Thai cuisine has a very distinct flavour that sets it apart from other culinary areas. The mix of salty, sweet, spicy and sour dishes makes many people’s taste buds sing with delight. What exactly is it that gives Thai dishes that amazing taste? Here are a few of the ingredients we use here at Thai Pudpong.
Galangal is actually a grouping of spices from the same family. Similar to ginger, galangal is often used in Thai dishes and other parts of Asia. The galangal plant has multiple variants: greater galangal, lesser galangal and kaempferia galangal. While each one has a distinct flavour and texture, they all have similar taste qualities that work well with many Asian types of meats and fish.
In many Thai dishes, the leaves of the kaffir lime tree are used. These thick, green leaves give dishes a lemon-lime aroma and flavour that is so distinct in Thai cooking. When using the kaffir lime for Thai cuisine, chefs will generally use the leaves and occasionally the rind, leaving the juice out for the most part. Fresh kaffir leaves can be cut thinly and used on top of salads, while the kafir lime rind can be used as a zest or in curry pastes.
Palm sugar is used in many Asian dishes in replacement of traditional sugars. You can find some palm sugar that is labelled based on which palm tree it has been harvested from. The main sources for harvesting palm sugar are Palmyra, date, nipa, sugar and coconut palm trees. While each one can have a slightly different taste, they all encompass the same type of sweetness and can be easily interchanged in recipes and dishes.
Tamarind comes from the tamarind tree which is native to parts of Africa. The tree produces a fruit that is mashed into a pulp and used in a variety of dishes across the globe. By itself, the young fruit of the tamarind tree is considered too sour, but it works well with other spices and flavours, especially savory dishes. The fruit becomes less sour as it ages and is more enjoyable to eat alone. Tamarind can be ground down and mixed into a paste that is used for many different kinds of dishes throughout Asia. The seeds can even be used in textile and other manufacturing processes due to its hardness.
Is your mouth watering? Visit us at Thai Pudpong for authentic Thai cuisine.