Do you love Thai food, and are interested in cooking it at home? If so, here’s a post that you’ll enjoy! Learn a few quick tips that you help you in cooking your very own Thai cuisine!
1. Use coconut milk as a soup/stew base. Ever since returning from Thailand, I have made coconut milk a staple in my food pantry. Coconut milk is a great base cooking liquid for soups and stews. In a large pot with a little bit of oil, sauté onions, garlic, and whatever other aromatic vegetables you’re using for about five minutes, then add spices and salt (and meat if you’re using it), then pour in your coconut milk and let the mixture simmer for about an hour.
2. Cook with lemongrass and galangal. You can find lemongrass in most supermarkets, near the ginger in the produce aisle. If your local grocery store doesn’t have it, find it at an Asian supermarket. Galangal is similar to ginger but is less spicy and has a citrusy, woody taste. You can also find this ingredient in the produce section at Asian supermarkets or specialty grocers, near the ginger.
3. Juice your limes. Limes are frequently used in finishing Thai dishes. Take the time to juice your own limes; the “fresh lime juice” that comes in a bottle is a poor excuse for an ingredient. And only add lime juice after or right before you take something off the heat; cooking the juice will dull the flavor and defeat the purpose. Here’s a quick trick that I learned in Thai cooking school that will give you the most juice out of your lime:
- Cut the lime in fourths.
- Take one wedge of the lime, at squeeze it squeeze it down the spine of a large wedge knife.
4. Control the spiciness of your dishes by adding more or less chili seeds. Bird’s eye chilies are the traditional chilies of Thailand, and are an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine; they are skinny, red, and hot! The more seeds you leave in when you prep them, the more serious the spice. Believe it or not, it’s not the skin that sets your mouth on fire, but the seeds themselves. For a milder chili flavor in dishes, scrape the seeds out before adding the chilies to your dish.
4. Take the time to peel and chop your ingredients. In Thai cuisine, authentic is always best. Skip the powders and other “shakeables” from the grocery store and buy fresh ingredients from your produce section.