Do you ever order from your favorite Thai restaurant and think “this is amazing” but when you try to make it yourself there is always something a little off? Maybe the noodles become overcooked or you had to substitute hard-to-find ingredients. Next time, two articles from Tasting Table and EatingWell will guide you through the perfect pad Thai or tom kha soup. My name is Rachael Lake and I am the founder of Takeout Kit, a company founded with the mission of bringing global dishes to the home chef. I have a passion for traveling and cooking and I hope to connect with others who do as well!
Naomi Duguid’s article in EatingWell “10 Essential Ingredients of Thai Cooking” gives a list of the top 10 ingredients you’ll need to bring your Thai cooking to the next level. Pantry essentials include: Thai fish sauce, curry paste (red or green), rice vinegar, coconut milk, jasmine rice, dried cayenne or Thai bird chiles, garlic, and shallots. Having shelf-stable essentials on hand makes it easier to create a Thai masterpiece when your craving starts.
TastingTable’s “Thai Kitchen Essentials” article by Jake Emen gives a few more essential ingredients for mastering the art of home Thai cooking. His essentials include: oyster sauce, palm sugar, galangal, tamarind, wok, mortar and pestle, and Thailand: The Cookbook, by Jean-Pierre Gabriel. According to Emen, it is easy to use a wok if you have a gas burner.
Both articles highlight some important strategies for becoming a better Thai home chef which I’ve summarized below.
3 Philosophies to Help You Cook Amazing Thai Food:
- Stock Your Pantry: with the essentials to have those tough-to-find ingredients when inspiration strikes.
- Find the Tools: investing in a wok and mortar & pestle can save headaches when trying to master Thai cooking techniques.
- Plan Ahead: exotic ingredients like tamarind and galangal may require special trips to specialty grocery stores.
One major difference between the two articles is the recommended use of ginger vs. galangal. According to a Thai cooking site, galangal has a peppery taste compared to ginger yet many people confuse and substitute between the two. I would love to hear about your Thai cooking experiences and tips for other home chefs – please feel free to stay in touch on Twitter @takeoutkit.