An Introduction To Essentials of Thai Cooking

05 November 2018

Thai cuisine is unique and delicious. Whether you eat at hotel restaurants or street food stalls in Thailand, you will always encounter fresh and spicy preparations and unforgettable tastes.

Get to know the essential ingredients that make Thai cuisine such a special experience, and you may even learn to use them in preparing Thai food on your own and reminisce your tasty Thailand trip.  

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is used in preparation of many Thai dishes. It is basically made from fermented salted fish (mostly anchovies), which sounds very unusual to people who have not tried it. But using fish sauce in meat preparations and countless other Thai dishes results in a deep flavor punch. Fish sauce can also be used as a substitute for salt. 

Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste acts as something like fish sauce and is prepared in a similar way, from fermented shrimp and salt. Shrimp paste can be stored for a long time and is used in preparation of different Asian dishes, especially stir fries. 


Two kinds of rice are mostly used in Thai cuisine. One of them is the famous sticky rice, which is basically a glutinous rice steamed in bamboo baskets. It is mostly used in preparation of north and northeast Thailand dishes.

The other famous Thai rice is the Jasmine rice which is a kind of long-grain rice and gives out a nutty flavor. Jasmine rice is typically used in central regions of Thailand but is well known outside the country as well. 

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is not unique to Thai cuisine, and many nations in Asia and Africa and the Caribbean have been using it for centuries. Coconut milk is made from coconut flesh and has a warm and creamy texture, complementing different curries and desserts. 


Thailand has one of the hottest chilies in the world, the very small bird-eye chili which is used in preparation of many Thai dishes and sauces. Other less spicy chilies are also used in Thai cuisine alongside lemon and curry pastes. Tourists who have problems with spicy food eventually learn to experience and enjoy hot Thai cuisine.  

Thai Curry Paste

Thai Curry Paste is so handy and helpful that even the professional chefs prefer to use it instead of preparing the paste themselves. Thai curry paste may be red or green, depending on its ingredients. A basic curry paste usually contains chillies, garlic, lemongrass, salt, ginger and turmeric, and completes every other flavor in the dish. 

Lemongrass and Galangal

Lemongrass is freshly used in Thai cuisine but can be bought in a powdered form as well. It adds an unforgettable flavor and a subtle green color and to the dishes. Galangal is also very close to ginger and gives an earthy flavor to the dishes.  


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