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Guide to vegetables, herbs and roots used in Thai cooking.
(the Thai name is in parentheses). Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3
Chayote (Mala Waan in Thai) Sugar Cane (Oye in Thai) Sherlihon (Pak Gat Kluay or Hmong Gai Choy)
Sher-lihon (Pak Gat kaan Kluay and Hmong Gai Choy in English) tastes similar to Bok Choy and is steamed, stir-fried and pickled.
Chayote (Mala Waan) tastes like fuzzy gourd and is used in Red Curry with Chicken, Clear Hot Soup with Fish and other stir-fried dishes. Sugar Cane stick (Oye) Thai people eat sugar cane as a candy and it's added to soup broth for sweet flavoring. Sugar cane is also used as a skewer for grilling.
Bittermelon Leaves Doke Kare flowers Edible Fern Thai vegetable
Edible Fern (Pak kood) In the Northern region of Thailand this fern is well known as pak kood and is used in Bamboo Soup (Gang Naw Mai), Om and is cooked in a salad called Soob Pak Kood. It's also steamed and eaten with fish dipping sauce.
Bitter melon Leaves (Yod Mala) have a bitter taste and are very good in the Issan dish Beef Om. They're also steamed and eaten with dipping sauce. Bitter melon leaves are often available at farmers markets. Dok Kare is an edible flower of the Kare tree. They're white and light green in color. Dok Kare is often steamed and eaten with fish dipping sauce. It's also good for Hot and Sour Soup with Mud fish (Gang Som Dok Kare Pla Chon)
Kee Lek Thai vegetable Pak Kadone Pak Waan Thai vegetable
Kee Lek leaves have a strong bitter taste and have to be boiled in hot water and drained several times before they're used to make Curry with Beef Tendon (Gang Kee Lek Sai En Voaw). It is a most unique curry! Pak Kadon is a wild vegetable that grows in rice fields. It has a unique taste that's similar to hairy bean (tua hair). Kadon is usually eaten raw with meat salad (Laab) and the leaves are similar to bai ma muang himapaan (cashew nut leaves) Pak Waan has very plain taste and is good for steaming and serving with dipping sauce. Pak Waan is also used to make soup with smoked fish or ant's eggs.
Pak Thew Thai vegetable Pak Kaat Thai vegetable Okra (makeua sawanh)
Pak Thew is a wild vegetable like Kadon and Kee Lek. It has a sour taste like Young Tamarind leaves and is good for Hot and Sour Fish Soup. Pak Thew is also eaten raw with meat salad (Laab) and Kao Tod Nam Klook (Rice Curry Salad). Pak Kaat is well known in Northeast Thailand and is used for fish curry and beef. Both the leaves and the flowers are added to the curry and it has a smell like raw beef. Pennywort (Bai Bua Bok or Pak Ngong in Isaan) grows wild like a groundcover and tastes a little bitter. Pak Ngong is made into a juice called nam bai bua bok and is also eaten raw with coconut noodle curry, Pad Thai and Laab.
Satoh Thai vegetable Tamarind leaves Hairy Bean (Tua Hair in Thai)
Satoh bean is similar in appearance to a lima bean and is used in stir-fries and curries and is also eaten raw with dipping sauce. Satoh is well known in the south of Thailand and tastes like Katin and Chaom. Tamarind Leaves (Yod Makaam On) are sour and are eaten with salt as a snack and used to replace lime or lemon in chicken and fish soups. Hairy Bean (Tua Hair in Isaan) is eaten raw with meat salad (Laab) and tastes like Kadon leaves. It's mostly found in Northeast Thailand
Sesame Leaves (bai nga) are used to wrap up beef for grilling (they can substitute for Beefsteak Plant (Shiso leaves) and taste similar to chapoo leaves.
Drumstick Tree Fruit is often called Malunggay in Asian markets as that is what it's called in the Philippines. The pods are about 6 inches to 1 foot long. Tindora (Luuk Tum Loong in Thai) is boiled and eaten with dipping sauce or stir-fried. They resemble cucumbers, but are only 1-2 inches long. They can be found in Indian markets.
Thai Edible Flower (dok grah-geow) tastes similar to ginger and can be purchased frozen imported from Thailand.
Vegetable Guide
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