Thai food includes a fascinating array of appetisers. Some of these, by themselves are substantial enough to constitute an entire meal. Just like their western counterparts, meat and seafood are commonly featured.
Fried bread is one such interesting dish that on initial impression may appear more appropriate being served at breakfast. But like many Thai foods, first impressions can prove to be quite incorrect.
If this was a prelude to the main dish, it certainly deserved better than being delegated to the rank of a breakfast item.
The aroma of this freshly fried dish was indeed tantalising, There were about ten portions of bite sized golden brown squares measuring about an inch and a half each, all nestling on a bed of shredded salad.
Well-fried bread has no greasy drip and should not be soggy at the base. When prepared well, it should be hot enough yet comfortable when chewed into. It should appear very light to taste in spite of the oil and batter. When bitten into, the crispy flavoured exterior gives way to the very pleasant chewy consistency of the white bread beneath.
A small salad accompanies the fried bread, acting as a pleasant contrast. The diced cucumbers and slivers of carrot in a vinegar-based dressing act as a wonderful counterbalance, adding a zing to this predominantly greasy and possibly heavy dish.
This appetizer with its salad accompaniment is a fine example of how different foods and differing flavours harmonize in Thai cooking. The crunchy salad complements the crispy bread, while the cool sensation of the salad contrasts with the hot bread. The vinegar-based salad dressing provided for yet another contrast against the greasy taste of the fried dish.