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Showing posts from March, 2010

Thai Rice Varieties

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Rice is an ingredient that can be found on every menu within Thailand. However, what many do not realize is there are different varieties that are cooked in different ways.

One of the most popular types of rice throughout the country is fragrant jasmine rice. The grains are white in colour and long in shape. Another popular rice that is readily available is sticky rice, which is also named glutinous rice as it is gluten free. This rice is white in colour also and the grains are short in length. The rice has a sweeter taste and is often used in desserts such as mango sticky rice as well as in savoury dishes.

Throughout Thailand, rice is accompanied with most dishes and is also eaten in several different ways.

For instance, with a curry dish, steamed jasmine rice is typically served. However, with dishes such as fried chicken or pork, sticky rice is preferred.

Here is a quick guide to the different ways that rice is cooked:

1. Fried Rice - this is typically made with white rice, it is cooke…

Ramsay's Best Restaurant

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‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’ is an exciting new series dedicated to celebrating the finest restaurants in the UK. Restaurants nominated by the public will be tested to the highest level by Michelin starred chef Gordon Ramsay and the series will culminate in one culinary hero being crowned ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’. Gordon’s journey will see him travel the length and the breadth of Britain in search of brilliant restaurants that deliver gastronomic perfection and wonderful customer service. He’ll meet restaurant owners who refuse to be daunted by the threat from ubiquitous chains and who are determined to survive the recession on their own terms and with their exceptionally high standards intact. He’ll seek out culinary heroes working in the kitchens and front of house at independent restaurants across the UK whose brilliance deserves to be recognised. Each of the eight heats will focus on a different type of cuisine including Italian, French, Indian and British categories and this year…

The Essential Flavours of Thai Cuisine

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The essential ingredients which set Thai cuisine apart from the rest of the world are the five flavours blended together in each meal. All Thai dishes follow similar rules of having hot (spicy), sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours. Walk past stalls or markets with curries being made and you smell the distinct ingredients. The aromatic, chilli and rich smells are all blended together to make Thai food incredibly more-ish.

In addition to these flavours, Thais have a range of condiments to accompany the already quite spicy dishes. Nam chim or a selection of sauces are served in small containers, which have dried chilli flakes, sweet chilli sauce, nam pla phrik (fish sauce, chopped chilli, lime juice and garlic), sliced chilli in rice vinegar and sugar. Cucumber is found on the sides of a dish, to cool and cleanse the mouth, after eating fairly vicious sounding ingredients.

Anyone who has travelled to Thailand or eaten Thai food will understand the flavours being immense. The spiciness i…

Achieving that Authentic Thai Taste

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Many people find that they have a problem achieving as truly authentic Thai taste when they first try their hand at cooking Thai food. Western cooks are far more conservative that their Thai counterparts, and thus we tend to under flavour our foods, which is simply not the way to achieve proper tasting Thai food.

Don’t be shy with the spices


If you watch a Thai person cooking, they take a fairly cavalier attitude with herbs and spices. They never measure anything exactly, instead they add these ingredients to their own taste, using their experience of cooking the dish in question. In the west we are used to measuring herbs and spices in small measures, as we tend to add these things to bring subtle flavours to the dish, this is not so in Thailand, where the herbs and spices form the backbone of the flavour. So don’t be conservative with them, always add plenty.

Chillies do have a taste

Most people presume that chillies are added to a dish to simply make it spicy. This is simply not true, …

Using Garlic the Thai Way

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Garlic is used as a cooking ingredient all over the world. However, in the Western World we tend to use garlic sparingly, and when we do use it we tend to prepare it quite differently than Thai people do in Thailand.

In the west we tend to peel the outer skin from the cloves of garlic, we also chop it finely or squeeze it through a garlic press. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this way of preparing garlic, it must be said that this destroys the flavour somewhat. Thai people would never consider treating their garlic so badly!

Smash it Whole:
The primary way in which garlic is used in Thai recipes, is as part of the base paste used to flavour the food. The garlic, along with other herbs and spices such as chillies, onion and black pepper will be thrown into a mortar and then ground down to a paste using a pestle. Note, the garlic is thrown in whole, including the skin, with no other preparation.

Skin it and Eat it Whole:
Another way in which garlic is used in Thai recipes, especially spi…