Food Tips for Non-Spicy Food Travelers

FOOD TIPS FOR NON-SPICY FOOD TRAVELERS by ThaiSims

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Traveling to Thailand but don’t like spicy foods? This post is for you. Admittedly Thai food has reputation for its hot and burning savory taste. Believe it or not, if you ask Thai people if they like spicy, half of them would say “Not really”. While many Thai can eat spicy food, not all of them like their food spicy. So if you are going to Thailand and being worried about Thai food and its spicy taste, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are tips for you to enjoy Thai food without having your mouth burned.

1. SAFE BET

Thailand has known for its variety of foods. While it has reputation for the spicy taste, there are still lots of not-spicy foods which are worldwide famous. So if spicy is not your thing, start your meal plan with these yummy but not spicy items:

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Chicken with Oily Rice - "Kao Man Gai"
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Pineapple Fried Rice - "Kao Ob Sapparod"
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Mango Sticky Rice - "Kao Niao Mamuang"

2. AVOID “YUM”

If you would like the adventure of ordering Thai food by yourself, when you order, make sure you avoid this word “YUM”. Dishes have the word “YUM” in their names are 99.99% spicy. Yum is a Thai traditional cooking method which normally includes spicy and sour tastes ingredients e.g. chili, lime, onion, shallot, etc. And because they have chilies as one of the main ingredients, those dishes having the YUM word in their names are normally spicy. Here are names of dishes with the YUM word which you might wanna avoid: Tom Yum Goong, Tom Yum Gai, Yum Woon Sen, Yum Moo Yor, Yum Kor Moo Yang, etc.

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Spicy and Sour Soup - "Tom Yum Goong"
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Spicy Salad - "Yum Woon Sen"

3. LEARN 2 MAGIC WORDS: “Mai Ped”

When ordering any foods, just for precaution, make sure you tell waiters or waitresses these magic words “Mai Ped”. “Mai” is a Thai negation word which means No or Not. It can be put in front of any verb or adjective to make the negative form of that word. For example, “Aow” means Want in Thai. By saying “Mai Aow”, it means you don’t want something. The other word is “Ped” which means Spicy. So, “Mai Ped” in Thai means Not spicy. When Thai people hear this, they will automatically know that you don’t like spicy. This will ensure you will have an enjoyable meal without having your mouth burned.

4. SPICY DILEMMA

During the trip, however, if you decide to taste the Thai spiciness, you could do that one step at a time. Just like when you order a steak, you could specify how the steak should be prepared, same goes for spicy food. You could order how much spicy you food should be. Here are general steps of spiciness:

                Level 5: Super Spicy:       “Ped Mark”

                Level 4: Sizzling Spicy:     “Ped”

                Level 3: Savory Spicy:     “Ped Klang”

                Level 2: Smiling Spicy:     “Ped Noi”

                Level 1: Zero Spicy:          “Mai Ped”

5. TOO LATE? HELP IS COMING!

When the spicy does not go as planned, maybe chefs overlook your request or maybe their interpretation of spicy level is different from yours, keep calm. Here are what you could do to save your mouth and tongue from burning.

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Thai Milk Tea - "Cha Yen"
                Order drinks containing milk ingredient. Our customers’ most favorite life saver is Thai Milk Tea. It will help clear your palate and extinguish the fire in your mouth. Besides, it’s very tasty too. For lactose intolerant friends, please skip to the next item.

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Steamed Rice - "Kao Suay"
                Eat plain rice. A spoonful of plain rice will help clearing the spicy taste from your tongue. Chew it and swallow it slowly. Doing this until the fire in your mouth goes away then drink some water before start your next fight.

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Iced Lemon Tea - "Cha Ma now"
                Drink something sour. Iced lemon tea or lemon juice will do the trick. Somehow the sour balance out the spicy and revive your tongue to its normal state. Avoid the sparkling as it normally shows less effect than regular drinks.

While there are still other tips about having Thai foods in none spicy way, these 5 tips are general guidelines which could help you enjoy your cuisines without hurting your mouth and palate. Some of Thai food may be hot and spicy, but not all of them. We hope you enjoy your stay in Thailand and enjoy Thai food the way you want. Good Luck.

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