Hopefully you had a chance to read our first post on the health benefits of thai food, if not go check it out. So in our first post we covered some of the main components of thai food, chillies, turmeric and garlic, which are three very popular ingredients in thai food. So we are going to pick up where we left off and shed some light on some other very beneficial ingredients that you will find in our thai dishes.
Ginger – Though many people think of ginger as the cold pink slivers that are served with sushi. In thai food, ginger is prepared differently. We commonly use the fresh ginger root in stir fry, which gives the dish a fresh and subtle flavor, different than what most people expect. Most believe the flavor of ginger to be quite overbearing but that is not the case, and in fact most people have a change of heart after experiencing ginger in thai dishes. Beyond a fresh flavor, ginger also offers soothing benefits for the stomach and mind. Many people consume ginger to cope with anxiety, restlessness, an upset stomach, or even a cold or sore throat. Works well steeped in hot water, for nights you need a little extra relaxation and soothing effects.
Galangal – Although this is a less known ingredient, it is one that is critical to many authentic thai dishes. The root vegetable does a great job of offsetting the flavor of many of the meats and flavorful vegetables in thai dishes with its subtle spice. The root is a great addition to vegetarian or vegan thai dishes, since it has a high concentration of iron, and complex flavors. The root has great benefits for the stomach with its anti fungal properties and can sooth bloating and upset stomachs.
Lemongrass – Lemongrass is a widely used ingredient in thai dishes and has been for a long time since it is indigenous to Asia. The lemongrass has a unique aroma and taste and is often used to mellow out bolder flavors in thai dishes. It’s subtle scent and flavor is calming and soothing and offers a wide array of benefits which can help with headaches, stomach aches, digestion and congestion.
There is still a lot to cover, but by know you should be able to identify a couple of the ingredients in your thai dish, and understand their specific health benefits.