Essential Herbs and Spices in Thai Cuisine

The special combination of herbs and spices used in preparing Thai dishes is what gives Thai food its distinctive character. There are about 20 main herbs and spices which form the basis for Thai cooking. They help to achieve the balance between the four essential Thai tastes: salty, sour, spicy and sweet.

  • Chilies (prik)
  • Siamese Ginger (khaa)
  • Shallots (hom daeng)
  • Cinnamon (ob chuey)
  • Cardamon (look krawan)
  • Ginger (khing)
  • Basil (krapao)
  • Lemongrass (takrai)
  • Turmeric (khamin)
  • Kaffir Lime (makroot)
  • Lime (manao)
  • Sweet Basil (horapa)
  • Spring Onions (ton hom)
  • Pepper (prik thai)
  • Cloves (kaan phloo)
  • Lemon Scented Basil (maenglak)
  • Mace (dok chan)
  • Fish Sauce (nam plaa)
  • Mint (saranae)
  • Nutmeg (look chan)
  • Cumin (yiraa)
  • Pandanus Leaf (bai toey)
  • Galingale (krashai)
  • Garlic (kratiam)

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