White turmeric is the underground stem (rhizome) of the tropical plant Curcuma zedoaria in the ginger family. About 80 species of Curcuma have been identified, including the better-known culinary member of the family, the turmeric, with its deep yellow pigment.
Quite rare in the west, white turmeric is used in Thai, Indonesian and Indian cuisines. It possess quite a long list of herbal remedies; maybe because its high levels of antioxidants.
Many recipes call for coriander root, garlic, and white peppercorns paste. While I have seen commercial preparations available, there is really no excuse not to use freshly made paste when needed. Successful cooking has a lot to do with the attention one gives to the flavor base and these three kings of Thai cooking should be taken very seriously.
Relishes are perhaps one of the most ancient forms of Thai food. Served with rice and some fresh vegetables normally picked from fences around the house. However, Thai simplicity is never blend.
nam phrik phao is designed to store well, almost indefinitely, and The Thai touch of ancient wisdom guarantees that besides being nutritionally balanced it is very delicious and clearly possesses its own unique personality.
Sand Ginger (Kaempferia galanga), commonly known as kencur, aromatic ginger, cutcherry or resurrection lily, is known in Thai as praw haawm (เปราะหอม) or waan haawm (ว่านหอม)
Sand ginger has a peppery camphory taste. It is one of four plants known as galangal, and is differentiated from the others by the absence of stem and dark brown rounded rhizomes, while the other varieties all have stems and pale rose-brown rhizomes.
It is belongs to the ginger family and can be found primarily in open areas in southern China, Taiwan, Cambodia and India, but is also widely cultivated throughout Southeast Asia.
Mung beans, or green beans as they are known in Thailand, are ovoid in shape, and green in color.
They are generally eaten either whole (with or without skins), as bean sprouts, or used in cooking – mostly in Thai desserts. Mung beans are green with the husk and called in Thai thuaa khiaao (ถั่วเขียว), when dehusked they are light yellow in color and referred in Thai as Golden Beans (thuaa thaawng ; ถั่วทอง)
Soybeans have been an integral part of Asian cooking since ancient times. The Chinese refined and disseminated the secrets of soybeans fermentation into savory food flavoring agents. From the Natto in Japan to the Indonesian Tempeh, Soybeans are in the roots of Asian cuisine.
In the northern parts of Thailand, the home of the gentle Lanna cuisine, we can find yet another type of fermented soybeans product called Tua Nao.
Ground roasted rice is often used in Thai Northern Eastern style cooking (Issan) in spicy salads as an aromatic and textural agent. Offering an unmistakably hearty and rustic bite to the food.
You can find it in almost any Asian supermarket and it is very simple to prepare. I do hope that you will overcome the temptation of reaching your hands to the supermarket shelve and prepare your own.