Thai vegetables provide lots of options for veggie fans, especially vegetarians and vegans, to enjoy savory Thai recipes. There are a lot of ways to cook tasty and sometimes exotic vegetable dishes. You will get tons of vitamins and fully balanced nutrition, not to mention lots of fantastic flavor!
In addition, people who are on diets will benefit from the reduced calories and limited fat intake of these veggie delights. You will be amazed at the diversity of meals you can make at home using your favorite vegetables.
Remember, Thai food will provide you plenty of culinary excitement, and by learning all about various vegetable ingredients, you will suddenly have a deeper appreciation of what traditional Thai cooking is all about.
Common Types of Thai Vegetables
Thai eggplants are small, green and round and can be found at Asian grocery stores. These eggplants are usually mixed into Thai curry recipes. The combination of delicious curry and tender eggplant blends nicely together. Thai curry fried rice is another recipe which traditionally uses eggplant, as well.
Thai Basil is minty and stronger than Italian basil. I love basil so much and cook with these aromatic leaves daily! We actually grow our own in the house! Basil makes everything so delicious. You can prepare basil fried rice, various types of curry, basil sauce and many more. There are 2 types of common Thai basils, which are the sweet basil and the holy basil. It is easier to find Thai sweet basil at your local food store, but either on works fine when cooking Thai at home.
Thai chilies, or Bird’s eye chilies, are hot and spicy necessities for cooking almost all varieties of Thai cuisine. Thai chilies are so spicy and sometimes even burn MY mouth. Because of the deliciousness of chilies, I love cooking spicy dishes and my family loves eating them. Chilies make your ordinary food into extraordinary cuisine. I almost always use fresh Thai chilies with every dish. However, sometimes I use dried red pepper flakes for a different effect.
Bamboo shoots are the young plants that grow from the ground. If you leave the young bamboo to develop, it will become a tall bamboo tree. This vegetable is available in cans or jars at local food stores for your convenience. I like to use bamboo shoots to prepare a variety of stir-fry dishes and bamboo is truly delicious in curry recipes.
Baby corn is small sized corn which is crunchy and sweet. The little corn are good for sautéing with many Thai sauce recipes and also yummy in a great number of Thai soup recipes. The mild taste of corn is easy to mix into your favorite dish. Kids love it because it is so adorable!
Bean sprouts are the little plants that grow from mung beans. The tiny sprouts are used in many noodle recipes, including sautéed Thai noodles and Thai noodle soups. The taste of this vegetable is so mild and delicate. Sprouts produce another unique texture for noodle dishes. Pad Thai recipes are typically cooked with bean sprouts and more are served raw on the side to add some crunchiness.
Recipes for Thai Vegetables
- Thai eggplant recipes use eggplants as the star ingredient for the main dish. There are a few varieties of eggplants to choose for cooking delicious Thai food. The long vibrant purple eggplants are called Chinese eggplants and are good to stir fry with Thai chili paste and season with spices. The curry recipes utilize Thai green eggplants to cook into curry sauces. However, you can use Italian eggplants to prepare the sautéed dishes or curry dishes if these are all that is available to you. These require a longer preparation time.
- Thai basil recipes showcase this ubiquitous Thai herb. Thai basil leaves produce a more exotic taste for your favorite recipes, Asian or not. Vegetable sautéed in basil sauce and fresh chilies heavenly! Thai basil fried rice is also awesome from the aroma of basil and the kick of spicy Thai chilies. Almost anything will benefit from Thai basil, even cocktails!
- Thai mixed vegetables are popular dishes in many Thai restaurants. These vegetable plates can be prepared as a main entrée, as well as the side dish. Every vegetable in the refrigerator can be used for preparing tons of delicious recipes. The cooking techniques involve quick preparations in order to keep the vegetable crunchy, not soggy.
Thai Vegetables Suggestions
Vegetable food does not sound boring anymore when the dish has enough seasoning to create complex and universally appealing flavors. Southeast Asian vegetable recipes are perfect alternative choices for veggie lovers who want to try Thai cuisine. Baked and boiled vegetables, ala western style, with butter, salt and pepper might be classic, but will never steal the show. Since my husband is a vegetarian, I cook vegetables with noodles, pasta or rice for him most of the time. He used to scoff at veggies, but now he became a vegetable lover.
Learning to cook Thai is easy and fun, and you will be able to use your new skills to get those veggies down your family’s throats! They will actually ask for seconds even the young kids! I love it. I literally dance when preparing my dinner to Lady Gaga’s music. It’s entertaining for me, delicious and healthy for my family. Are you ready to start cooking? Tonight let’s try some Thai vegetable recipes.