house is filled with the aroma of the fresh herbs, spices and vegetables used in the popular Thai curry – Chinese okra (square zucchini),  gourd, basil, pumpkin, straw mushrooms, black pepper, and shallots. Kaeng liang is renowned for stimulating the production of breast milk in nursing mothers. Still, its other benefits include nourishing the bones and teeth, the brain and eyesight, reducing cholesterol, and controlling blood sugar levels. Its pleasant taste makes it popular with all ages and sexes, and with easy-to-find ingredients, it all adds to making this dish a favourite in Thai kitchens for generations.

2. Miang Kham Bai Cha Phlu

Miang kham bai cha phlu is a tasty snack that originated at the royal court and has been a popular choice at parties and other social gatherings since ancient times. There is a cultural tradition to the picking of the miang leaves that operates like the rhythms of a conversation whereby one person assembles their miang “packet”, then the next person follows, and so on in order around the circle. Each miang packet contains cha phlu leaves, roasted coconut, diced shallots, bird’s eye chillies, ginger, diced lime, dried shrimp, peanuts, and the sweet and salty miang sauce. You can choose the amount of each ingredient to include according to personal taste. It is believed that miang kham bai cha phlu has high medicinal value in its balance of the four elements (earth, water, wind, and fire) from the cha phlu leaves, herbs and other healthy ingredients.

3. Bua Loy in Ginger Syrup
Bua loy in ginger syrup is a popular dessert with medicinal properties. The bua loy is made from rice flour and has a soft, chewy consistency. The dish is packed with vitamins and minerals from the black sesame seeds; it gets its sweetness from sugar and spiciness from the ginger syrup. The dish is believed to help relieve coughs, phlegm, and flatulence, amongst other ailments. The addition of Chinese herbs including ginkgo and millet add an element of crunch. The ginkgo provides antioxidants which can help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and reduce cholesterol, while millet is high in vitamin A (good for eyesight), B1 (good in fighting adult beriberi), B2 (which aids in physical growth), and phosphorous which is good for the bones – all of which make bua loy in ginger syrup a popular dessert during Thailand’s rainy season.

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