Home from marketing you are ready to being. The time you will have to spend actually cooking is quite small, which is why Thai food is ideal for the Western dinner party. But there is a price to pay for this everything does have to be prepared in advance, and that means a lot of slicing chopping and pounding to ensure that all the ingredients are lined up ready for the quick burst of cooking that you will finally do.
There is a charming myth that because knives are sign of aggression they are never seen at the Thai meal and that is why everything has to be cut down to a size that can be eaten with on a spoon with rice.
InThailandthey prefer the ingredients prepared in as delicate a way as possible. So think small. Vegetables cut finely cook quickly and thus retain the maximum amount of their essential goodness. Garlic, shallots, ginger, chilies, ect, are very finely sliced, slivered or chopped. Hard vegetables just like carrots and potatoes are cut or sliced in small pieces; green vegetables such as broccoli are cut into small florets.
STIR – FRYING
If you have ever cooked a Chinese meal you will be familiar with this method of cooking. It is simple and fast, but requires your constant attention. As its name implies, ingredients are stirred while being cooked: the stirring is, in fact, more a matter of turning the ingredients in the cooking oil or liquid to ensure that they are exposed to the heated medium. It is best achieved in a long – handled wok over high heat since you can manipulate the cooking vessel over the heat source. It is very fast and vegetables should be cooked In this manner only for a few seconds. They should remain crisp and bright-colored.
Many dishes are steamed and a large steamer is a good investment. Steaming is timed from the moment the dish is placed over water already boiling in the lower section of the steamer and producing steam.
Any large frying pan or skillet will do, but if you are planning to cook Thai food regularly it would be sensible to buy a wok or even two.
A saucepan with tight lid is needed for cooking race, but again a moderate outlay will get an electric rice-cooker, which is easy to use, makes perfect rice and then keeps it warm for up to five hours. Highly recommended.
A pestle and mortar is used in all Thai kitchens; very often two of different weights ( a stone one for obtaining a really thoroughly – pounded blend, and a wooden one for a more gentle mixture). But a blender of food processor can also be used for more dishes and a coffe-grinder in needed for finely grinding spices for curried dishes.
Many older cooks may have a steamer of some sort, and large pans are available that have a steaming section. You can also use the Chinese bamboo steamers which can be bought in most oriental stores and specialist sections of department stores. For some dishes you can use an upturned bowl in a large saucepan of water to support a plate of food for steaming.
A coarse mesh long-handled strainer is also necessary for scooping food from the deep fryer, dipping noodles etc. They come in various sizes from Chinese and oriental stores. In some instances a slotted spoon could be substituted.
Apart form these, you only need what any well equipped kitchen should have; saucepans, a chopping board, a mincer or grinder for meat, a pan for deep frying and the usual range of kitchen knives, though if you plan to cook Thai food often you may find it practical to buy heavy Chinese chopping “axe” and a thin, ultra sharp knife for caving fruit and vegetables.