Baby Corn are immature ears from regular-sized plants. It’s a few inches long, picked before it’s prime. It’s mildly sweet and has a satisfying snap to it.
It’s commonly used in Asian cuisine. Thailand is the main producer of the Stir-Fry Baby Corn.
The Bean Sprouts germinate from the Mung Bean. They can be eaten raw and are part of the most common Thai dishes such as Pad Thai or Spring Rolls. Bean Sprouts are a great source of nutrients and energy because they retain their properties until the moment of consumption. It is a source of vegetable protein, favors the immune system, relieves symptoms of menopause, has high levels of vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. It’s low in calories and a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Rich in beta-carotene, carrots are an important addition to Thai cooking, as they add a sweeter flavor as well as vibrant color and texture. Enjoyed both raw and cooked, the skin of the orange carrot is peeled before use.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, a member of the mustard family. The head is made up of bumpy florets attached to the main stem. Its use in a variety of food dishes, high in fiber and low – Carb.
A large-headed cabbage with firmly packed, light green leaves, the Chinese cabbage is rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients. It is highly absorbent, reflecting similar properties as the tofu by taking in its surrounding flavors. In Akha cuisine, Chinese cabbage is eaten raw, e.g. dipping it in the Akha dipping sauce, or as part of a clear soup with tofu and glass noodles.
Chives are an herb that belongs to the same family as the onion, leek and garlic. Sporting a light oniony flavor; the stalk, green upper portion is chopped and used in dishes like Pad Thai. Chives are low in calories and contain many vitamins, minerals and are high in antioxidants.
Coriander or Cilantro
Also known as Chinese parsley, this green leafy herb is very fragrant and edible in its entirety from the root up. The stem, root and seeds of the coriander are often used in Thai cuisine, as they are vital for creating a curry paste or making Thai soups, building a more dominant layer of flavor. The leaves make for a fresh and colorful end garnish.
Culantro is an herb, has a similar aroma to coriander but It has long, serrated leaves and looks like long-leafed lettuce, the leaves 2 inches wide and 1 foot tall. You can substitute with celery leaves.
It is a lesser known fact that cucumber originates from Southeast Asia as, nowadays, it grows on most continents and is used in numerous cuisines world-wide. In the Thai cuisine, the skin of the cucumber is always peeled off before consuming, leaving the succulent, refreshing inside of the fruit which consists of 90% water.
Daikon or white radish is a root vegetable similar in shape to a large carrot with a flavor similar to a mild red radish and slightly sweet. It’s grown in many Asian countries. It is well-known in Japanese cuisine.
Sometimes called “Thai ginger” and arguably the most difficult ingredient to find outside of tropical regions, galangal is a key factor in Thai cuisine. Being a close relative of the ginger root, and with a similar appearance, you can tell galangal apart by its paler, smoother skin. Slicing the root of this fragrant rhizome (member of the root family) is no easy tasks, but is necessary to retrieve that special zingy, fragrant flavor required in many Thai dishes.
Garlic may be familiar to you however, Thai garlic is slightly different mainly due to the slightly more purple color of its skin and its more intense taste. The cloves don’t need to be peeled by hand before use, as the skin is very thin. You can simply crush or chop the cloves and the skin comes right off.
Green Anaheim Pepper – Green Chili
The Anaheim pepper looks similar to the Jalapeño pepper, although it is much larger in size, and is a vital ingredient for the traditional green Thai curry. Anaheim chilies range up to nearly eight inches (20 centimeters) in length.
Green beans, also called snap beans or string beans are a rich source of vitamins A, C and K. It’s eaten raw or steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked around the world and is sold fresh, canned, and frozen.
Also known as scallions or spring onion, this particular species of bulbed vegetables have a lanky appearance with dark green tops, ending in a white stem that contains the most intense flavors found in the vegetable. The green onion’s taste is much fresher than that of a traditional onion, making it a perfect complement for several other ingredients used in Thai kitchen.
Hot Basil or Holy Basil
Holy basil is spicy rather than sweet when freshly picked. Its aromatic leaves hold an underlying peppery bite to them, making for a delicious combination of a minty-basil flavor. There are two varieties: a white-ish, light green type, and those with red colored leaves and a reddish-purple hue around the stems and undersides of the darker green areas. You can recognize holy basil by its jagged-edged leaves and fuzzy texture that noticeably differs from the appearance of Thai basil.
Kaffir Lime or Makrut Lime
A small, green fruit from the citrus family with rough, bumpy skin, that is native to tropical Asia. In Thai kitchen, only the zest (skin) and leaves of this fragrant fruit are used. Although the leaves are not directly eaten, their specific aroma makes them an indispensable factor for Thai cooking.
A long, grass-like plant which is used constantly in Thai cooking. Typically shed of its outer layer, roughly one-third of the white base is saved and crushed to release its fresh, lemony aroma. Added as another important layer of flavor in Thai dishes, lemongrass also contains multiple health benefits and is used for treating stomach aches, digestive problems, nausea, colds, high blood pressure, fatigue and more.
A lime is a hybrid citrus fruit, with a lime green color and containing acidic juice full of vitamin C. Many Thai dishes make use of the somewhat sour layer from the limes for contrast and to compliment different flavors in a dish. The lime is one of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine, and you will easily find lime trees growing amidst the gardens or yards of most Thai homes.
Also known as Chinese snake bean, these fleshy, pendulous pods are closely related to black-eyed peas. Long beans are typically harvested before they reach maturity between 30-80 centimeters in length, and are eaten as green vegetables. They are used in numerous Thai dishes.
Mint is in the Lamiaceae family and has various species, its bright flavor and scent to drinks and dishes. It‘s an aromatic herb that people have used for thousands of years to help an upset stomach or indigestion.
These fleshy, spore-bearing fungi play a big role in health and Thai kitchen. Mushrooms are used extensively in different Thai dishes, and are known as the “meat” of the vegetable world. Some popular dishes, such as Tom Kha Gai, use the texture and flavor of mushrooms to the fullest. They are a great source of vitamin D, are low in calories and boost your immune system.
This layered, bulb vegetable will be chopped, and used as an ingredient in many popular Thai dishes, including Tom Yam, Tom Kha Gai, and most stir-fried dishes. Onions are high in fiber, and good for your blood pressure.
Potatoes are originally from South America and are the most widely used root vegetable in the world. Numerous international cuisines sport these nutritious, low calorie vegetables for their minerals, tastes and starchy texture that is important for many dishes. In Thailand, potatoes are used in various dishes, particularly in Massaman and yellow curries.
Pumpkins derive from the squash family, and in Thailand we use Kabocha squash. Kabocha has an exceptionally sweet flavor compared to other squashes you may know. It is similar to a pumpkin in texture and to that of a sweet potato in flavor. Cooked pumpkin is very calming for the stomach and holds many beneficial nutrients for your body.
Red Cayenne Pepper – Red Chili
Cayenne peppers are a popular spice used in many different dishes of Thai cooking. They provide a less spicy flavor, and add color to the dish. Cayenne peppers are closely related to bell peppers, jalapeños and paprika, and contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganeses and flavonoid, which provide powerful antioxidants. Because of their health benefits, red cayenne has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Red Sun-Dried Anaheim – Pepper
Red Anaheim pepper is the ripened version of this type of pepper, once it has turned from green. When the vegetables turn, they are picked and sun-dried for preservation. To make Thai red curry paste, Massaman curry paste or Panang curry paste, the red sun-dried Anaheim peppers are cut into 1 cm long pieces, soaked in water for roughly 15-20 minutes, and drained before being put in the mortar to create the pastes.
Shallots have a milder taste and smell than that of an onion, so, in Thai cuisine shallots are normally consumed raw as they loose their flavor quickly when cooked. Shallots are known to be high in anti-oxidants, good for blood pressure and cholesterol.
Thai basil is a special herb with purple stems and flowers, as well as spear-shaped leaves. You can tell Thai basil apart from sweet basil by its wider, light green leaves. Sweet basil can substitute for Thai basil if necessary.
This type of eggplant is readily distinguishable by its golfball-like size and shape, as well as by its unique coloring. Being a favorite amongst the Thai people, the green, light green and white color variations of this beloved vegetable begin at the fruit’s stem as a vibrant hue, which fades into a creamy white color at its base. Their flavor is mild, and the seedy, white and pink flesh resemble that of a fig, with a firm and crunchy texture.
They say that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is knowing to not put it in a fruit salad. Tomatoes originated in Central and South America, spreading world-wide following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and is an important part of the Thai cuisine today.
Turmeric is another gnarly root of the rhizomes, and has been used in Asia for thousands of years. Because of its distinctive bright orange color when peeled, it was first used as a dye, and later for its medicinal properties. In Thai cuisine, fresh turmeric is used for coloring, flavor and health benefits.
The winter melon is a large Asian melon fruit that can grow up to more than one foot in length, and weigh over 40 pounds (18+ kilos). Its appearance resembles a large watermelon with a more oblong shape, and dark green, waxy skin. The flesh of the winter melon is sweet to the taste and has a white color.”