Thai cooking is packed with powerful, yet perfectly mingled flavors. It’s also heavy on fresh, pure ingredients – making it both super healthy and super delicious. We’ve talked a little bit about easy Thai recipes so far on this blog, but maybe we got ahead of ourselves. Before you can really become a master of Thai cuisine, you have to stock your kitchen.
To help you out, we’ve thrown together a list of some simple ingredients that are absolutely crucial to creating authentic Thai dishes at home. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a great head start, plus you can find almost all of them at any grocery store.
Coriander: It’s impossible to whip up a genuine Tom Yam without a few fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro). Meanwhile the ground root is a must for sweet and tangy curries.
Lemongrass: Plenty of Thai curries, soups and salads use this fragrant ingredient. It is often chopped or sliced, allowing its signature scent and flavor to permeate the dish. Also said to be a great flu fix!
Turmeric: This brilliant yellow root might not taste too pleasant on its own, but blended into curry it’s heavenly. Plus its known to be the perfect antidote for an upset stomach.
Basil: Sweet Thai Basil and Thai Holy Basil are often the preferred accompaniment to seafood, chicken or pork, and they frequently pop up in both red and green curries. Raw or cooked they’re equally delicious!
Garlic: Thailand probably wasn’t the first culture to fall in love with garlic, but we have found numerous ways to use these little white bulbs. In authentic Thai cuisine, garlic can be cooked or raw, and even fried.
Ginger: Plenty of Thai favorites prominently feature this tangy root. It can be served raw or cooked, and is often a main ingredient in sauces and drinks. Young ginger is particularly tasty with chicken and beef.
Galangal: This fragrant root, which is similar to ginger, pops up in tons of curries and soups. It’s flowery, intense and goes wonderfully with lemongrass. It’s also incredibly healthy and adds tons of nutrients to any dish.
If you get creative and use these classic Thai ingredients (or any others) in your next culinary masterpiece please send us the recipe! We’d love to see how you interpret some of our favorite Thai spices. Happy cooking!
Photo via Pam’s Thai Cooking