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Thai herbs and spices

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The pulp is used to give a pleasant sour taste to some soups, curries and Pad Thai. Also used to make sweets and refreshing drinks.


Used extensively in many Thai dishes such as curries, spicy soups and salads.

สะระแหน่ sà-rá-nàe

Used in many Thai salads and sometimes as a way to suppress the 'muddy' taste of certain fish when steamed.

ต้นหอม dtôn hŏm

Spring onions may be cooked or used raw as a part of salads, salsas, or Asian recipes. Diced scallions are used in soup, noodle and seafood dishes, as well as sandwiches, curries or as part of a stir fry. In many Eastern sauces, the bottom half-centimetre (quarter-inch) of scallions roots is... more


Chinese celery is used in cooking more for its flavor than for its texture, and is rarely served by itself as a vegetable. It has a crunchy, watery flavor.

กะเพรา gà prao

Holy basil has a distinctive scent of clove and reddish tipped leaves. It is used, for instance, in the well-known Kraphao mu (minced pork fried with basil).


A variety of the sweet basil with a taste of anise. It is used in different curries such as red and green curry and often also served separately.

ผักชี pàk chee

The leaves are seen often as a garnish with many Thai dishes. It is indispensable for Tom yam soup.

รากผักชี râak pàk chee

The roots of the coriandrum sativum are often used in curry pastes and certain soups such as Tom yam kung.

กระเทียม grà tiam

Besides being used cooked or fried, garlic is used raw in many dips and salad dressings. It is also served raw on the side with several Thai dishes such as Khao kha mu (stewed pork served on rice) or as one of the ingredients for dishes such as Miang kham.

ขิง kĭng

Either served raw (shredded or diced) with dishes such as Miang kham and Khanom chin sao nam, in certain chilli dips, or in stir fried dishes of Chinese origin.

ขมิ้น kà-mîn

This yellow coloured root is often used in dishes of Muslim/Southern Thai origin and in Northern Thailand for Northern style curries.

ข่า kà

The perfume-like scent and flavour of the galangal root is characteristic for many Thai curries and spicy soups.


This sweet smelling leaf is used for flavouring different sweet snacks/desserts. It is also used in the well known dish Kai ho bai toei, deep fried chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves, as well as to stuff the belly of barbecued fish


Shallots, not onions, are essential for Thai cuisine. They are used for making Thai curry pastes, salads, and certain condiments and pickles. They are also served raw on the side with certain dishes such as khao soi.

พริกไทยอ่อน prík tai òn

Thai cuisine often uses fresh (green) peppercorns in stir fried dishes and in certain curries such as Kaeng pa (so-called Jungle Curry).

พริกขี้หนู prík kêe nŏo

This small chilli is one of the spiciest and used extensively in Thai cooking. The Thai name literally translates to "mouse-dropping chilli"

พริกแห้ง prík hâeng

Dried chillies can be used in many ways in Thai cuisine: either ground into chilli flakes and used as a condiment, as an ingredient for Thai curry pastes, in chilli pastes and dips, or deep-fried and served whole with certain dishes.

มะนาว má-naao

Indispensable to Thai cuisine, it serves as the main ingredient for adding acidity to Thai dishes such as with Tom yum and Larb. It can also be eaten chopped together with the peel in dishes such as Miang kham. Mixed with sugar and water it serves as a refreshing drink. Also marinated as Manao... more

ใบมะกรูด bai má gròot

Kaffir lime leaves are widely used in spicy Thai soups and curries, either cooked whole, together with the dish, and/or finely shredded and added before serving.


An ingredient of dishes such as kaeng tai pla. It is used in some kroeung pastes of Cambodian cuisine and is known as k'cheay (Khmer: ខ្ជាយ). In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen. It is sometimes confused with Alpinia officinarum, another plant in the family Zingiberaceae which is... more


The leaves are used in certain Thai curries and it is also indispensable for the noodle dish khanom chin nam ya.


Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupes of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying; the heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes are dried... more


Fresh dill is used mainly in certain soups and in curries from north-eastern Thailand which do not contain coconut milk. It literally means "coriander from Laos" in Thai.