The 5 Flavors of Thai Posted by palmisano on Feb 25, 2013 in Beginner
I consider myself a decent cook, and love the food I eat. I can cook food from around the world, from American, cajun, Mexican, Japanese, Indian – you name it. But there is something about Thai food which always causes me to fail. One of my favorite Thai foods is pad see ew, but no matter how many times I try cooking it myself it never tastes right. I either forget one of the many ingredients, or use too much of a certain ingredient, or something . . . hey if I knew what I was doing wrong I wouldn’t be doing it wrong!
I think what makes Thai food cooking so difficult is the careful balancing of flavors and spices. As I understand it, every Thai food needs at least two of the five major flavors to taste right. It’s a yin and yang thing, a sweet and sour (pork) balance.
The 5 major flavors are:
What ingredients are used to achieve these flavors in Thai food? Here is the quick list:
Sweet – cane and coconut palm sugar
Sour – lime, tamarind, mango, pineapple, and other sour fruits
Spicy – chili peppers, peppercorns
Salty – sea salt, fish sauce
Bitter – bitter melon, and raw leaves from various plants and trees (either wild or cultivated)
Here is how to say it all in Thai:
|Lime (and lemon)
And a few more useful words to describe the ingredients for your food:
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