Believe it or not, stir-frying only came to Thailand during the Rattanakosin period, which started in the 1700s. Brought to Thailand by the Chinese, stir-frying has since become an essential Thai cooking method, resulting in many of the country’s best-known dishes.

Before the Chinese, Thais did not have vegetable oil or lard, which are crucial to stir-frying. Another important tool the Thais did not have was the wok. Today, Thai stir-fries are characterized by their inclusion of a fat like oil or lard, a paste, sh sauce and palm sugar. However, like noodles, all stir-fries are Chinese at heart.

A lot of the stir-fries that are included in modern Thai cooking have Chinese avor pro les. Sweet and sour dishes, which feature caramelized sugar, vinegar and soy sauce, use Chinese ingredients, but are given the Thai treatment via a quick stir-fry, thin sauce and lack of starch. This results in them being less heavy than their Chinese counterparts.

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