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Spice Up Your Life: Thai

posted May 27, 2016, 8:42 AM by Rachel Griffin
This week we are looking at Asian flavors, particularly from Thailand. The region is known for dishes like Pad Thai (a rice noodle dish with peanuts and cilantro), Tom Kha Gai (a coconut based soup with chicken and lemongrass), and chicken, beef, or shrimp panang (a spicy curry dish over rice). Classic Thai cooking incorporates cooling flavors of basil, coconut, and cilantro, spicy chilies and curries, and zesty ingredients like lemongrass and kaffir limes. A Thai spice blend may include:
  • Coriander 
  • White pepper 
  • Cayenne pepper 
  • Lemon or lime zest 
  • Paprika 
  • Garlic 
  • Basil 
  • Lemongrass 
  • Cilantro 

You can also find sweet chilies and ginger in many popular Thai dishes.

Try This!
Try this recipe for Easy Pad Thai (pictured) from the Budget Bytes cookbook that is foolproof for even the most novice home cook. Add chicken, shrimp and/or extra vegetables like shredded carrots, julienned bell pepper, or broccoli slaw for a heartier meal. If Pad Thai is too basic for you, try ILC’s Fresh Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing for a crisp, refreshing, and veggie-packed Thai-inspired dish. 



Fun Fact:
Did you know that coriander and cilantro come from the same plant? Coriander typically refers to the seed and cilantro refers to the leaves. Although evidence is limited, a few studies suggest that some spices, including coriander, may decrease the amount of certain cancer-causing compounds that are formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures. Consider adding coriander the next time you marinate meat and get more tips for safe high heat cooking here.

We hope that you have enjoyed this tour around the world through flavor and hope that we have inspired you to focus more on the unique flavors of your favorite cuisines before you pick up the salt shaker.

All four posts for this month were written by dietetic intern Andrea Goergen
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