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Thai Food Ingredients and Substitutions


Whenever possible try to find the required Thai ingredients. Most are readily available at Asian Markets in the US and the UK.

Substitutions if Needed

Shallots = red or spanish onions
Bamboo shoots you may use asparagus in stir fry dishes
Thai chiles = pkrik kee nu serranos
Thai chiles = phrik chi fa jalapeno
Thai Chile Powder = ground up dried chiles = Mew Mexico Chiles
Thai Chiles bottled chile sauce, ground dried chile, or dried chile flakes
Lemon Grass= Equal amount of grated lemon zest with a bit of fresh lemon juice
Dried red Thai Chile = Chi fa haeng = jalapenos
Coconut milk = milk or soy with coconut flavouring
Fermented fish = anchovy paste
Nam Pla = Fish Sauce = anchovies pureed with a little water
Fermented pork = pork, marinaded in lime juice
Lime juice = lemon juice (but lime is best)
Limes = lemons (but lime is best)
Gourd leaves (bai dumleung) = watercress
Phak kana = Thai kale = broccoli
Makheau phuang = Thai pea eggplants = garden peas
Green mangoes = green papaya or sour green cooking apples
Palm sugar = light brown sugar
Shrimp paste = anchovy paste
Thai basil = Bai horapha = a mixture of Italian basil and mint
Tamarind juice 5 parts tomato catsup to 1 part vinegar
Mooli (white radish) = turnip or daikon
Kaffir Lime Leaves = bai magroot- use citrus levaes or lime zest
Thai Eggplants size of golf ball-Asian eggplant cut up
Pomelo = Som 0 = Pink Grapefruit
Galangal = Kha = Young ginger
Phak bung = Swamp cabbage = cabbage leaves
Ba mei = yellow egg noodle = Italian spagetti
Wunsen = cellophane or bean thread noodle
Phak chi = whole coriander/cilantro plant incl. the root
Thai celery = chinese celery = western celery
Maggi seasoning = equal volumes Worcestershire sauce and dark soy sauce
Banana Leaves (as wrappers)= fresh corn husks, ti leaves, or parchment paper
Sweet Soy Sauce 1 part soy sauce to 2 parts palm sugar boiled until syrupy, then cooled
Bulls blood = heavy red wine


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Content copyright © 2014 by Mary-Anne Durkee. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mary-Anne Durkee. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Mary-Anne Durkee for details.

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