Thai food has several cornerstones. It's about the balance of hot, salty, sweet and sour accomplished most commonly with sugar, lime juice, chillies and fish sauce which turn up in almost every dish.
Indeed, in good Thai restaurants you'll be offered these to customise a dish to your particular taste.
This includes nam prik pow (chillies in vinegar), naamtam (sugar), prik pon (chilli flakes) and nam plaa (fish sauce, often with chillies) - referred to as 'The Four Flavours'.
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