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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for List of Thai Herbs and Spices - Siren's Call for the Taste Buds
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Thai Herbs and Spices - Siren's Call for the Taste Buds

A distinguishing factor that sets Asian countries such as Thailand apart is its cuisine. With a splash of vibrant flavour and a pinch of spice, these dishes are made using some unique ingredients.


Bay Leaves

Mostly used in meat dishes the bay leaves has the potent of diminishing the strong odour of meat or fish and giving it an aromatic and tantalizing whiff. Bay leaves also come with the added benefit of being flavoursome. It is the usual practice in Thailand to rub these fresh green leaves on the meat before proceeding with its preparation. In addition to being a main ingredient in the meat dishes, bay leaves also star in some other courses such as soups and curries both sweet and savoury.


Black Pepper

Black pepper chicken anyone? Or maybe even some delicious beef stir fry? Black pepper both in its dried natural form and grounded powdered form is an essential ingredient that can be found in every kitchen in Thailand, be it in one of the Bangkok 5 star hotels in the metropolitan area such as Anantara Sathorn Bangkok Hotel or a simple village home in the rural regions. Once having tasted a platter with the unmistakable hint of seasoning that comes with black pepper being added to it, it is hard to have the same without it.



A herb that carries a saccharine flavour, cinnamon comes originally in the form of a light brown roll stripped from the bark of a cinnamon plant. In Thailand, it is mostly used in curries such as the country's famous massaman curry made of stewed meat and potatoes. Cinnamon is a coveted ingredient that many seek either for its medicinal values, for the love of cinnamon tea or the benefits of having some in the kitchen. One hoping to buy some only needs to steps into marketplaces or spice and herb shops in Thailand.


Coriander Root

The much loved Tom Yum soup in Thailand has one ingredient without which this enticing spicy and sour broth wouldn't be the same. And that's the coriander root. More commonly known as cilantro roots to others, this herb is used in curries, relishes and soups. Quite contrasting to its leaves that tend to lose its potency under heat, the roots of coriander carries a rich and intense flavour. The herb also aids in enhancing the aroma of the dish prepared and gives food a singular flavour that makes it a must have ingredient in every Thai kitchen.



What may look at a glance as ginger, galangal is a vital additive that makes Thai cuisine addictive. Justifiably known as Siamese ginger, this rhizome has the ability to remove the strong aroma of sea food and the capacity to make red meat much more palatable. With its spicy unique flavour, galangal, known natively as 'kha', makes its appearance in most of Thailand's soups and curry pastes. Interested in giving a go at making some Thai dishes? One can find fresh masses of galangal at the local food markets.