November 4, 2009

Essential Ingredients

While recipes will vary between cooks, there are some essential ingredients that I have become accustomed to using regularly when cooking Asian dishes, such as Thai or Vietnamese. If you want to start working with these sorts of recipes there are definitely a few items that are good to keep in stock. These are my recommendations:

  • dark soy sauce (used mostly for cooking)
  • light soy sauce (used mostly as a condiment)
  • ginger (fresh)
  • garlic (fresh)
  • lime
  • red chilli (chilli flakes can be useful as a reserve)
  • lemongrass
  • palm sugar
  • stock cubes
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • salt + pepper
  • sesame oil
  • sunflower/vegetable oil
  • star anise
  • rice vinegar/white wine

If you are unsure of what these products are or look like, check out Thai Food Online, which has a comprehensive guide to ingredients that you can also by, or, which does good recipes as well as being an online supermarket.

Don't forget you will also need a good wok, and a lot of chopsticks!