5 Fresh Ingredients You’ll Find in Thai Food

June 07, 2021
IN Thai Cuisine

In the United States, there are ten times more Thai restaurants than Mexican when looking at the ratio to a community’s population.

Thai is famous for the fresh ingredients used. You’ll find many flavors in Thai food that will thrill your tastebuds. Thai flavors are known to be varied and on the spicy side, as well as to incorporate either rice or noodles. It has grown to be a popular cuisine in the U.S. in recent years.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular Thai ingredients used.

1. Phrik

In Thai meals, there are five main flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and spicy. That’s where phrik, or chilis, come in! Heat is a vital component of most Thai cuisine. That’s why many Thai vendors at the market display dozens of varieties of fresh and dried chilies.

Fresh chilies can add a whole host of flavors and effects to your dish. With a chili, you can get hints of sweetness, a slight tingle, or overbearing heat.

2. Lemongrass

Lemongrass smells like the name sounds, with hints of lemon. However, when it comes to flavor, lemongrass is a mix of sweet and acidic. Unlike the actual fruit, lemongrass doesn’t have the sharp tang of lemon. Lemongrass is often used to help flavor Thai menu dishes like tom yam kung and curry paste.

3. Tamarind Pulp

A reddish-brown fruit, tamarind has a strong sweet-sour flavor to it. Many dishes include tamarind in liquid form, like classic pad thai. Tamarind is great for adding a sweet, yet tart, fruity flavor to dishes.

4. Galangal

Galangal is a rhizome characterized by how thick and knobby it is. Galangal can be confused with ginger, however, the taste is quite different. With galangal, you get an earthy, citrus-pine flavor. It lacks the tingly heat of ginger.

Of the Thai food ingredients, galangal is quite popular. It’s sometimes referred to as Thai ginger. To help you differentiate galangal from ginger, remember that galangal’s skin is smoother and paler. Also, the flesh of galangal is harder than ginger. This means that galangal cannot be grated like ginger. You must slice it.

5. Turmeric Root

Turmeric is used in many dishes to help add a peppery, astringent flavor. It also provides a bright tangerine hue to dishes. However, it is prone to staining, so use it with care.

In addition, turmeric is valued as a nutritional supplement. It offers a multitude of health benefits. For example, turmeric is known to have strong anti-inflammatory effects and is also a great antioxidant.

Dine on Fresh Ingredients at Thai Ginger Today!

If you live in Washington, Thai Ginger is proud to offer many locations for your dining pleasure. We’ve been in business since 1996, serving authentic Thai food that uses fresh ingredients. When you dine at Thai Ginger, you can rest assured that you’re experiencing dishes that are true to the cuisine and will feel as if you’re eating in Thailand itself.

Visit us today at one of our four locations if you have any questions!

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