This meal for six demonstrates the principles of balance and variety so important in Thai cooking. It includes a light, crisp salad, a tart soup, nourishing stir-fry noodles, grilled meat, and sauteed vegetables. Central to it are fresh herbs and vegetables. The vibrant character of Thai food comes from carefully balancing hot, sweet, sour, and bitter flavors both within a dish and within a meal. This menu has that, plus contrasting textures: crisp, soft, and chewy. The author advises how to steer clear of common errors in collecting ingredients for his menu and how to substitute for those that might be hard to find.