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Food should be healthy.
In a time where restaurant food, particularly the take out variety, sometimes seems to rely on smothering deep fried food with cheese and gravy, or adding yet another slice of bacon to, well, everything, Thai food has emerged as an increasingly attractive option.
And the best news is, there’s not a boring bite on the menu. Even the healthiest Thai options pack a lot of flavour utilizing a rich palette of herbs, spices and other ingredients that not only taste great, but have disease fighting and immune boosting properties.
Take the chilies for example. They clear the sinuses, alleviate congestion, and have been proven to boost the immune system, keep the heart healthy, and fight inflammation. Coriander, high in vitamins A and C helps with digestive problems and relieves bloating, while tamarind is an excellent anti-oxidant. Lemongrass can help with headaches and can soothe nasal congestion while galangal (Thai ginger) improves circulation.
The best thing about Thai food are the unique, bold flavours that capture the palette from the first bite and leave you wanting to try the next dish with a sense of gastronomic anticipation that western food just can’t duplicate..
But that’s something Sunee and Joe Karunyasopon have always known. They own Mon Thong Thai Restaurants and the food Sunee prepares in the restaurant kitchen are dishes she learned from her mother when she was a young girl.
“My mother taught me when I was only 13 years old,” said Sunee. “That’s how you learn the secrets of making good food, watching your mother.”
“Everyone cooks a little differently, and many different spices are used so recipes develop over generations,” she added. “This isn’t something you can just learn from a book – I was born into cooking and the recipes are the ones my family taught me as a girl.”
Joe and Sunee came to Canada from Bangkok in 1986 to see Expo 86 and realized they could bring something different, healthy and always delicious to the Canadian public. They opened their first restaurant in 1989 and the rest is history.
For Joe, the secret is in the authenticity of the food.
“All of our chefs come from Thailand, and they all bring their own knowledge and skills in Thai cuisine,” said Joe. “My favourite dish is the pork or beef curry, but everyone has their own favourite dish. It’s all wonderful, and it’s all healthy for you, too.