about Thai cooking, including Thai spices and other ingredients. And
try some authentic Thai recipes.
At once hot and spicy, cool and soothing, sweet and sour, bold and subtle— Thai
cuisine is a brilliant balance of colors, tastes and aromas. In one dish,
for example, the Thai cook might meld an array of hot chili peppers and
pungent spices with sweet, exotic fruits or fresh seafood, smooth coconut
milk, and bright herbs like mint and lemongrass.
Try these classic Thai recipes.
Essential Spices for Thai Cooking
Most of the ingredients found in Thai cuisine are a clear reflection of the environment—warm, fertile land and abundant water. Recipes rely on seafood, exotic fruits and vegetables, several types of noodles and sauces. Rice is the mainstay of most meals, providing a perfect balance to the wide variety of tastes and colors that surround it. Spicy seasoning combinations are used to flavor everything from the day's catch to simple servings of rice or noodles.
Thai cuisine will appeal to any cook who loves the art of seasoning. And while many dishes are very hot, those prepared at home can be adjusted to just the right degree for your own tastes. Here are some of the main seasonings used in Thai cooking:
Basil: Thais have their own varieties of basil, including bai ga-prow, a hot basil; bai horapa, a reddish-purple basil, and bai manglak, Greek or bush basil. Although the result will be slightly different (less tangy or less colorful, for example), ordinary sweet basil can be substituted for any of these. Basil is used both as a flavoring and a garnish in Thai cooking, and handfuls are sometimes tossed into soups, curries and stir fries just before serving.
Caraway seed: The sharp, warm, peppery taste of caraway seed is thought to heighten the appetite. It's one of the world's most widely used seeds, found in the traditional cuisines of many European countries. Thai cooks use it to infuse meat and game with spice.
more essential spices for Thai cooking...
If you enjoy Thai cuisine, you'll want to be sure to stock up on Thai Seasoning Blend, Curry Powders (including regular, Lemon and Muchi Curry), Garlic Pepper, Garlic Salt, Lemon Pepper, and Veggie Pepper.
Shitake mushrooms are
available in convenient, dried form, so you can always have them on hand. To
reconstitute, simply soak them in water for an hour or two. Or
just add them directly to a long-cooking soup or stew.
Garlic gadgets, grinders
and graters, mills
and shakers, mortars
and pestles, and a vegetable chopper might all come in handy when cooking Thai recipes.