Monday, July 11, 2011


People always ask me “Do I need a wok to make Thai food?” my answer is …. No, because in my theory if you want to make Thai food taste authentic you just need to know the techniques and what it does to your food.  That is the key to it.  That’s why I have this blog to share my experiments and recipes that have authentic taste but not too much trouble to cooking it, so in this blog I will tell you all about Thai utensils and what you can substitute that is easy to find around your house. Starting with
This is my American wok

1.       Wok (Ka-Ta-Bai-Bau) : just like I said at the start people think if I want to cook Asian food I need a wok and if I don’t have one I cannot cook it!!!  The fact is that a wok is good for cooking Asian food because it has a big surface to get the heat into the food fast that makes the food cook faster and makes it easier to stir.  So the key is a big surface and to get a lot of heat the substitute would be a big pan and using high heat when you stir fried.
2.       Spatula: It is used for stirring, so anything that can stir firmly like wooden spatula or anything that won’t ruin your pan you can use it!!!
3.       Cleaver: This large knife is used to chop, slice and dice the meats and the vast array of vegetables and herbs in Thai cooking or you can use a big knife.

Chinese bamboo steamer

4.       Steamer:  It is used in steamed foods meaning cooking food by the steam of water.  In Thailand we have a big steamer in this case any kind of steamer will do like Chinese bamboo steamers but it is a little bit of a small substitution also you can use the oven by putting a tray of water under the baking bowl and cover the bowl with foil that will do.
5.       Mortar and Pestle: we have 2 kinds of this in Thailand
stone motar and pastle from my Thailand house

a.       Mortar and pestle is made from stone:  This kind is heavy in order to grind the object better to make a paste and when the food that we need is very small in texture like ground pepper. Substitution is a blender

b.      Mortar is made from clay and pestle is made from  wood: This kind is a little bit lighter weight mostly used for Som tum to mix and pound the food that we don’t need to be turned into paste texture. Substitution is a ziplock bag and a tenderizer(how to use, I showed you in modern style-son tum blog)

6.       Sticky rice steamer: This utensil came from northeast Thailand.  It is used for cooking sticky rice.  Personally I don’t really know how to use it (My family is from the east) so my substitution is a microwave (How to use it is in my rice blog). 

7.       Skewer: Usually made of bamboo. One end of the skewer is sharp and pointed, mostly used in grilling or picking up fried food in a hot pan.

8.       Vegetable shredded: It is used to shred fruit and vegetables like green papaya, carrot, green mango and cucumber.  The traditional way to make them is by bashing them with a knife to make length wise cuts, and then trim off the julienne strips of fruit or vegetable with the knife.

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