Thai Cuisine: A Beginner’s Guide

If, like most people, you took a holiday in Thailand and were enchanted by the local cuisine and now you would like to learn how to cook the amazing dishes, you have come to the right place. Of course, the Internet hosts a wealth of information about Thai cuisine, with recipes galore and we have gathered some advice from Thai chefs in order to help you create authentic tasting Thai dishes.

  • Take Care with the Chillies – Thai food is known to be very spicy, particularly in the deep South of the country, so a little research on chillies is in order. Any recipe that contains spices should give you enough information to keep the spiciness to a minimum – Thai dishes are generally spicy anyway – while eating Thai food will certainly help to develop a less sensitive palette. There are at least 5 types of chili found in Thailand and generally speaking, the smaller the pepper, the spicier it is, and if you are cooking for friends, you are advised to enquire about spicy foods, just in case someone cannot tolerate hot food.
  • Authentic Thai Ingredients – If you have just had a massage in Pattaya, then you can be sure that all the ingredients are authentic when you cook but for those living elsewhere, there are online suppliers of Thai herbs, spices and other essential food ingredients that can only be found in this region of Southeast Asia. Then you can cook with confidence, knowing you have the right ingredients; besides, if you are using alternative ingredients, the taste will be different and not always a pleasant variation.
  • Vegetable Dishes – Many people’s favourite is ‘Pad Thai’, which is thin rice noodles stir fried with egg and tofu, while adding sugar, chillies, garlic and tamarind, with dried shrimps and peanuts for good measure. The range of Thai vegetables is indeed long and, in many respects, Thailand is the garden of South East Asia, exporting lots of rice and vegetables abroad.
  • Source a Good Quality Wok – Like most things, woks can vary greatly in quality and if you want one that lasts for years, search online for the best quality cooking utensils and invest in a Thai wok. A Teflon coated wok will last for many years and makes sure you buy a known brand with a solid warranty.
  • Coconut Milk – This is an essential ingredient for many Thai curries, with both thick and thin coconut cream that are used to make many dishes and this can be purchased online from a reputable supplier of Asian food products. If you live in Thailand, you can buy freshly made coconut cream by the kg, which comes in a tightly wrapped plastic bag, and coconuts are in abundance in all parts of the country.

The Internet is full of Thai recipes and a Google search will bring up a list of websites that are dedicated to cooking Thai food. If you are planning a visit to Thailand in 2021, make sure to keep abreast on the current Covid-19 situation, which can change at any time.

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