Found the Best Thai in Town and It’s at Your House

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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

ready to eat - this tom yum soup wwill make you believe you are in thailand

Tom Yum Soup

Serving - These Simple Thai Spring Rolls are Sure to Impress

  Thai Spring Rolls

Ready to Eat - Spotlight on the Secrets of Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaf

  Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaf

 Eating - You Need to Know How to Make Authentic Thai Fish Cakes

  Authentic Thai Fish Cakes

Closeup - wonderful green curry to make you feel blissful

Thai Green Curry

Serving - You need to know how to make Stir Fried Vegetables

 Stir Fried Vegetables

 Ready - Banana Spring Rolls for Something a Little Different

 Banana Spring Rolls


All the specialty ingredients you need to make the Thai recipes on Compass & Fork on one handy printable shopping list.

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18 Responses

  1. Mariflor
    | Reply

    Hi. Your page is most informative. I am a Colombian chef and I have a restaurant in my home and would love to specialize in Asian cuisine. It is fun to mix and match starters with mains but I would like to know how much to cook. If I have to cook for six people, would I have to scale the recipes accordingly? What is the norm? Thanks for your help.

    • Compass & Fork

      You can adjust the serving size on any recipe on Compass & Fork- just change the number in the serving size and it will recalculate the required ingredients.

  2. Elizabeth
    | Reply

    Sounds like a fantastic place to eat! I love the variety of the dishes.

    • Editor

      Yes there is a little bit of everything. It’s a fabulous place if you are into your food. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Kim @ Land of Zonkt
    | Reply

    I’m drooling over all these delicious foods. I love all the different cultures and flavours of food what a lovely banquet.
    Thanks for linking up to Your Weekly Feed. x

    • Editor

      There are some great international foods out there. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jayne
    | Reply

    What an amazing banquet! and love the tag line – homemade Thai is the best!

    • Editor

      I think most things homemade are pretty good 🙂 But it is surprisingly easy to make good Thai food at home!

  5. Renee
    | Reply

    My favorite way to explore a culture is through their food. What a great idea for something a little outside the norm when visiting northern Thailand.

    • Editor

      Indeed Renee. Food and culture, such a fascinating subject. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Swati @Watch What U Eat
    | Reply

    Very informative post. My husband is a big fan of thai food. A couple of times we attempted to cook thai dishes and that did not turn out so well. And then we stopped experimenting. Looking at your post and recipes, I think I should try making some :). Following you now on G+ :).

    • Editor

      Thank you for that. Never give up, you’ll get there on the Thai cooking. Getting the ingredients is the main thing. Thanks for your comment.

  7. AiPing | Curious Nut
    | Reply

    Living just below Thailand for most of my life, I’ve obviously grown to love Thai food very much. Your list here pretty much sums up most of my favorite Thai dishes, with the exception of betel leaf not because it’s not my favorite but because I still have yet to try it. Oh betel leaves.. where are thou?

    • Editor

      I must admit that I am a sucker for betel leaf. Such an unusual ingredient with an incredible taste/texture. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    | Reply

    I love Thai food so I cannot wait to try some of these recipes that you have rounded up. My mouth is watering right now!!

    • Editor

      Yes Thai food is a bit like that. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Anne Murphy
    | Reply

    I love the description of the banquet!

    So often I collect recipes from a culture – and then wonder how to put it together. How is the meal served, what courses go together, or what foods (Is this combination the same as serving a Texas Chili with Boston Brown Bread?? Which would just be Wrong… LOL) So thanks for the guides!

    • Editor

      My pleasure Anne. The most unusual aspect of Thai food in Thailand is how all course come out together (except dessert) and that soup is sipped throughout the meal as if it was a drink. Thanks for your comment.

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