Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly-prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is known for being spicy. Balance, detail and variety are important to Thai cooking. Thai food is known for its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter.
Fresh Herbs and Spices
Herbs and Spices are an essential part of Thai cooking. Used in combination, they help achieve a balance of the four essential Thai tastes: salty, sour, spicy, and sweet.
Thai food is known for its enthusiatic use of fresh herbs and spices, basil leaves, chili pepers, galangal, kaffir lim leaves and lemon grass.
Bamboo shoots [naw-mai] Bean sprouts [tuwa-gnog] Chili pepper [prig] Cucumber [tang-gua] Eggplant [ma-kua] Green onion [ton-hom] Cabbage [Pak-Gahd-Kow] Cilantro [pak-chee] Cilantro root [raag-pak-chee] Curry powder [pong-gari] Dried whole chili [prig-hang] Galanga [kha] Garlic [gra-tiem] Ginger [king] Ground dried chili pepper [prig-kee-nu-bonn] Ground pepper [prig-thai-bhon] Kaffir lime leaves [bai-ma-gruud] Lemon basil [bai mang-lug] Lemon grass [ta-krai]Curry paste [prig-gang] Dark soy sauce [sew-ew-dum] Dark sweet soy sauce [si-ew-waan] Fish sauce [nam-pla]