After your Thai cooking class at Riverside in Khao Lak I really hope you will make loads of delicious Thai food at home. I will be sending you the Thai recipes for everything that was cooked on class day. You will also get my regular newsletter with new recipes and extra tips and tricks for Thai cooking.
Nowadays supermarkets worldwide stock many of the main ingredients you will need for cooking Thai food at home. A few items you may have to find at speciality Asian shops but there’s often an easily sourced alternative. This is my guide to stocking your kitchen so you can cook Thai food whenever you fancy.
The Essential Thai Sauces and Stocks
Nam Bplah – น้ำปลา
Fish sauce is use in nearly every Thai dish. It basically replaces salt in Thai cooking whilst adding some extra flavour. Stocking your kitchen for cooking Thai food starts here. For a delicious vegan alternative, contact me for the recipe.
Nam Man Hoi – น้ำมันหอย
Oyster sauce is commonly used in Thai stir fries. It thickens the texture whilst enhancing the taste of the dish. In Thailand there is a sauce made from mushrooms that makes an excellent vegetarian alternative as the texture and taste is similar.
Sauce Tu-a Luang – ซอสถั่วเหลือง
Soy sauce is used in fried rice dishes and many Thai stir fries. It adds flavour where you might want to avoid the fishy taste of fish sauce. Soy sauce is not used in Thai curries.
Nam Kra Ti – กะทิ
Coconut milk is used in most Thai curries and in some Thai soups such as Tom Kha. It adds the creamy taste and texture synonymous with Thai curries.
Nam Tarn Pip – น้ำตาลปี๊ป
Palm sugar adds a more subtle sweet flavour and aroma to your Thai food when compared with normal sugar. It is commonly used in Massaman and green curries as well as Som Tam.
Nam Tarn – น้ำตาล
Sugar is often used in Thai cooking, especially when the dish is very sour or salty. The sugar softens or neutralises the strong flavours. Most Thai dishes require at least a pinch of sugar.
Pong Prung Ros – ผงปรุงรส
Stock is used in Thai cooking exactly the same way as with any cuisine. We have our own brands here in Thailand but your usual stocks will do the job just as well. I use pork stock the most at my Khao Lak Thai cooking class, it’s my favourite and you see it in most of my recipes. You can use whatever stock you think will suit your Thai dish best.
Essential Thai Herbs
Pak Chii – ผักชี
My favourite herb and commonly used in Thai cooking. Many dishes also use the coriander roots, where they are smashed with chilli and garlic to form the initial paste. Coriander leaves are added to Thai dishes at the end of the cooking process and are also used as a garnish.
Thai Sweet Basil
Hoh Rapaa – โหรพา
We use two types of basil in Thai cooking. Both are different from the basil used in Italian cuisine. Thai sweet basil is used in some Thai curries and some stir fries. It is usually added right at the end of the cooking process. Save a few leaves that can be used as a garnish.
Kraphow – กะเพรา
Kraphow is one of Thailand’s most famous quick dishes. It takes it’s name after this type of basil leaf which is one of the main ingredients. Kraphow can be made with pork, minced pork, belly pork, chicken, minced chicken, shrimp, squid, tofu or pretty much whatever you fancy.
Kafir Lime Leaves
Bai Ma Grod – ใบมะกรูด
Kafir lime leaves are commonly used in Thai curries. They have a very strong flavour, the flavour you always associate with a Thai curry. To use, remove the stalks. In milky curries the leaves are added as two halves, for drier curries you can finely slice the leaves and add at the end.
Ta Kry – ตะไคร้
Lemongrass is used more in spicy and sour Thai dishes such as Tom Yam soups. It adds a lot of flavour but is sometimes tough to eat. In soups it is left in larger pieces and not eaten. If used in zesty Thai salads it is very finely sliced for easier eating.
Curry Pastes To Try At Home
Sign up for a Thai cooking class here at Riverside in Khao Lak, learn to make a delicious Thai curry and I will include the recipe to make your very own curry paste at home.
Of course Thai curries are famous around the world and it’s not difficult to find curry pastes for sale in many large supermarkets, but home made curry pastes are much more tasty and fragrant.
Thai Curry Pastes
One or two Thai curry pastes are a must to have at home if you are planning to regularly make Thai curries. The good news is they will keep a long time in the fridge.
The best curry paste is the one you make yourself and most are made from simple ingredients. Its a time consuming process but well worth it. Alternatively you can take home a decent curry paste from Thailand or find one in your larger supermarket at home.
Green Curry Paste – พริกแกงเขียวหวาน
To make Gairng Keow Wan Gai, Green Curry with Chicken
Red Curry Paste – พริกแกงกะทิ
To make Gairng Kra Tii Muu Sapparot, Red Curry with Pork and Pineapple
Masaman Curry Paste – พริกแกงมัสมัน
To make Masaman Gai, Masaman Curry with Chicken
Penang Curry – พริกแกงแพนง
To make Penang Muu, Penang Curry with Pork
Other Essential Thai Ingredients
Khao – ข้าว
Bit of an obvious one, Jasmine rice should possibly have featured right at the top of the page. Your entire Thai cooking plans just wouldn’t work without rice!
Sen Lek – เส้นหมี่
Rice noodles come in thin or wide varieties and are dry so can last a long time. You will need the thinner variety for your Riverside Phad Thai recipe.
Wun Sen – วุ้นเส้น
A pack of dried glass noodles might come in handy. Its an ideal ingredient if you want to make a spicy Thai style salad.
Prik – พริก
If you want to cook spicy Thai food you will certainly need some chillies.
Manow – มะนาม
Lime juice is used for more sour Thai dishes and for tangy Thai salads. It is also served with some Thai dishes, cut into segments so you can squeeze your own lime juice to taste. You will need limes for serving Phad Thai and fried rice dishes.
Kra Teiam – กระเทียม
Garlic is commonly used in most Thai dishes, much the same way as in many other cuisines from around the world. Thai garlic tends to not be as strong as garlic grown in Europe. My Thai recipes specify a lot of garlic, if you are using strong garlic use less accordingly.
Ton Horm – ต้นหอม
Used as commonly as both an ingredient in Thai cooking and as an accompaniment or garnish.
Tairng Gwaa – แตงกวา
In Thailand almost all dishes are served accompanied with a few slices of cucumber. It helps to cool the mouth when eating spicy Thai food.
To Prepare and Cook Your Thai Food
Pestle and Mortar
ครก กับ สาก
A lot of Thai dishes start with a paste. It could be a curry paste or simply some garlic and chilli smashed together. You will need a pestle and mortar for this. A stronger, stone version is better for curry pastes while a wooden pestle is preferred for more delicate ingredients like preparing Som Tam.
You can cook most Thai meals simply with a single wok. It’s a versatile addition to your kitchen. It’s shape is ideal for fast, hot frying. Perfect for your stir fries. It can be used like a frying pan and also for deep frying too.
Make a Reservation
My courses often get booked well in advance so do not delay.