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These are some of my favorite brands for Thai cooking...
When I was a kid we used many of these same brands for cooking and I continue to use them today. The ingredients you use can have a big impact on the food you prepare. I make a point in my Thai cooking classes to explain why I prefer certain brands and my students appreciate not having to try many different brands in order to get the right taste. All of the brands shown on this page should be available at an Asian market near you (or online at www.templeofthai.com).
Mae Krua Oyster Sauce is recommended both for the flavor and because it doesn't contain MSG, as does Lee Kum Kee, another popular brand. Golden Mountain Soy Sauce is a great all-purpose soy sauce for cooking. It's great in fried rice and many other Thai dishes.
Squid Brand Fish Sauce is a great-tasting fish sauce that's suitable for use in any Thai dish or it can take the place of salt in a recipe. Pla ra fish sauce differs from the fish sauce on the left because it's not clear and has quite an aroma. It's a key ingredient in Isaan Som Tum and other dishes.
Mae Ploy Curry Paste is the recommended brand; Maesri, which comes in a can, is also good. Freeze leftover curry paste to preserve the taste. Chaokoh Coconut Milk is recommended, with A-roy D and Mae Ploy good as well. For coconut cream, Savoy is a good brand.
Kwong Hung Seng black soy sauce, which is used to color noodles, is also called Dragonfly brand (the opposite side of the label features a dragonfly). Kwong Hung Seng thin soy sauce (also called light soy sauce), is not just diluted with water. It's lighter in flavor, but still very salty.
Erawan Rice Stick, which comes in small through XL sizes, is good for stir-fried noodle dishes like Pad Thai and noodle soup (Kuaytiaw).
Silver bean thread noodles are made from green mung beans and are also called cellophane noodles or pink net in stores.
Little Chef Egg Roll Wrappers (the label says spring roll pastry) can be found in the frozen section in Asian markets. Another common brand, TYJ, is from Singapore. Rice paper is used to make spring rolls. They can also be used to make egg rolls for those who are gluten-intolerant.
Shark Brand Sriracha Sauce, great as a dipping sauce for meat and seafood, is made in Thailand and comes in glass bottles. Pantai Sauce for Spring Rolls is a great dipping sauce for egg rolls and other deep-fried foods. Cock brand is also good.
Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce, made in the US, comes in a plastic bottle and has a picture of a rooster on the label. Healthy Boy Mushroom Soy is a delicious soy sauce. It's favored by vegetarians for it's rich flavor.
Rice flour is used in many Thai desserts and is safe for use by those who are gluten-intolerant. Sticky rice flour is used in many Thai desserts and is safe for use by those who are gluten-intolerant.
Tapioca starch is used in many Thai desserts and as a thickener. Soyabean Sauce with Chili by Pantai (Nam Prik Pao in Thai) is used in many different dishes.
Golden Mountain Brand Vinegar is the recommended vinegar. You can substitute with vinegar from a grocery if necessary.
Lion and Globe Peanut Oil is recommended for it's flavor. It comes in either bottles or cans.
Sea salt is highly recommended for Thai cooking for it's flavor. It's available in Asian markets and some supermarkets in fine or coarse grades. Tamarind fruit is available in packages with the seeds removed and can be made into a paste for cooking.
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