An Easy to Make Thai Dinner Banquet
Continuing with Compass & Fork tradition we close our featured coverage of Thailand with a Thai Dinner Party. This collection of recipes will have your friends saying they found the best Thai in town is at your house! In Thailand this would be referred to as a Thai Banquet,so we will go with it!
Thai custom is to serve food all at one time (except dessert), rather than in courses. Guests are free to pick and choose from everything.
We went to a Thai Dinner Banquet at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. It was a fun, affordable and educational evening.
The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center
There is more to Thailand than beaches and good food. The various cultures making up Thailand and adjoining countries have a rich and long history.
If you are visiting Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, do yourself a favor and check out the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. Here you can enjoy a khantoke (pedestal tray) dinner and cultural show, put on by the people of the “sticky rice culture”. Northern hill tribes existed before borders and their heritage covers a huge swathe of land across northern Thailand, Burma, Laos and southern China. They eat a form of rice that is very glutinous or “sticky”.
The khantoke is important in northern Thai culture and is generally used in wedding parties, funerals and house-warmings.
A Traditional Thai Banquet
The meal varies but might consist of such delights as:
- Fried chicken
- Burmese pork curry
- Fried cabbage
- Pork and tomato in chili paste (mild)
- Fried pork skin for dipping in to the paste
- Fresh cucumbers for dipping in to the paste
- Fried Bananas (which we will be featuring shortly at Compass & Fork)
- Fried rice crispies (dessert)
- Sticky rice (inside bamboo baskets)
- Plain rice
The meal was filling and of good quality.
Entertainment during and after the meal is traditional Thai dancing. Guests are encouraged to join in some of these dances. You might be able to practice those unique, bendy and somewhat seductive hand movements characteristic of their dancing.
The dances were performed at multiple venues within the cultural center. Dances include sword dances (guests do not partake in this one), the silk reeling dance, magic fowls dance, Shan dance (Burmese), fire sword dance and the flame worshipers dance.
The story behind each dance is shared and I have to say that it was a most pleasant evening. Many of the dancers in the second half of the program are children, so it is great if you have kids with you.
Thai Dinner Banquet at Home
If you would like to create a Thai banquet at home for family and friends, here is a selection of items. You can make all of them or just a few. Do what suits you, if you prefer to stick to courses, soup first, appetizers, then main and dessert that is perfectly fine. Or go Thai style and serve everything at once, then follow with dessert. Either way, the best Thai in town will be a your house!
The Best Thai in Town
FREE PRINTABLE SHOPPING LIST
All the specialty ingredients you need to make the Thai recipes on Compass & Fork on one handy printable shopping list.