41 Best Thai Spices – The Complete List

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Without herbs and spices, the world of food would be incomplete. They give food life, color, and flavor, and their exact combination and utilization creates unique tastes and identities in diverse cuisines.

Thai cuisine is noted for being spicy, aromatic, and delightfully complex, thanks to the liberal and innovative use of herbs and spices in their cooking.

In this essay, we’ll learn about the different spices that make Thai food so distinctive and unforgettable.

41 Best Thai Spices

  1. Lemongrass
  2. Coriander Root
  3. Coriander Seeds
  4. Cilantro or Coriander Leaves
  5. Cumin
  6. Cinnamon
  7. Ginger
  8. Galangal
  9. Garlic
  10. Birds Eye Chilis (Prik Kee Noo)
  11. Prik Mun Chili
  12. Spur Chili (Prik Chee Fah)
  13. Karen Chili (Prik Kaleang)
  14. Dried Chili Flakes (Prik Bon)
  15. Prik Noom
  16. Sweet pepper (Prik Yuak)
  17. Green Peppercorns
  18. White Peppercorns
  19. Black Peppercorn
  20. Thai Long Pepper
  21. Prickly Ash Seed (Makhwaen)
  22. Kaffir Lime Leaves
  23. Holy Basil (Bai Ga Prow)
  24. Thai Basil (Bai Horapa)
  25. Lemon Basil (Bai Manglak)
  26. Pandan
  27. Thai celery
  28. Culantro
  29. Turmeric
  30. Clove
  31. Bay Leaves
  32. Mustard Seeds
  33. Fenugreek
  34. Nutmeg
  35. Onion
  36. Scallions
  37. Shallots
  38. Cardamom
  39. Star Anise
  40. Tamarind
  41. Marsh Mint

41 Best Thai Spices

1. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is an Asian, Australian, and African perennial grass. It has the appearance of a robust spring onion, with a woody stem and long green leaves, but what distinguishes it is its citrus and lemony aroma. It is extensively used in Thai cuisine and adds a mild, fragrant scent to foods.

The stalk is mostly used in soups, salads, curry pastes, and sauces, while the leaves may be used to create tea or herbal infusions.

The bottom half of the lemongrass is normally left in bigger pieces for soups like Tom Yum Soup, but in order for it to absorb its particular taste, it must first be broken or pounded to release the scent. The stalks are cut into smaller bits for items like Green Curry or other kinds of curry pastes, then combined and pureed to produce a paste.

  • Long woody stem with green leaves, fragrant with zesty and lemony smell.
  • Lemon or citrus flavor with a hint of mint
  • Uses: Tom Yum soup, green curry paste, sauces, herbal teas
  • Antioxidant, antibacterial, beneficial for digestion, good for respiratory disorders, relieves common cold

2. Coriander Root

While coriander roots are often discarded or not even sold in Western cookery, they are crucial in Asian food, particularly Thai cooking.

In Thai, it is known as rak phak chi and is commonly crushed and blended with garlic and chilis in a mortar and pestle as a seasoning basis for soups, curries, marinades, and dips.

The root is the most tasty and aromatic component of the plant, and Thais know this and utilize it liberally in their cooking.

Coriander roots are very fragrant and have a slightly spicy taste that mellows into a mildly sweet flavor when cooked.

Its flavor is unique from the stems and leaves, and there is no genuine alternative for the depth it adds to a meal.It is essential to wash it before to use in order to remove some of the dirt and contaminants from your dish.

  • Coriander plant root with fragrant properties
  • Aroma or taste: Aromatic and somewhat spicy flavor. When cooked, it becomes mildly sweet.
  • Grinding and using in soups, curries, marinades, and dips
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it enhances heart health.

3. Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds have a taste that is warm, earthy, nutty, citrusy, and somewhat spicy. Before using it in cooking, it is usually roasted and pounded into a powder.

Even though they originate from the same plant, coriander seeds do not taste like the plant’s roots or leaves. Coriander seeds have a more earthy and warm taste than the leaves. They are used as meat marinades and as a spice basis in curries such as Massaman curry.

  • Characteristics: Small and light brown in color
  • Warm, earthy, nutty, somewhat spicy, and lemony flavor or aroma
  • Roasted and ground, used in meat marinades, Massaman curry
  • Helps with skin disorders, may lower cholesterol, avoids allergies, and controls blood pressure.

4.Cilantro or Coriander Leaves

Cilantro or coriander leaves, often known as Chinese parsley, are used in Thai cookery as a final garnish or as an ingredient in salads and relish.

Because their taste fades with heat, they are usually added towards the end of cooking or as a garnish in the final meal.

Cilantro has a fresh, grassy and citrusy flavor that adds freshness to a dish, but for some people, they can also taste somewhat soapy and unpleasant. It depends on who you ask, but I’m on team cilantro! I can eat it with anything and add it to anything!

  • Soft and delicate green leaves that resemble flat leaf parsley
  • Flavor or Aroma: Grassy, pungent, and lemony (or soapy, in certain cases).
  • Garnish, topping, salads; add at the finish of cooking and before serving.
  • Detoxifies the liver, stimulates digestive enzymes, aids in blood sugar management, and improves renal function.


Cumin is a common spice in many different cuisines, including Indian, Mexican, African, and Asian cuisines such as Thai. It has a unique scent and taste, and it is regarded as a warming spice.

It is often used as a spice basis in Thai red, green, and yellow curries, as well as satays and various marinades and sauces. Before it is utilized, it is normally roasted and pulverized.

Cumin is a very powerfully flavored spice that might overpower the milder elements in your meal, so use less of it. Remember that you can always add more if you want more taste, but if you’ve added too much, it’s extremely difficult to alter!

  • Small, oblong, and yellow-brown in hue. It seems to be pointed rice grains.
  • Warming, thick and hearty, with a powerful aroma.
  • Toasted and ground, it is used in red, green, and yellow curries, satays, marinades, and sauces.
  • Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, aids in weight reduction, and regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels.


Cinnamon is often used in sweet pastries in the United States, while it is most commonly used in soups and broths, curries, and peanut sauces in Thai cuisine.

Cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is used in Thai cookery and is derived from the bark of the Cassia tree.

It is more widespread and less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is often stronger and more delicious, but it also has a greater proportion of coumarin, which has been related to liver damage when ingested in excessive quantities.

Massaman Curry, a rich, gently spicy curry dish with the earthy tastes of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and bay leaves combined into a creamy coconut milk base, Thai Noodles with Cinnamon and Prawns, and Thai Braised Beef Stew are all popular Thai meals that use cinnamon.

  • Characteristics: Reddish brown sticks in the shape of scrolls
  • Flavor or Aroma: Warm, sweet, and aromatic
  • Broths, soups, and curries are all good places to put it. Typically used in savory foods.
  • Health Benefits: Aids in blood sugar regulation, may assist against germs and fungus, and is used to treat the common cold.

7. Ginger

Traditional Chinese cookery heavily influences the usage of ginger in Thai food. It is often used in fish and shellfish dishes, vinegar-based sauces, as a topping for congee and steamed fish, and in stir fries.

Its spicy taste and unique perfume enhance the flavor of the meal and may assist to mask the occasionally unpleasant fishiness of seafood dishes.

  • Skin is thin and tanned, with yellow flesh.
  • Flavoror Aroma: Spicy, slightly sweet, peppery
  • Stir-fries, steamed fish and seafood meals, soups, etc.
  • Helps with nausea, is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and promotes immunity.


Sometimes called Thai ginger, galangal resembles ginger in form but has a markedly different flavor. It is linked to ginger and turmeric since they are both rhizomes, but it is a distinct component in its own right.

While ginger has a warming, spicy, yet delicately sweet and peppery taste, galangal has a citrusy and, some say, piney flavor. It has a lighter colored skin and is tougher than ginger. It is sharper and more peppery than ginger.It cannot be grated like ginger and is best served sliced. It is also denser and chewier than ginger.

Because galangal is often more difficult to get outside of Thailand, unless you travel to specialist Asian shops, most people recommend using ginger as a replacement.

While it may work to some extent, it will fall short of capturing the complexity that galangal provides to the meal. Of course, ginger will provide its own distinct taste to the meal, and it will be tasty, but it will not be the same.

Tom Kha Gai, or chicken and galangal soup in a thick, spicy, and acidic coconut milk base, is a popular Thai meal in which galangal shines.

  • Woody skin that is lighter in color than ginger, hard, fibrous flesh that is pale yellow to white in color
  • Citrusy yet pungent, woodsy, pine-like, harsh, peppery aroma
  • Uses: Stir-fries, curries, salads, soup, seafood dishes, tea. A key component in Tom Kha Gai, or chicken in galangal soup.
  • Stir-fries, curries, salads, soups, seafood meals, and tea are all good places to put it. A key component in Tom Kha Gai, or chicken in galangal soup.


Garlic is one of the most important components in Thai cookery, appearing in practically every regional dish. It’s used in stir-fries, deep-fried as a topping or garnish, and it’s in most curries and sauces’ spice foundation.

It is used in soups and marinades, as well as in dips and sauces. Raw garlic is frequently offered with famous meals like as Khao Ka Mu, which is stewed pig leg on rice.

  • When peeled, the little, white spherical bulb appears white or light yellow.
  • When raw, the flavor is pungent and spicy; when cooked, the flavor is sweet and buttery.
  • Stir-fries, deep-fried as a garnish, curries, sauces, soups, marinades, dips, and dressings; may also be eaten raw.
  • Health Benefits: Increases immunity, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, acts as an antibiotic and antibacterial, and promotes heart health.

10.Bird’s Eye Chilis (Prik Kee Noo)

Thai food is famous for its heat. This is due to the several varieties of chili peppers used in Thai cookery, each having a distinct heat degree and application.

The most common chili used in Thai cuisine is the prik kee noo, commonly known as birds chilis due to the fact that birds consume wild chilis and help spread the seeds. However, because to its diminutive size, the term in Thai literally translates as “mouse dropping chili.”

They are typically one to two inches long, thin and slender, and have a spear-like form that may be straight or slightly bent.

They are green when unripe but turn a very bright red when ripe. Despite their diminutive size, they pack a powerful punch with 50,000-100,000 Scoville Units and are recognized as one of Thailand’s spiciest chilis.

A version known as prik kee noo suan is even smaller and spicier.Prik Kee Noo may be found in soups, salads, and curries. Unripe prik kee noo chilis are used to make green curry.Many Thai restaurants use these chilis as a condiment, usually sliced and slathered with fish sauce.

The Scoville scale assesses the spiciness of chili peppers, as well as sauces and foods containing them. The Carolina Reaper is the world’s spiciest pepper right now, with around 2,500,000 Scoville Units! Carolina reapers are utilized in sauces all over the place, like Blazin Buffalo Wild Wings.

If you want to understand more about the Scoville scale, go to the site’s How Many Scovilles Do Blazin Buffalo Wild Wings Have?

  • Green when unripe, vivid scarlet when mature, about 1-2 inches in size
  • Flavor or Aroma: With 50,000-100,000 Scoville Units, it is quite spicy.
  • Soups, salads, curries, and as a spicy seasoning with fish sauce
  • Capsaicin, which aids metabolism and digestive health, fights infections, reduces ulcer risk, and supports heart health, is included in this product.

 11. Prik Mun Chili

The name means “oily” in Thai, referring to its shiny skin. They are crimson or dark green in color, and since they are not very spicy, they are often used for pickling and added to condiments such as vinegar.

  • Red or dark green in hue, thick oblong form, and glossy skin, often 3-5 inches in size
  • Peppery, delicately sweet, and gently spicy flavor or aroma
  • Uses: Pickled, condiments, relish
  • Health Advantages: Like other chili peppers, it is anti-inflammatory, aids in weight reduction and digestion, and contains vitamins and minerals.

 12. Spur Chili (Prik Chee Fah)

In the West, it is known as spur chili, but its Thai name translates to “chili that points to the sky,” since that is how it grows, pointing skyward. It is not very spicy and is often used to increase tolerance to heat.

It comes in red or green and is often used for garnishes and decoration because to its attractive look. Red spur chilies retain their vivid red color when stored, and it is these that give red curry its vibrant hue.

  • Red or green in hue, with a length of 2-4 inches.
  • Flavor or Aroma: Mild to moderately spicy
  • Pickled or fresh, red curry, garnish and decoration
  • Health Advantages: Like other chili peppers, it is anti-inflammatory and may aid digestion.

 13. Karen Chili (Prik Kaleang)

Prik Kaleang, along with birds eye chilis, is one of the spiciest peppers in Thai cuisine, and the heat level in this one increases gradually. They are available in a variety of hues, including pale yellow, light green, and red-orange, indicating differing degrees of maturity.

  • Light green, yellow, orange, and red, widespread in North Thailand, tiny size, rough skin
  • Flavor or Aroma: Very spicy, builds up gradually
  • Curries, sauces, stir-fries, Pad Thai, and other traditional Thai meals
  • Chilis are anti-inflammatory and include vitamins such as magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamins A, B, and C.

 14. Dried Chili Flakes (Prik Bon)

Thai chili flakes or Thai chili powder are what Prik Bon is. This is often cooked using dried birds chilis rather than fresh. It is a typical Thai spice that is used to give more heat to almost everything.

It is also simple to create on your own for DIY enthusiasts. Simply buy dried chilis (the smaller the chili, the hotter it is), roast in a pan and then grind to your desired size.

  • The powdered spice is manufactured from dried chilis.
  • Flavor or Aroma: If cooked using birds eye chilis or other forms of hot chili, it may be fiery.
  • As a condiment to give more spice to soups, salads, and just about everything.
  • Health Benefits: Aids in the prevention of stomach ulcers and other lifestyle disorders, aids in weight reduction, and may help avoid diabetes.

15. Prik Noom

Long green chili grown in Northern Thailand. Blackening over open flames to obtain a smokey taste, then crushing into a paste to form a chili dip, is a common method. Nam Prik Noom is the name of this dish.

  • Characteristics: Long, green chili
  • Flavor or Aroma: Moderately spicy
  • Uses: Northern Thai green chili dip
  • Capsaicin decreases inflammation and the risk of heart disease.

16.Sweet pepper (Prik Yuak)

Prik Yuak peppers are not hot at all and have a somewhat sweet flavor. They are also known as Thai banana peppers or Thai bell peppers.

  • 4-7 inches long, pale green in hue, rectangular shape, with waxy skin
  • Sweet and mild flavor or aroma, generally 0 on the Scoville scale.
  • Can be eaten on their own or used as a sauce. Prik Yuak Sord Sai or stuffed peppers
  • Health Advantages: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and high in vitamins and minerals.

 17. Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns were utilized in Thailand for millennia before the Portuguese introduced chili peppers. This was the traditional ingredient used to impart heat to a meal. They are popular in Thai wet markets.

  • Looks like green berries, but they’re really unripe black peppercorns.
  • Piquant, brilliant fragrance, somewhat crunchy, gently spicy flavor or aroma
  • Stir-fry, meat-based curry meals, and green curry
  • Health Advantages: High in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and beneficial to digestive health.

18.White Peppercorns

In Thailand, unlike in other nations, white pepper is more frequent than black pepper. Whereas we would ordinarily use black pepper in our table shakers, white pepper is used in Thailand.

White peppercorns are completely mature red peppercorns that have had the outer red peel removed by soaking and rubbing. The peppercorns are dried after the skin has been removed.

  • Fully mature red peppercorns with skins removed, available whole or dried
  • Aroma or flavor: Earthy, musty, grassy, milder than black pepper.
  • As a finishing spice, it is used in ordinary cooking, stir fries, fried rice, grilled foods, light-colored sauces and dishes, and so on.
  • Health Benefits: Prevents gas, helps with digestion, helps with headaches, heart-friendly, helps with colds, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory.

19.Black Peppercorn

Black peppercorns are made from unripe green peppercorns and are the most often collected form of pepper. They are harvested when still green, fermented, and then dried, causing the skin to shrivel and develop a dark brown to black hue.

  • Characteristics: Dried immature green peppercorns
  • Flavor or Aroma: Sharp, spicy, woody, intense
  • Seasonings, stir fries, soup, noodles, and meals such as Gai Pad Gratiem or Garlic and Pepper Chicken
  • Health Benefits: Lowers cholesterol, enhances brain and heart health, increases perspiration, and eliminates toxins from the body.

 20. Thai Long Pepper

This elongated, unique-looking pepper, known in Thailand as Dee Plee or piper chaba, originates from the same family as peppercorns, albeit they may not appear anything similar. They start off green, then become orange when completely ripe, and finally brown when dried.

They are commonly mistaken with black pepper, despite the fact that their flavors are considerably distinct. Fresh long peppers are often crushed and put to chili and curry pastes, and when added to soups, they may help to mask the flavor of a strong fish flavor. Dried ones may be included into laap or larb.

  • Green when unripe, orange when ripe, brown when dry; elongated form
  • Flavor or Aroma: Pungent with sweet overtones
  • Uses: Curry and chili pastes, meat salads, soup
  • Health Advantages: Can alleviate sore throats, relieve flatulence, promote appetite, and enhance sleep.

21. Prickly Ash Seed (Makhwaen)

Makhwaen peppers are linked to Sichuan peppers and are often used in Northern Thai recipes for their fiery and spicy flavor. It is milder than the Sichuan pepper, having more flowery and citrus flavors, although it is still fiery and is often combined with long peppers.

  • Characteristics: Rare, yet often seen in Northern Thai recipes.
  • Flavor or Aroma: Floral, woody, lemon scent, mouth-numbing spiciness
  • Soups and stews, spice mixes, and meals like Laap Meuang (minced pork salad) or Naam Phrik Laap (Northern Thai seasoning mix) are all possibilities.

22. Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir lime, commonly known as makrut lime, is a Southeast Asian citrus fruit. It is tiny, green, and has a rough texture. Its leaves are actually utilized more often in Thai cookery than the fruit itself. Kaffir lime leaves have a zesty and fragrant scent that adds flavor to soups like Tom Yum and gives green curries a new kick.

  • Characteristics: green, hourglass-shaped leaves
  • Flavor or Aroma: aromatic, spiced citrus
  • Uses: Soups, curry paste, stir-fries, stocks
  • Health Benefits: detoxifies the blood, strengthens the immune system, improves skin and oral health, reduces stress, and promotes immunity.

23.Holy Basil (Bai Ga Prow)

It is a plant native to India that is regarded holy in Hindu ceremonial activities owing to its link with prominent gods in Hinduism. It is also known as Tulsi. It is often utilized in Ayurveda due to its therapeutic and medicinal characteristics. In Thai cookery, holy basil adds spice to the meal.

  • Oval leaves with ragged edges that might be green or purple.
  • Flavor or Aroma: Strong, pungent and peppery
  • Used to increase the spiciness in stir-fries and noodles, such as Pad Krapow, Stir-fried Holy Basil Chicken, or Jungle Curry (Geang Pa).
  • Anti-stress, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties

24.Thai Basil (Bai Horapa)

A basil cultivar native to Southeast Asia that is tougher than its Italian counterpart. Added as a garnish or while cooking to enhance taste and fragrance.

  • Characteristics: Studier, narrower leaves with almost serrated edges, purple stem
  • Aroma and taste: Licorice and anise flavor and aroma
  • Stir-fries, noodles, salads, curries, Thai Larb beef salad
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties, healthy eyes and skin, bone health

25.Lemon Basil (Bai Manglak)

It has a strong lemon aroma and fuzzy leaves, and is sometimes known as hoary basil.

  • Green and delicate, it resembles Italian basil but has hair on its stems and leaves.
  • Fragrant lemon smell, sweet and tart flavor or aroma
  • Curries, salads, dips, soups, noodles, and meals such as Kanom Jeen Nam Ya (Curry Noodles)
  • Health Benefits: includes beta carotene, which is necessary for eye health; it is anti-inflammatory; and it includes vitamin K, which is necessary for bone health.

26. Pandan

Pandan, often known as screwpine in English, is well-known for its aromatic, grassy scent and taste. It is widely used as a coloring and flavoring element in both sweet and savory meals across Southeast Asia, and in Thailand, it is most often used in the dish Kai Ho Bai Toeil, which is marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and deep fried. It’s one of my absolute favorite Thai foods!

  • Green, long, thin leaves that resemble blades, measuring 12-20 inches in length.
  • Fragrant, green, with undertones of vanilla and coconut.
  • Uses include adding it to rice while it cooks, steeping it in coconut milk and using it as a dessert, wrapping meats before deep frying, and using it as a coloring and flavoring element in cakes and sweet delights.
  • Health Advantages: May assist with blood sugar, dental health, heart health, and arthritic discomfort.

27.Thai Celery

Thai celery, which is smaller, thinner, and leafier than Western celery, is used to flavor soups and stocks, stir-fries, and salads. It may also be used as a garnish in the same manner as parsley is. The leaves are equally as useful as the stems.

  • Characteristics: Thin stems, green, jagged leaves
  • Flavor or Aroma: Stronger smell and taste
  • Uses: Stir-fries, salads, soups, garnish
  • Because of its potassium concentration, it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and aids in the treatment of gout and rheumatism.

 28. Culantro

Culantro is a separate plant from cilantro, despite being related and tasting similar. Culantro features long, serrated leaves as opposed to cilantro’s lacy leaves. It is often found in North Thai curries as well as soups.

  • Long, green, serrated leaves that look like dandelion leaves
  • Flavor or Aroma: Herbal, citrus, grassy, similar to cilantro but stronger, commonly added before cooking
  • Uses: Curries, salads, soups
  • Health Advantages: Improves organ function, increases immunity, and lowers inflammation.


Turmeric, a rhizome that resembles galangal and ginger, is often used in Thai cookery in fresh, dried, and powdered forms. Its golden yellow color is what gives yellow curry and Massaman curry their signature color.

  • Bulbous appearance, ringed skin, and vivid orange flesh
  • Earthy, harsh, peppery, and mustardy flavors or aromas
  • Uses: Used to flavor curries, particularly Northern and Southern curries, yellow curry, and Massaman curry.
  • Natural anti-inflammatory, decrease risk of heart disease, and may be cancer preventive.


Because many of their cuisines have Middle Eastern and Indian origins, cloves play a key part in curries and other southern dishes.

  • Small red-brown spikes with a rounded head, similar like small nails
  • Warm, gently sweet and mildly spicy, woody, and some say it smells like Christmas.
  • Uses: Meat dishes, curries like Massaman curry
  • Promotes good liver function, digestion, eye health, and gut and stomach health.

31.Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are the laurel tree’s leaves and are a common herb in Southeast Asian cuisine. They may be eaten fresh, dried, or pulverized.

In Thai dishes, it is commonly seen in dishes with Indian or Muslim influences, such as Massaman curry.

  • When fresh, it is green and lustrous; when dried, it is olive green. Leaves that are elliptical or oval in form
  • When raw, it has an astringent, bitter, almost minty taste; when cooked, it has a savory flavor.
  • Uses: Soups and stews, Massaman curry
  • Health Benefits: A good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, increases immunity, and aids in the management of diabetes.

32. Mustard Seeds

Spice combinations or blends used to flavor meat, fish, and vegetables are prevalent, as are curry spice blends.

  • Small spherical seeds that are normally roasted or soaked before used in a dish and may vary in color from yellowish to black.
  • Flavor or Aroma: Pungent and strong
  • Curry and spice mixes are used to flavor meat, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Antioxidants, antimicrobials, high fiber content, anti-aging, and cholesterol management

 33. Fenugreek

Even if you’ve never heard of fenugreek, you’ve probably smelled it. Fenugreek is often used in the spice combination that is curry powder. It is usually used for this purpose in Thai cookery. Fenugreek is known as methi in Indian cuisine.

  • Yellowish brown in color, firm and angular in form
  • Aroma or flavor: Tastes like maple syrup and burned sugar.
  • Uses: Ingredient in curry powder
  • Health Benefits: Lowers blood sugar levels and promotes milk supply in nursing women.

 34. Nutmeg

Another element used in Thai curry spice mixes, particularly Massaman curry, although it may also be included in dishes with meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and baked products.It is often used as a powder.

  • Round, egg-shaped seed approximately one inch in diameter, grayish brown hue
  • Flavor or Aroma: Nutty, sweet and warm
  • Add to spice mixes for curries, other meat meals, and baked goods.
  • Health Benefits: Improves circulation and renal function, has antidepressant qualities, relieves pain, and aids cognitive function.

35. Onion

Onions, garlic, ginger, and galangal are often utilized in Thai cuisine as part of the flavor basis for most savory meals.

  • Characteristics: Can be red, yellow, or white, and is widely used in most recipes.
  • Pungent, powerful flavor that might be peppery when raw but releases sweetness when cooked.
  • Uses: As a seasoning basis in almost any savory meal. It may be eaten fresh or cooked.
  • Vitamin C lowers the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, is anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, and may help prevent some malignancies.

 36. Scallions

Scallions, often known as green onions, are young onions with white bottoms and green leafy tops.The white component tastes like an onion, but milder, while the green tips have a more herbaceous flavor and texture. It is used as a garnish on noodles, salads, and other meals in Thai cookery.

  • White at the bottom with green leafy tips
  • Aroma or flavor: Similar to white onion, but milder.
  • Uses: As a topping or garnish on salads, noodles, and sometimes in green curry.
  • Health Advantages: Promotes bone health, aids in blood clotting, and includes vitamin K.

 37. Shallots

Shallots are more often used in Thai cuisine than onions, and they are what help you obtain that real Thai flavor in recipes.

Red shallots are very recommended. They may be found in salads, curry and chili pastes, and even sauces and condiments. They may also be crisp-fried and used as a garnish or topper on meals.

  • Red-pink in hue, rectangular in form, and smaller than a typical onion
  • Flavor or Aroma: Milder than onions, sweeter in flavor, similar to an onion with a dash of garlic flavor
  • Salad dressings, curry and chile pastes, sauces, condiments, and toppings
  • Seasonal allergy relief, bone and heart health, and perhaps decrease blood pressure

38. Cardamom

In Thailand, cardamom is used in curries and other cuisines, and it is also a valuable medicinal plant in various sections of the nation. Many cuisines employ green and black cardamom, but a local type known as luk krawanor Thai cardamom is also used.

  • Thai or Siam cardamom resembles straw-colored chickpeas, green cardamom is used in Indian cuisine and resembles elongated green pods, and black cardamom is bigger and darker in color.
  • Green cardamom has a zesty and lemony flavor, but black cardamom has a smokey and minty flavor. Thai cardamom has a taste comparable to green cardamom, but it is more flowery and less pungent.
  • Recipes include Larb Nuea (minced meat salad), Kaeng Ka Ree (Thai Indian curry), and Kuai Tiao Neua (beef noodles soup).
  • Reduces fevers, is anti-microbial, aids with digestion and gastrointestinal disorders, and is anti-inflammatory.

 39. Star Anise

Star anise is native to China and Vietnam, and it is distinguished by its star-shaped pods. It is available whole or ground. It is often used in soups in Thai cuisine.

  • Characteristics: Star-shaped pods, an integral component of five-spice powder
  • Aroma or taste: A fragrant, moderately sweet, licorice-like flavor.
  • Uses: Whole spice in soups, ground spice in curries and meals such as Khao Ka Moo (Braised Pork Leg).
  • Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, decreases depressive symptoms, and protects against stomach ulcers

40. Tamarind

Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit native to Asia and Africa that is used in a variety of Asian dishes. It is an essential component in Thai cookery, adding depth of flavor to soups, noodles, curry pastes, and even desserts.

The sour kind of tamarind adds acidity to recipes, while the sweet version may be consumed on its own.

  • Elongated brown pods with brown meat and seeds within, often offered as concentrates or pastes. Fresh, sweet ones may be eaten on their own.
  • Aroma or flavor: Sweet-sour, tangy, and acidic, with undertones of caramel and molasses.
  • Tamarind chicken soup, Stir-Fry Tamarind Chicken, Pad Thai
  • Antioxidant, mild laxative, aids in the treatment of colds and fever

 41. Marsh Mint

Thai cuisine makes heavy use of mint. Salads, soups, shellfish, sauces, cocktails, and even desserts benefit from its freshness and vitality.

Marsh mint is often used, although spearmint and peppermint are acceptable replacements.

  • Leaves are green and oval in form, with a wrinkled surface.
  • Flavor or Aroma: Aromatic, fresh, cooling
  • Salads, dips, sauces, soups, noodles, steamed fish, and garnish
  • Health Benefits: Helps with fever and digestion

Conclusion to 41 Best Thai Spices

Thai food has a particular flavor due to the use of several herbs and spices. Some may be more recognizable and common to us than others, allowing for simple swaps and replacements. Some, on the other hand, are genuinely distinctive and irreplaceable, and Thai cuisine would not be the same without them.


What are the most used spices in Thailand?

All Thai meals include lemongrass, galangal, lime (rind and leaves), coriander leaves, fragrant Thai basil leaves, and garlic in some form or another. Some pastes include additional spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, and coriander seeds.

What is the secret spices of Thai food?

The Best Meat You’ll Ever Eat is a Three-Ingredient Thai Secret. Thailand’s traditional three-ingredient taste combination for the greatest tasting meat and seafood you’ll ever prepare is garlic, coriander root, and black pepper.

What are standard Thai spices?

rind. Dried peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon, clove, mace, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds are among the spices used.Fresh coriander roots, galangal (a member of the ginger family), lemongrass, fresh green peppercorns, turmeric, and Kaffir Lime leaves are among the herbs used in a paste.

What are the 5 major flavors of Thai food?

They are as follows: salty, sweet, spicy, sour, and creamy. All five tastes must be perfectly balanced for the meal to taste real. Thai cuisine is difficult to prepare, and if the tastes do not compliment one another, something will taste odd.

What herb is famous in Thailand?

The following herbs are often found in the greatest Thai dishes:
The bay leaves.
Coriander (as well as coriander root)
Culantro (which should not be confused with cilantro, which is another name for coriander!)
Curry herbs.
Basil from heaven.
Basil with lemon.

What is the best spices in the world?

The Top 10 Spices in the World
Peppercorns. Sansho Pepper is a kind of pepper.
Spice. The Sichuan pepper.
Saffron. Azafrán de la Mancha is a town in Spain.
Paprika. Szegedi Fűszerpaprika-őrlemény.
Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon. THE ISLAND OF SRI LANKA.
Paprika. Pimentón de la Vera is a kind of pimentón. This is La Vera.
Vanilla. Chinantla Vanilla. Oaxaca.
Paprika. Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika-őrlemény. County of Bács-Kiskun.

What is the main flavor in Thai food?

Thai food has five basic flavors: salty, sour, sweet, spicy, and creamy. An real Thai cuisine often contains one somewhat dominating flavor with layers of the other three or four flavors to improve and balance the overall flavor.

What makes Thai food smell?

The aroma of Thai curry cooking is one of the most delicious kitchen aromas ever. Lemongrass, chiles, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, and spices like coriander and cumin combine to produce a powerful scent that draws guests to the table.

What are the main Flavours in Thai cooking?

Thai cuisine’s four basic flavors
SALTED: fish sauce and shrimp paste.
SPICY: chilies and pepper.
Lime and tamarind are sour.
SWEET: fruits and palm sugar.
Every Thai meal has at least two of them, and occasionally all four. One flavor may be dominant, but the others, like notes in a chord, will be present as well.

What is Thai 5 spice powder?

Cinnamon, coriander seed, bay leaf, anise powder, and allspice are the aromatic spices that make up Five Spice. Lobo manufactures our Five Spice, a generous 2.29 oz in a sleek sealed packaging.

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