Hi Foodie Friends!
I asked Sarah from “Spicy Buddah” to share with you some basic flavor profiles for Thai food! Here is the first of TWO guest post from her! Enjoy!
Thailand is a country of unique and diverse flavours! A long thinly stretched out country nestled in South East Asia, Thai cooking has some wonderful flavours that are well loved the world over. You only need to bite into a fishcake to know it’s a Thai fish cake and it’s all about several key ingredients that are widely used by everyone all over this wondrous land.
Many people may believe Thai cooking is complex but it couldn’t be easier, the trick is to love Thai cooking and try and tackle the myths of the most popular Thai dishes. You will realise how incredibly easy they are and your taste buds may not even believe you have created such a taste sensation all on your own.
Rice, soups and curry dishes are the everyday staple foods of everyday Thai cooking, but these dishes require the addition of some splendid components to create exquisite Thai dining. So lining up to jump into your Thai frying pan is;
Chilli red, green, large or small, super fiery or mild any chillies are loved by Thai people. Thai people love their food so spicy and love to make constant fun of foreigners who like their face not to explode with too much chilli. Chilli in moderation is perfect for a non native to Thai cooking and wouldn’t be the same without it, even if you don’t like spicy food.
Garlic a key flavour to nearly every nations cooking, garlic is not a unique flavour of Thai cooking but an essential ingredient to enhance the flavour of the dish.
Ginger or galangal is widely used in a combination of Thai dishes, but can also be used as one of the main ingredients to a dish, such as stir fried chicken with ginger and chilli; you can just go crazy with the ginger and it won’t matter. Galangal is a similar root like ginger and is widely available in Thailand and used in Thai soups and curries, but can easily be replaced with ginger which can often pack a stronger punch.
Lemongrass this is where we are starting to get to unique Thai flavours, as soon as you taste the lovely light lemony flavour in a dish you know it’s from Thailand. Extremely light and fragrant this delightful stick oozes flavour and elegance and can be infused into edible, drinkable and non edible aromas.
Kaffir lime leaves as informed by Thai people in Thailand your dish is not Thai unless you have kaffir limes leaves in it, not used for garnish but to infuse a delightful lime zest to any aromatic Thai soup or curry. Often not easy to eat and are best not chewed, but removed and the flavours enjoyed, don’t be fooled into leaving these out of your dish because you don’t like to eat them.
Fish sauce finally it has to be the almighty fish sauce, used all South East Asia in any dish fish sauce really draws those flavours and adds a light saltiness to your cooking.
Sarah Volpe is a keen amateur cook with a passion for Thai cookery. Since she moved to Koh Samui with her husband this year that passion has expanded into her own Thai food and travel blog; Spicy Buddha. You can connect with Sarah to share tips and recipes, or just to chat on Facebook and Twitter.