Thai Ingredients Essential To The 4 "S"


Thai ingredients are very important when used to create the success of Thai cuisine which is usually the amazing blend of these four "s" --- sweet, sour, salty and spicy --- setting Thai food apart from other cuisines.

Without doubt, Thai food is one of the world's most exciting cuisines, a work of art that pleases the most discerning taste buds. Thai food has continued to evolve and gain worldwide popularity, without losing its own distinct identity.

However, for most of the time when tourists travel Thailand, they think of Thai massage, Thai beach or resorts, Thai boxing, Thai dance, Thai silk, Thai rice, Thai fruits but who can forget the exotic Thai food!

With Thai food, comes Thai ingredients used. The ingredients that make Thai food amazingly incredible are the Thai herbs which together with spices have been ingeniously blended to make any Thai recipes a success.

Yes, the Thai people definitely know how to use proper herbs and spices to pack the punch in healthy low calorie meals full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh herbs and vegetables is therefore very important in producing the best Thai food and for that reason, I feel the importance of having my own herb garden where I grow my own basil, chillies, garlic, lemongrass, lemons and more.

When following any Thai recipies, fresh herbs and spices are best used if available or easy to find from your end of the world especially if you reside in any of the Asian Countries. You will, however, find dried herbs and spices quite easily available in Asian Groceries or Supermarkets anywhere else now.Thai Market therefore is probably one of the most interesting places to visit when you travel Thailand. The Thai Market is where you will find everything you need to get that distinct Thai flavors.

So ... what is needed to achieve those distinct flavors?

Well ... they can be achieved by combining indigenous herbs, spices and produce : coconut milk, lemongrass, tamarind, ginger, galangal, garlic, coriander leaf, basil, palm sugar, turmeric, cumin, shallots, spring onions, chili, chili powder to name a few.

Chillies in Thai cooking are essential and are used in most Thai recipes.

The masterful blending of sweet, sour, salty and spicy is what makes Thai dishes so amazing.

Getting just the right balance is the insider secret to good Thai cooking.

You will also find fish sauce (nam pla) and shrimp paste (kapee) being used in almost each and every Thai food recipes.

Bear in mind, that a good amount of preparation like cutting, mincing and grinding is needed to make most Thai dishes. I guess if you enjoy cooking, all these preparation is just part of 'cooking joy'. (Yes, you are right -- there is no such thing as a free lunch so if anyone tells you that there is hardly any preparation needed, I would seriously doubt it)

Vegetables and meats are cut into small pieces prior to being stir-fried, permitting quicker cooking whilst retaining their crispness and fresh flavors.

Smaller pieces help the coating of spices, herbs and condiments for a tastier result.

Look, I am not going to lie -- Thai cooking can be complex. Most people will say that once you have the Thai ingredients prepared, the rest is just a matter of throwing everything else together.

Unfortunately .. Not So ... You see, the complexity lie in the getting the tastes of the 4 "S" -- sweet, sour, salty and spicy -- just of the right balance.

I would say without a doubt that the blending of the sauces then is the most important part of the whole process to make the final product a success -- the result with distinctive Thai food flavors.

So, all I will say is -- experiment with the different Thai ingredients, learn to balance the tastes of the 4 "s" and enjoy the process.

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