When it comes to cooking amazing, authentic Thai food, there are five ingredients that no chef – whether you are cooking at home, or you are one of our excellent chefs at Thai Terre East Dean – can do without. If you have these five staples in your kitchen, you know you can always rustle up some interesting and memorable flavours. And, if you’d rather not do the cooking yourself but you still have a taste for Thai, that’s no problem either – Thai Terre offers delivery services too.
In native Thai fish sauce is called ‘nam pla’, but whatever you call it, Thai cuisine simply wouldn’t be the same without it. It is tangy, vibrant sauce that, if it’s a good one, should only contain anchovies, salt, and water. It should be used sparingly as it is salt heavy, and it really packs a punch when it comes to flavour.
Perfect for fresh Thai curries, coconut milk is a great tasting thickening agent. It is made by rinsing the oils out of the flesh of the coconut using warm water.
Sticky rice is eaten using the hands and comes in a variety of different flavours including the fragrant jasmine. It’s a great addition to any Thai dish and is usually served as an accompaniment.
Thai food needs to have a great balance of heat and spices, and in many dishes the heat comes from chillies. It depends on what dish you are making and how hot you want your food, but it is usually the case that cayenne chillies are used in curries and the much hotter Thai bird chillies are used in stir fries and added to sauces and soups.
Rice vinegar is an important ingredient in many dipping sauces, which are integral to Thai cuisine. If you can’t find rice vinegar, cider vinegar is a good alternative.