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10 Flavours Used in Thai Cuisine

Thai Cuisine

At The Lantern, we're passionate about bringing the vibrant flavours of Asia to your plate. Thai cuisine, in particular, is renowned for its intricate dance of sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and umami. Today, we're lifting the lid on 10 essential flavours that make Thai food so special, and how you might encounter them in our Asian fusion creations:

  1. Chillies - No list of Thai flavours is complete without mentioning chillies. From the fiery bird's eye chillies (phrik khi nu) to the milder red chillies (phrik daeng), they add a spectrum of heat that can be exhilarating or comforting. You might find them incorporated into our curries, stir-fries, or even as a condiment.

  2. Galangal & Lemongrass - These two superstars add an unmistakable depth to Thai dishes. Galangal, a close relative of ginger, boasts a citrusy and peppery aroma, while lemongrass brings a lemony fragrance with a touch of floral sweetness. Look for them in our fragrant curries, soups, and stir-fries.

  3. Kaffir Lime Leaves & Lime Juice - The aromatic kaffir lime leaves elevate dishes with their complex citrus and peppery notes. They are often used whole or bruised to release their essence. Lime juice, on the other hand, adds a burst of tangy freshness, balancing the richness of curries and brightening up salads.

  4. Fish Sauce & Shrimp Paste - These unique ingredients add an essential layer of umami, that savoury, brothy goodness. Fish sauce, a staple in Thai cooking, is made from fermented fish and salt, while shrimp paste offers a more intense seafood flavour. We use them judiciously to create depth in our sauces, stir-fries, and noodle dishes.

  5. Palm Sugar & Tamarind - Unlike refined sugar, palm sugar boasts a caramel-like sweetness that complements the savoury notes in Thai cuisine. Tamarind, on the other hand, adds a sweet and sour dimension, making it perfect for dipping sauces and curries.

  6. Coriander, Thai Basil, & Mint - Fresh herbs are the heart and soul of Thai flavours. Coriander brings a citrusy and slightly soapy note and is often used in garnishes and salads. Thai basil, with its unique anise-like flavour, is perfect for curries and stir-fries. Finally, mint adds a refreshing coolness to salads and certain noodle dishes.

  7. Spices - While not as prominent as in Indian cuisine, Thai food uses a selection of spices to add complexity. Common spices include turmeric (earthy and slightly bitter), cumin (warm and nutty), and white pepper (warm, with a touch of heat).

  8. Coconut Milk - A defining characteristic of many Thai curries and soups, coconut milk adds a touch of sweetness and a luxurious creaminess.

  9. Fish Sauce (Nam Pla Prik) - This lesser-known ingredient packs a powerful punch. Nam Pla Prik is a fish sauce that's been further fermented with roasted chillies, garlic, and other aromatics. It adds an intense savoury and funky depth to curries, stir-fries, and dipping sauces. 

  10. The Surprise Ingredient: Chillies Again! - Yes, chillies make a second appearance, but this time in dried form. Dried chillies add a smoky and complex heat to curries and stir-fries, complementing the fresh chillies' bright punch.

Thai fish cakes

Here at The Lantern, we incorporate these essential flavours into our Asian fusion creations across our menu, blending them with Indian culinary influences to offer a unique and delicious dining experience.

Explore the vibrant world of Thai & Indian flavours with us, and embark on a taste adventure for your senses! Book a table today!

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