The Lakeside Restaurant
Snack boxes

When placing their order at these places, Thais will state if they want their food served as separate dishes, or together on one plate with rice (rat khao). Eateries and shops that are specialized in pre-made food, are the usual place to go to for having a meal this way. The most notable influence from the West must be the introduction of the chili pepper from the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. With over 40 distinct ethnic groups each with its own culture and even more languages,[25] it comes as no surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, features many different ingredients (suan phasom; Thai: ส่วนผสม), and ways of preparing food. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon.

Furthermore, because national dishes are so interwoven in a nation's sense of identity, strong emotions and conflicts can arise when trying to choose a country's national dish. Thai noodle dishes, whether stir-fried like phat Thai or in the form of a noodle soup, usually come as an individual serving and are not meant to be shared and eaten communally.. An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. They are similar to the Teochew mee pok.

An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader Westernization drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. Thai meals typically consist of rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes shared by all. With over 40 distinct ethnic groups each with its own culture and even more languages,[25] it comes as no surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, features many different ingredients (suan phasom; Thai: ส่วนผสม), and ways of preparing food. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. Chopsticks were foreign utensils to most ethnic groups in Thailand with the exception of the Thai Chinese, and a few other cultures such as the Akha people, who are recent arrivals from Yunnan Province, China. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually pork and chicken, and also duck, beef, and water buffalo.

As in many other rice eating cultures, to say "eat rice" (in Thai "kin khao"; pronounced as "gin cow") means to eat food. Like most other Asian cuisines, rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine. These may include: phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, and even sugar. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. "beautiful rice"). Only the husks of the red rice grains are removed which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins, but unlike brown rice, its red color comes from antioxidants in the bran. Western influences, starting in 1511 CE when the first diplomatic mission from the Portuguese arrived at the court of Ayutthaya, have created dishes such as foi thong, the Thai adaptation of the Portuguese fios de ovos, and sangkhaya, where coconut milk replaces unavailable cow's milk in making a custard.[17] These dishes were said to have been brought to Thailand in the 17th century by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry who was born in Ayutthaya, and became the wife of Constantine Phaulkon, the Greek adviser of King Narai.