Thai cooking ingredients

Thai Cooking at home | Thai Ingredient MUST HAVES!


Cooking Thai food at home is not just a culinary task—it's an adventure brimming with vibrant colours, tantalizing aromas, and bold, mouth-watering flavours. The secret to mastering the rich and diverse tastes of Thai cuisine yourself, lies in using the right sauces and seasonings. These essential ingredients are the heart and soul of  many Thai dishes, transforming simple recipes into extraordinary culinary experiences.

In this blog post, we're excited to introduce you to some essential Thai cooking staples that you can easily find in UK supermarkets. We'll dive into their unique uses, suggest delicious alternatives, and give you an idea of their costs. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a curious beginner, get ready to embark on a delightful Thai culinary journey that will bring the flavours of Thailand right into your kitchen!

Thai Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)Thai ingredients to cook Thai food at home

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £3.00 per 200ml bottle
  • - Commonly Used In: Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry
  • - Why It's Essential: Adds a salty and savoury umami depth to dishes, a cornerstone of Thai cuisine.
  • - Alternative: Soy sauce can be used, but it imparts a different flavour profile.



Light and Dark Soy SauceThai Ingredients to cook Thai food at home

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.00 - £2.00 per 150ml bottle
  • - Commonly Used In: Stir-fries, Fried Rice, Noodle Dishes
  • - Why It's Essential: Provides a salty, savoury taste and dark colour to Thai stir-fries.
  • - Alternative: Light soy sauce can be used for a milder flavour.




Oyster Sauce

 Thai ingredients to cook Thai food at home Oyster Sauce

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £3.00 per 200ml bottle
  • - Commonly Used In: stir fry dishes, noodles etc
  • - Why It's Essential: Creates a base sauce for Thai dishes that contributes to the overall fluid and texture to the dish
  • - Alternative: mushroom based oyster sauces can be used to create vegan Thai dishes





Coconut Milk (Chaokoh Brand) 

 Thai ingredients to cook Thai green curry at home Chaocoh coconut milk

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.00 - £2.00 per 400ml can
  • - Commonly Used In: Most Thai curries such as Massaman Curry, Green Curry, Thai Desserts
  • - Why It's Essential: Imparts creamy richness and balances spiciness in Thai curries.
  • - Alternative: Coconut cream or milk from other brands can be substituted.



Palm Sugar


  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £3.00 per 200g blockThai ingredients to cook Thai at home Palm sugar
  • - Commonly Used In: Pad Thai, Stir-fries, Thai Desserts
  • - Why It's Essential: Adds a unique caramel-like sweetness to Thai dishes.
  • - Alternative: Brown sugar or granulated sugar can be used.



Tamarind Paste


  • - Approximate Cost: £1.00 - £2.50 per 227g jarThai ingredients to make pad Thai. Tamarind paste
  • - Commonly Used In: Pad Thai, Tamarind Soup (Kaeng Som), Dipping Sauces
  • - Why It's Essential: Lends a tangy, slightly sour taste to many Thai dishes.
  • - Alternative: Lime juice mixed with brown sugar can replicate the tanginess.


Red Curry Paste 


  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £3.00 per 400g tubThai ingredients. Thai red curry
  • - Commonly Used In: Red Curry, Panang Curry, Stir-fries such as prik gaeng
  • - Why It's Essential: The backbone of many Thai curries, it delivers spice and flavour.
  • - Alternative: Homemade curry paste or choose from the many other alternative brands



Green Curry Paste

 Thai ingredients. Thai green curry

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £3.00 per 400g tub
  • - Commonly Used In: Green Curry, Stir-fries, Soups
  • - Why It's Essential: Creates the vibrant, aromatic base for green curry dishes.
  • - Alternative: Make your own green curry paste or choose from the many other alternative brands


Thai Basil Leaves

 Cook Thai food at home Thai Basil leaves

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.00 - £2.50 per bunch
  • - Commonly Used In: Pad Krapow (Basil Stir-fry), Thai Basil Chicken and most curries
  • - Why It's Essential: Infuses dishes with a distinct sweet and peppery flavour.
  • - Alternative: your everyday Sweet Italian style basil can be substituted and works incredibly well also.



Galangal (Fresh or Paste)

 Thai ingredients Galangal

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.50 - £2.50 for fresh, £1.00 - £2.50 for paste
  • - Commonly Used In: Tom Kha Soup, Red Curry, Green Curry
  • - Why It's Essential: Offers a citrusy, piney flavour and is a close relative of ginger.
  • - Alternative: Ginger can be used as a substitute.



Lemongrass (Fresh or Paste)

 Thai Ingredients: Lemongrass

  • - Approximate Cost: £1.00 - £1.50 for fresh, £1.00 - £2.50 for paste
  • - Commonly Used In: Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry, Marinades
  • - Why It's Essential: Adds a zesty, citrusy aroma and flavour to Thai dishes.
  • - Alternative: Use lemon zest or lemon juice for a similar tang.


Seasoning powder

 Thai ingredients cook Thai food at home

  • - Approximate Cost: £6 - £10 per pack
  • - Commonly Used In: Most Thai dishes to add the umami flavour we all love and crave
  • - Why It's Essential: brings out the natural flavours in Thai dishes and boosts the complexity
  • - Alternative: Use mushroom based seasonings to create vegan dishes



To Conclude our Thai shopping list

By stocking up on these essential Thai sauces and seasonings, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your culinary adventure. Whether you're crafting a spicy curry, zesty stir-fry, or a refreshing Thai salad, these ingredients will help you capture the authentic flavours of Thailand right in your own kitchen.

And as always...Happy cooking! 


About Mae Ja Thai Food Online Delivery Service

All of our gourmet Thai cooking sauces are hand crafted in the UK and are posted directly to you, So if you are looking for a Thai Food delivery service in the UK that specialises in authentic flavours of Thailand delivered to your doorstep, give Mae Ja Thai Foods a try, You wont be disappointed.

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