The Secret of that Thai Taste

Most people who have been to Thailand will agree that once you have tasted locally prepared food, then Thai restaurants in the rest of the world pale into insignificance, as the true taste is seldom recreated outside Thailand, but why is this?

The reason is glaringly simple if you watch Thai food being prepared anywhere in the country, from a simple street stall to an up market restaurant – fresh ingredients and good preparation.

Typically, a person preparing a Thai dish will not use any form of pre-prepared seasoning. Instead they will use a mortar and pestle to grind herbs and spices together, to create the flavouring for the dish. The exception to this is curry paste, which will usually be purchased from a local market, although this has previously been prepared in the same way.

In the same way that Thai people pay great attention to the actual preparation of the raw ingredients, they also demand that all food cooked be fresh. Thai people do not stock their fridges, they do not fill up their freezers, instead they work on a buy today eat today basis. Each day, fresh food will be purchased for consumption for that day alone.

So here are the two real tricks to achieving that great Thai taste when cooking at home. Firstly, always use entirely fresh produce whenever you can. Secondly, avoid pre-made or off the shelf seasonings, instead prepare them yourself using the raw ingredients.

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