Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In Thailand we have a lot of spices, but for me I use some of them that are easy to find in the USA and apply for something else. This is a list of spices modern Thai kicthen should have to cook Thai food in America.

1.       Dry Chili: ”Prick Hang”.  It’s a dry chili that we use to make curry paste.  We also toast and ground it, use in a lab and for seasoning the food after it is cooked.  Can be stored in a dry container for a year.
Dry Chili

2.       Garlic  : “Ga-Tuim”.Thai garlic is smaller, but spicier than western garlic.  Used for almost everything. Store in a dry place.
3.       Shallot : “Hol Hom lak”. It’s a small red onion or called a red pearl onion. Used in curry paste, Thai spicy dip and more.  Storage is the same as garlic.

4.       Tamarind juice or paste. “Ma-Kham”.  It’s a brown fruit from a big tree and tastes very sour.  It comes as a skinless fruit after it is processed and sold in stores.  You need to put the skinless fruit in hot water and sit for 5-10 minutes.  Then you squeeze the seed and fiber out of the fruit.  But in the USA I found they have juice that ready to use in a Thai grocery.  Use in Pad Thai, sour curry and more.  Store in a refrigerator.
5.       Dry Turmeric :”Ka-min” It’s in the ginger family having an earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.  Also used in Indian cuisines.  Became known as Indian saffron.  Used in curry paste, marinades and more.  Store in a dry container.

6.       Cardamom : “Ka Wan” .  Actually we use this for some curry pastes like masaman curry.  For myself I did not have it in my pantry because I just don’t use it for anything that much.  Store in a dry container.
That’s all I can think of for now, but if I have something else I will add it in the recipe later.

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