Thai Cooking Essentials
    POSTED BY Thai Terre | April 15, 2019

    a big pink bowl of green and red chillis

    So you’ve been out and visited your local highly rated Thai Restaurant (we don’t like to brag but… thanks) and you tried the most delicious food which you simply must recreate at home…or at least try. The thing is, where do you start with Thai cooking?

    If you’re going to cook one dish, you might as well create a Thai larder of sorts as you won’t use up all of your ingredients in just one dish and let’s face it, once you’ve tried one Thai dish, you’ll just want to try more and more.

    So when it comes to Thai Cooking Essentials, here is what you should have in your cupboard.

    Jasmine Rice

    This Thai staple, a long-grain rice with a nutty flavor, is a must-have (especially if you have a rice cooker to do the work for you). The rule of thumb is to cook one cup per person.

    Sticky Rice

    Also known as glutinous rice, this is the other go-to Thai accompaniment. It needs to be steamed as it’s prepared; to achieve the perfect consistency and texture when cooking, use a sticky rice pot and steaming basket.

    Fish Sauce

    Present in countless Thai dishes, this sauce should always be within arm’s reach. Look specifically for Thai fish sauce, and buy a small bottle that’s high quality to ensure maximum flavor punch.

    Palm Sugar

    Used in curries, salads, sweets, and a host of other dishes, this sugar is a must in a Thai kitchen. Avoid substituting it with brown sugar, because you won’t achieve the same distinctive taste.

    Tamarind Paste

    This souring agent is used in drinks, curries, soups, and more. Buy blocks of it if you can—it’s tasty stuff that you’ll get much use out of when tackling Thai cooking. You can usually hunt it down at Asian or Indian markets or at a whole foods shop.

    Shrimp Paste

    You can pick up this popular Thai ingredient just about anywhere, and it will last for months in the refrigerator. Made from fermented ground shrimp mixed with salt, it adds an extra layer of flavour to many Thai dishes.


    Look for chilies with the stems intact, and always avoid those with black spots. Dried Thai chillies are used to make curry paste, so they are handy to have around.

    Coconut Milk

    Put simply, this is what makes curry curry—and you can get it in a can to make your life even easier.

    Fresh Herbs

    Nearly all Thai recipes revolve around a selection of herbs, from lemongrass to basil leaf to coriander root. You can get your herbs online, at Asian markets, or at local farmers’ markets, depending on what your recipes call for.

    A combination of all these ingredients in your larder will mean that apart from the specific components for a dish, you will always be ready to cook Thai, whatever the occasion!