6 Healthy Ingredients Common to Real Thai Restaurants in London
Posted: May 20, 2017
A major chunk of eating places that claim to be the best Thai restaurant in London offer a wide range of Thai delicacies but they might not be offering genuine Thai fare. What is true Thai food anyway? Ask any famous chef in an authentic Thai restaurant and the answer will have high concentrations of flavour, real spices and whole ingredients without using the typical super-market stuff. London’s Thai food scene is quite interesting. You get good Thai food at affordable rates while some of the more famous Thai restaurants tend to be rather exorbitantly priced. Thai cuisine might look high on spices but that is just a glimpse of what lies within this genre of Asian food that insists on light, well-balanced diets eaten through the day rather than heavy meals. Made with a fusion of Asian, European and African cultures, Thai food is a rich combination of aromas, empowered with mind & body uplifting and immunity strengthening properties. Take a look at these Thai ingredients that should be a part of every truly Thai dish – something that any Thai restaurant of repute should have…
1. Turmeric: Heals, Flavouring Agent, Nutty, Handy Detoxifier!
Turmeric is a plant which is related to Ginger family and is a native to Asia. Mostly used in powder form, this herb is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. Let’s get a bit scientific here. The anti-oxidants present in body protect us from the damage caused by toxins and free radicals. This includes our immunity and tendency to age. Low anti-oxidant concentration means lesser immunity levels, more chances of falling ill or more propensity to develop signs of ageing. Curcumin, an active ingredient present in turmeric, can protect platelets and fight away the damaging action of free radicals. Best restaurants in London and around the world swear by the use of turmeric. The colour is golden yellow and intensifies with each pinch you add. Used very commonly in Thai dishes like Yellow Curry that is a staple back home, in Thailand and is regularly consumed with rice and lightly fried veggies.
2. Galangal: Best Thai Restaurant London Boasts of cannot get enough of this Exotic Herb!
A healing herb, high on flavour and easy to use as a part of everyday cooking. If there is one Thai ingredient that can be called native to Thailand and is most likely to be found in the arsenal of any famous Thai chef, Galangal has little completion. As a herbal ingredient, it aids digestion. Thai food is high on preparations that are sour and some people feel the need for a calming herb. Galangal is known to alleviate symptoms of ulcers and inflammation of stomach. It can also provide relief in vomiting, seasickness and motion sickness. One interesting fact is that it can even cure hiccups. Best restaurants in London have many preparations that are high on this wonderful herb. Used in typically Thai dishes like Tom Yum Soup.
3. Lemongrass: for Gastronomic Aromatherapy!
You don’t expect chefs from the best Thai restaurant London has to offer to speak about secret ingredients. If these professionals were to confess what makes truly Thai food so soulful, they would probably spell out LEMONGRASS. Why? Just check the credentials of this herb. Not just a Thai restaurant but even a spa or wellness center is likely to have lemongrass in some form, usually as an essential oil. The aromatic oil is known to calm the body and mind. Lemongrass not only brings soothing aroma, it also serves as a common therapy to get rid of cold and flatulence. Now, fast forward to some of the most recommended soups that the best Thai restaurants in London and around the world propose when you have had a bad day at the office or are suffering from the chills – a soup like Tom Yum Soup that is high on lemongrass, the herb, and seems quite effective in treating a case of running nose. It is also beneficial in treating symptoms of fever, headache and abdominal pain. One of London’s most famous lemongrass applications is lemongrass chicken that can be counted as one of the most aromatic chicken preparations coming from a Thai kitchen.
4. Kaffir Lime Leaves: this is what gives Thai curries their characteristic kick?
Do you know what makes Thai restaurant dishes so zesty and flavourful? It is Kaffir lime leaves – this is not an easy ingredient to understand. Some call it lemony, some say it has a lime-like taste but there is no clear definition of how these leaves taste or add more tanginess to the dish. The reason lies in the texture and potency of Kaffir leaves that seem to taste different based upon how well they have been preserved or how fresh they are. Use a bit too much and the result might overwhelming for those still getting accustomed to Thai cooking. A main ingredient in making curry paste, it is known for cleansing the blood while supporting cardiac health too. It also assists digestion and promotes dental and oral health. Used in Thai dishes that are high on the curry, Lime leaves of Kaffir are most likely to be spotted in the best restaurants of London serving authentic Thai fare – this is a surety! Typical Thai dishes that are high on Kaffir lime content include Tod Mun, Phanaeng curry, Tom Kha Gai, Mushroom Tom Yum, Sour Bamboo Curry, and Kua Gling Moo.
5. Coconut Milk: Tropical Fruit Milk Essential to Real Thai Food!
People who say there are real alternatives to pure coconut milk sans the additives and preservation are lying – ask any chef churning out the bestsellers in any of the best Thai restaurant London has to offer and you will get a confirmation. Real coconut milk in Thai dishes is akin to having a cup of coffee or tea in the morning as a part of our lifestyle habits. Extensively used and extremely healthy, coconut milk provides cholesterol-lowering ingredients apart from adding texture and thickness to the dish. It does not steal the effect of spices and only heightens the impact of fresh flavouring agents. Finding Thai Green Curry sans coconut milk? You are in the wrong Thai restaurant!
6. Pandan Leaves: first on the check-list for "authenticity" of Thai food
Visit the best restaurants in London famous for their Thai offerings, and order a handful of dishes. Search around for flavours, test your taste buds and if they say that Pandan Leaves are missing, you are probably feasting on just another lookalike of real Thai food. Power packed with anti-oxidants and tannins, this is a lesser known herb, but has brilliant health benefits. Used in the simplest of Thai dishes, like Sweet Sticky Rice, Pandan Leaves is a must-have to create a true Thai platter. Applications include Pumpkin Sticky Rice Balls, Pandan Wrapped Chicken, and Ped Makahm.
London’s Thai Food Obsession Continues
While London’s romance with Thai cuisine is expected never to slow down, it is clear that you need to be more careful in your choice of restaurants. What seems like a pan-Asian food destination might be essentially just mixing up the best of Asian cuisines. The result might be tasty for a while but largely you will never get the satisfaction of having fully experienced and understood a cuisine. Thai cuisine needs special handling and all restaurants in London cannot do justice to it. Thai Square restaurant is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in London. Established with the aim of serving authentic Thai food, the restaurant chain has expanded to eleven in count and is still growing. It also has a reputation of using fresh ingredients, some are flown in especially from Thailand, every day.
I am a passionate content writer and I like to write about Restaurants & Hotel industry.