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Jan 14, 2013 06:08 PM

Proper way to eat red curry in a Thai restaurant

I love the red curry served in the local Thai restaurants. The curry is typically served in a bowl set on a plate, & there is a mound or rice next to it. Is there a "proper" way to eat this? Usually, I set the bowl of curry off to the side, spoon it over the rice on the plate, and eat away. Is this how it is done? Or do you eat it out of the bowl, like soup, and then eat the rice separately, Or do you spoon the rice into the bowl of curry? Just wondering

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  1. I usually get a bit of rice and scoop up some of the curry and whatever protein or vegetables are there second. I have no idea if its the correct way, but it works for me with minimal mess.

    1. Add the curry to the rice - my guess is that it would follow the usual convention in cultures that create meals by combining condiments with a carbohydrate.

      1. In Thailand? Have a plate or large wide bottomed bowl piled with rice, add on a small amount of curry, mix well into the rice and eat with a spoon, possibly using a fork in the left hand to push the food onto your spoon, or even eating with right hand depending on rural/urban or where you are in Thailand. Take bites of fresh cucumber or fresh veg/herbs or other salads in between bites of rice-curry.

        Usually in US restaurants they give us that ice cream scoop sized amount of rice but on a Thai plate it would be 3-4 times that amount.

        Probably at your restaurant I would just put some rice on my plate and add a little curry and eat it with a fork.

        1 Reply
        1. re: luckyfatima

          I've never understood why Thai restaurants in the US are so stingy with rice, when Chinese restaurants are so generous with it. To make matters worse, if you ask for more rice in a Thai restaurant, you have to pay extra for it. Thai curries are much wetter than most Indian curries. I like to have a lot of rice to sop up the delicious sauce.

        2. Thai curries are generally eaten with spoon and fork with the diner ladling food onto the plate and pushing rice and food into the spoon with the fork. Personally I just put rice into my spoon and dip it into the curry bowl and don't feel like I'm breaking any conventions. It's not like I'm asking for chopsticks...

          3 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Yeah weird I went to a Thai resto recently with a large group of people (none Thai) and some of them asked for chopsticks and the resto provided them. I thought Thais only use chopsticks for wet noodle soups AFAIK, especially since these soups are Chinese in origin and primarily brought by the ancestors of the Chinese-Thai community. Must be they wanted to get into the feeling of having 'exotic' food with the utensils.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              You're right. Chopsticks are really the exception in Thai culture, used to eat some Chinese origin noodle dishes. But if some people like struggling with chopsticks, who is a good host to stop them?


              1. re: JungMann

                According to the Thai servers chopsticks are not used in traditional Thailand restaurants.

          2. Hi! Half-Thai person here. The way Thais eat is family style. Everyone has their own plate of rice and we share entrees. Properly speaking, you use your right hand (the left hand is consider unclean) to take the serving spoon and ladle it onto your rice. We only eat one dish at a time, instead of placing all the entrees on our rice at one time. We eat with our spoon in the right and fork in the left, and push the food onto our spoon. We don't eat curry with chopsticks, but I've seen lots of people do so... though I never understood why.. you're not getting any of the curry sauce that way.