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The basic rule for Thai cooking is that all ingredients should be ready before cooking begins. This means that each item has been cut into small or bite-size pieces to cook quickly. Here is a selected list of the commonly used ingredients.
All of the ingredients listed below can be found in specialty Thai markets and shops and in areas like Chinatown in most major cities.
As Thai food grows in popularity more of them will be found in your local supermarket.
Lemongrass, noodles, fish sauce, even coconut milk may already be on the shelf of your corner supermarket.
And if you can't find what you're looking for, contact Dim and she can send you what you need.
Galangal - Used in Thai soup or in curry paste. It comes in a variety of forms fresh, dry, powdered or frozen.
Thai Sweet Basil - This fragrant relative of common basil is used in most curry dishes. Available as either dried or fresh, although the fresh is far superior.
Curry Paste - There are many kinds of curry in a complete Thai cuisine, only the most well known are introduced on this website. If you wish to buy the curry paste ready made it is available in oriental markets and larger supermarkets.
Fish Sauce - Used mainly in Thai cooking and sauces. Substitutes for salt in most Thai dishes. Each brand has a different salt content that can affect the flavor of dishes.
Coconut Milk - Many Thai curries, desserts and drinks are made with this creamy product, it can be found in almost any supermarkets.
Kaffir Lime Leaves - An important herb in preparing curry dishes, it can be purchased dry, fresh or frozen.
Lemongrass - This is an essential herb that is used in curry paste and two well-known soups, Tom Yum Goong and Kai Dom Khaa. This herb is also reputed to be good for the nervous systems.
Thai Rice Noodles (Kanom Jeen) - Noodles made from rice flour. Usually served with Thai curries
Mangos - A sweet delicious tropical fruit that can either be eaten ripe or green. Good in salads, desserts and drinks
Sweet Rice - Rice used in the north and northeastern part of Thailand as a main staple food. In other parts of Thailand it is used in desserts. It has a sticky texture.