Seven Common Mistakes
Innocently Make With Thai Food
Make any one of these mistakes and you will achieve substandard Thai food and potentially ruin your meal and most probably won’t be any the wiser until you get it right, then you’ll taste the difference with a great big WOW!!
Remember that Khwanjai is a Thai Chef and instructor with 25 years experience! It may not look like sometimes, as it can take 4 re-takes until she slows down enough for you to see, and trying to stop her picking up the wok and tossing is a constant battle, we do this so you can see clearly what is going on step by step!
These are the most common mistakes she has seen people making, even Thai chefs. If you follow our recipes and tutorials closely, you will not make the same mistakes
Using The Wrong Rice:
Traditional Thai food uses only Jasmine rice and the fresher the better, fresh Jasmine rice has a lovely aroma even before cooking, it is soft, light and fluffy when cooked properly.
The only time Thais will use another rice, is if they can not afford Jasmine, although they will usually do without something else first. Unless of course they are making sticky rice which is completely different in making and use.
See our Perfect Jasmine Rice for more tips and mistakes to be avoided
Too much Chilli:
A classic case of “over egg-ing the pudding”
Far too many people underestimate the power of chillies, they can easily drown out all the other flavours and aromas by numbing your taste buds, all because they like it spicy, they miss so much that was intended to be enjoyed.
All our recipes are set out so this doesn’t happen, that way you get to enjoy the spicy chillies AND all the other flavours as well.
Cooking The Ingredients In The Wrong Order:
Many Thai recipes use leaves and roots and spices, together with fruits and vegetables, some have strong flavours and some subtle in the same recipe, the trick to perfection is knowing when to put them into the cooking pot in the process to get that balance right.
You will learn this as you begin to understand the ingredients and their properties, freshly dug roots taste and have different properties to older ones, which goes in soup and which goes in stir fry? Do you use more or less?
It’s far too in depth for here, suffice to say Khwanjai, after years of experience just knows, so by following her recipes to the letter you will be assured of getting it right every time.
Classic example: “Som Tam” – Spicy Papaya Salad we’ve even seen this one made backwards Yugh!!
Failing To Prepare Properly First:
This might seem a bit obvious at first, but so many people do it, if it’s a new recipe have it printed out in front of you, with your notes. Use it as a check list to be sure everything is to hand. Khwanjai still does this for any new recipe or even something she hasn’t cooked for a while
Thai cooking in a lot of cases and particularly “Stir Fry” is fast and furious on high heat, you only need to be missing one vital ingredient and, texture, flavour and aroma can waft into the extractor while you find it.
Timing is everything with Thai cooking! That’s why we always remind you to print off recipes before you watch the video, so you can make notes.
Hand in hand with the previous one, over cooking is a primary cause of Thai food disasters, and the culprit often never knows better.
Thai food is about fresh ingredients, often cooked quickly on high heat to warm them whilst retaining their best qualities of flavour, aroma, texture and many ingredients flavours change or can lessen (or increase) the longer they cook, meat can become tougher, so you can see why this is important
Cooking Too Slowly or On Low Heat:
This is how people try to avoid burning and end up over cooking by the back door, unfortunately it creates the similar problems and has its own set on top, meat becomes tough, veggies go soggy, juices simmer away, loss of balance of flavours etc etc. We only use an ordinary gas cooker so that you can replicate it easily.
The Wrong Ingredients:
Classic mistake #1 Oh, I’ll use Thai Sweet Basil instead of Holy Basil or another herb entirely.
They may both be basil but have hugely different strong flavours, so will change the whole balance of any meal. This applies to other ingredients and there are suitable alternatives for any ingredient, these have naturally developed over time, but some are an absolute No No!
Okay, another example, I can’t get eggplant for my red curry, an apple or pear sounds like a good idea, fruity, fleshy etc. Right?
Wrong! It may taste OK but I doubt it, far better would be Pumpkin or Potato which both have naturally similar properties to egg plants, BLAND and fleshy
We always give you suitable alternatives for known “difficult to get” ingredients and if we don’t and you’re struggling, ask us and we’ll suggest something so you avoid this classic mistake
Finally, if they are involved, we cover “special ingredients” in detail in our videos. If we miss any thing you want to know, send an email to admin at Thai Cooking School.org
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