Thailand is a beautiful country which is big on industry and exports. Most people know about how much of the world’s goods are manufactured in Thailand, but what those same people generally don’t know is the country has a lot more to offer us all. Besides their goods, Thai food is some of the spiciest, sweetest and most delicious cuisine around. Learning how to cook Thai food is relatively simple once you have the basics, getting the combination of conflicting flavors right is a bit more of a challenge. Fortunately there are many videos on Youtube and sites like this one to help that are a great place to start.
Authentic Thai Ingredients
If you’re looking to make some authentic Thai food, you need to get authentic Thai ingredients. While the likelihood of finding any of these fresh at a local supermarket is not very high, that doesn’t mean you’re already finished. Smaller markets exist and you’ve probably seen some ethnic groceries already without giving them a second thought. While ginger, tangerines and chilies are pretty common, you’re going to have a much harder time finding other foods so easily. If you can’t find anything locally, having ingredients shipped to you is always a possibility, but an expensive one. Of course Asian grocery shops are the ideal starting place, however, do be aware that most of these are Chinese or Vietnamese orientated. Many ingredients will have a different name.
Based On Curry Pastes
There is a sure abundance of vegetables in Thai cooking, as well as super hot and super sweet flavorings. That means you can expect some truly fiery dishes if you’ve got the stomach for that, though you can make more mellow things to eat and drink as well. However, most Thai foods begin with a kind of paste base made from various ground herbs and spices. This is the flavoring which will really help the dish to flourish while it cooks. Almost every Thai dish has its fair share of shallots or onions and some sort of chili peppers too.
The small little chillies are called ‘Brids-eye’ in Thailand and are very spicy, as a general rule of thumb, the larger the chilly pepper, the less spicy it is. You will often see the larger green ones barbequed on sticks and eaten whole with chicken and pork.
There’s also plenty of fire and heat in Thai food and cooking. Most meats must be seared before you cook them and even vegetables and fruits get grilled to make them nice and hot. It seems almost strange that hot and spicy food should be so popular in a country where the temperature is rarely ever cold but the people of Thailand love life hot. You should probably have some milk handy to get that burning sensation off your tongue and out of your mouth because extra hot curry is included in many traditional Thai foods. Thai Green Curry is also based on coco-nut milk, this also has a soothing effect and should be your first choice as an introduction into Thai curries. You must be ready for fire!
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The author John Shaone is an experienced commentator on living in Thailand. His passion is to study, grow and sell rare Thai orchids while designing flower arrangements for a florist in Bangkok.