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Deep-Frying

Like stir-frying, deep-frying (tod) came to Thailand relatively late. The lack of frying pans or woks and suitable fats with which to fry hampered the development of deep- fried foods, and Thais appear to remain ambivalent about it to this day. However, deep-frying is a typical Thai treatment of seafood that was, as mentioned before, traditionally plucked from the river.

Unlike other cultures that depend on deep-frying (or crisp-frying) in their cuisine, Thais are extremely concerned with taste and texture, and so usually accompany deep-fried dishes with dipping sauces. These add extra avor as well as a touch of freshness to combat the inevitable oiliness of deep-fried food. For example, the dish tod mun pla (deep-fried curry sh cake) is served alongside a sweet and sour cucumber salsa, which is an attempt to include crunch to an otherwise oily dish.

However, it must be said that for people who are fairly picky about other aspects of their cooking, Thais are not particularly good at deep-frying, opting to cook any piece of meat as much as possible – even sh. This propensity for meat or sh that is “well done” comes from the traditional Thai fear of worms, as much of the seafood in the past was taken from the rivers. One example of deep-fried sh is pla tod sam rot (deep-fried three- avor sh), which is a fried whole sh slathered in chilies, or basically a salad dressing that is cooked.

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