Chinese Food vs Thai Food: What’s the Difference?

Americans are known for loving their Chinese food. So much so, in fact, that the take-out has its own day dedicated to it. But what about Thai food? Despite being just as popular, Thai food is often overshadowed by Chinese cuisine on American menus. But why?

For starters, there are a multitude of different dishes in the two cuisines. To make it easier for you, we’ve narrowed down a few major differences between the two types of food.

These include ingredients used and tastes of each cuisine. We hope this will help you decide which type of cuisine suits your taste buds best! If you’re still on the fence, here’s a list of some popular dishes from both cuisines to try out on your next date night!

Chinese food vs Thai food

The difference between Chinese food and Thai food is simple. One is fried, the other isn’t. The main difference between the two cuisines is that Chinese cuisine has more dishes, but fewer flavors than Thai cuisine.

Thais are known for their use of fresh herbs and spices. They also tend to use garlic and lemongrass more than Chinese cuisine does.

Thai food vs. Chinese food

Both cuisines are known for their unique spices and tastes. But, what is the difference between Thai food and Chinese food?

Chinese Food:

-White rice as a staple

-Lots of proteins (chicken, beef, shrimp)

-Spices like ginger and Sichuan pepper

Thai Food:

-Sticky rice as a staple

-Lots of vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms)

-Spices like cilantro and Thai basil

Difference in ingredients

The main difference between Chinese and Thai foods is what ingredients are used. Thai food typically uses fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs as main ingredients. This includes lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, kaffir lime peel, and many more. Thai cuisine also uses a lot of chili peppers to spice up dishes.

Chinese food also has a unique list of ingredients that set it apart from the competition. The most common ingredient in Chinese cooking is soy sauce. Other common ingredients include ginger root, garlic cloves, rice wine vinegar or white vinegar, chilies or chili beans paste, salt, sugar or brown sugar. In China broccoli or cabbage is often used instead of lettuce or watercress which you’d find in Thailand.

taste of each cuisine

The first thing to consider when deciding between Chinese and Thai food is the taste. For those who enjoy spicy foods, Thai cuisine has a spicier flavor. In addition, Thai dishes include flavors from other Southeast Asian countries including India and Japan. The cuisine is also known for its use of lemongrass, an herb that gives dishes a citrus flavor.

Whereas Chinese dishes are more delicate and often labeled as healthier than their Thai counterparts. A popular ingredient in Chinese food is soy sauce which is used as a major flavoring agent.

Although there are some spicy dishes in this cuisine, the heat level is typically less than that of Thai food. Some popular examples of this include General Tso’s chicken and Sesame chicken which have a sweet taste rather than a spicy one.