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Old 07-17-2005, 09:59 AM   #1
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Taste of Thai

Every now and again I make curry paste. This opened a discussion with my younger brother about 'what is a true Thai flavor'. Curry always makes me think of Thai food but Tim says Lemongrass reminds him of Thai and that curry is too universal to be Thai specific (whatever).

My question;

What flavor or flavors remind you most of Thai cooking?



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Old 07-18-2005, 11:31 AM   #2
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There are also many, many Thai dishes that don't use curry at all.

I'll say fish sauce and lemongrass. But again, those are used in Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisines, as well, so they are not uniquely Thai.

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Old 07-18-2005, 11:36 AM   #3
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For me it would be lemongrass. Like Jenny said, it is not specific to just Thai food, but when I think of Thai I think of lemongrass. I might also add cilantro as well.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:44 AM   #4
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Smile Green Curry Paste


I'm new here and thought I'd chime in since this is such a fun topic and one I can relate to these days. I recently started cooking Thai dishes at home So far, the two ingredients that seem to remind me of Thai restaurant food are 1) coconut milk and 2) Green Curry Paste.

Boy, is green curry paste ever hot. You have to be careful with that stuff. The flavor is excellent, but too much will burn your tongue off.

Fish sauce also tastes very Thai to me, but I don't like fish, so I don't use a lot of it. As for cilantro, I love the stuff, but it reminds me of both Tex Mex and Thai at the same time.

I haven't used much lemon grass, but I do have some dried Penzey's lemon grass which I plan to break out soon.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:43 PM   #5
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Hello Cookie Monster!
Welcome to the family!
I'm with you when it comes to fish sauce - I always look for a substitute in the recipe! I love cilantro as well, and tend to overuse it quite often

We have some other texans on this site, and I'm sure they'll be along shortly to welcome you too.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:58 PM   #6
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I'd say Coconut Milk and Lemon Grass are the two ingredients that spring to mind when thinking Thai.

Curry (in my mind) is more Indian.

I realize that all of these ingredients are pretty widespread, but these still conjure thoughts of the cuisines indicated.

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Old 07-18-2005, 01:17 PM   #7
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For me personally curry is a sign of Indian cuisine.
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:19 PM   #8
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When I think of Thai I think of cilantro first thing - then coconut milk, lemongrass, and finally curry. It may not be in all Thai dishes but when you walk into a Thai restaurant that's what you smell - and it smells heavenly!

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Old 07-18-2005, 04:41 PM   #9
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I think I will have to give up the curry, It does remind more of Indian cuisine, and go with more of a lemon grass and coconut milk combination.

I was digging through some spice blends the other day to try and define a Thai flavor and came across the following rub recipe. I used it on chicken.

1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Anise seed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspooon ground cloves

I thought it was great. Reminded me of Asian cuisine but not Thai specifically. Maybe I will play with using lemongrass and ginger and see if it hits any nerves.

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Old 07-18-2005, 05:00 PM   #10
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I'm with CharlieD!

In the UK, 'curry' usually means Indian subcontinental food (most of our 'Indian' restaurants are actually Bangladeshi or Pakistani). Thai has become popular over perhaps the past 10 years or so - but I prefer 'Indian' curries!

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