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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Essential Spices in Thai Cuisine – World Renowned Flavours
Joanna James Joanna James
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Essential Spices in Thai Cuisine – World Renowned Flavours

Thai cuisine is famous the world over, and everyone knows about the delicate balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy, incorporated into each exotic dish. Read on to learn about these essential spices.


Thai Fish Sauce

A very important ingredient in Thai cooking, fish sauce locally called nam pla is a strong brine; the salty tasting sauce is made by fermenting fish with salt. A proper fish sauce should only show ingredients of anchovies, salt and water; check the label for authentication. But do remember the pungent sauce, boasts 1.000mg of sodium, in just one tablespoon, and should be used sparingly. Here's a tip, for a rather spicy and exotic 'chilly fish sauce', you can mix diced birds eye or Serrano chillies and bottle this together with the fish sauce and use as required.


The Curry Paste

An essential in creating that exotic flavour, curry paste is available as red or green. This all essential paste can be made from scratch, although even in Thailand, most chefs, prefer to buy the bottled variety. Good products are available at well-stocked supermarkets, and offer the same flavours as a homemade paste. Green curry paste is made from green chillies while the red paste is from red chillies; common ingredients include lemongrass, galangal and coriander root. Due to the popularity of Thai cuisine, traditional ingredients are now available across the world, thus, one can look forward to enjoying the flavours of Thailand even at a Maldives Thai restaurant, promising the allures of the Indian Ocean coupled with exotic flavours from South East Asia.



Rice vinegar is a favoured ingredient in many Thai sauces and dips. Nam jim which is served together with grilled chicken is made from a base of rice vinegar, limes etc. Guests at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort can easily dine at Baan Huraa for a taste of exotic Thai dishes in Maldives, accompanied by a bevy of sauces and dips, which promise to tantalise your taste-buds.


Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, adds that creamy, dreamy thickness and taste to your Thai curries; a very popular ingredient, especially in south Thai dishes, coconut milk is easily available in cans, for those of you not able to obtain the fresh variety. The milk is extracted from the grated flesh, by mixing it with water. Readily available at all Asian supermarkets, the canned coconut milk, can be diluted down with water, if you want to cut down on calories. An essential in many soup varieties and curries, the tropical flavours of coconut milk render Thai curries with a richness, that's hard to resist.



In the north and northeast regions of Thailand, glutinous rice is a staple. Whether it's a dessert or a main dish, rice plays a major role. Steamed sticky rice is perfect, when paired with a Thai red or green curry, absorbing the flavours of the curry, a bowl of sticky rice and curry is the perfect comfort food. Favoured varieties include Thai Jasmine rice and the black sticky rice variety.