7th June 2018

Fresh Fruit and Veg

Our fresh veg, herbs and spices is flown in 3 times a week to ensure that it is always as fresh as possible.

Herbs and Spices:

 

Thai Sweet Basil (Bai Horapa) is a staple of Thai Cooking. It is sweet in flavour and is very versatile for different types of cooking. It can be used in stir-fries but is most commonly used in Thai curries. It can also reduce the effect of the burning sensation of chillies. Thai Sweet Basil is characterised by  its red stems and smooth leaves.

 

 

 

 

Thai Holy Basil (Bai Kaprow) is mainly used in stir-fries. Due to its citrus flavour, it does not lend itself to curries, but gives stir-fries a very unique flavour which is very popular in Thai cooking. Thai Holy Basil has thinner and slightly crinkly leaves compared to sweet basil, and also has a green stem.

 

 

 

 

Galangal is a must when preparing a fresh Thai curry. Although it is in the same family as ginger its flavour is sharp citrusy and almost piney, completely different altogether to ginger, so they are definitely not interchangeable. It is largely used in soups and curries and found in a lot of Malaysian, Indonesian and also Vietnamese dishes.

 

 

 

Thai Chillies (Prik Kee Noo). The saying goes, the smaller the chilli, the hotter. Thai chillies are very hot indeed, not as hot as the birdeye , but exponentially hotter than the larger chillies. They come in either red or green varieties, but their flavour and heat are similar. Thai chillies are used in almost every every Thai dish either whole, chopped or even dried. Due to their heat, a little can go a long way.

 

 

 

Thai Large Chillies are far milder than the Thai chillies, so they are usually cut into rings or thin strips and used as a garnish, but they can be used to give a small kick to less spicy dishes. They also come in red and green varieties which can be used to complement different dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemongrass is also a firm staple of Asian cuisine. Similar in appearance to spring onions, they have, as the name suggests, a citrus, lemon flavour. It is widely used in Thai cookery in soups, stir-fries and curries as it gives a very fresh, cirtusy kick. It can be sliced or used whole, but should not be eaten, so should be removed from the dish before serving. It can also make a very tasty and healthy tea.

 

 

 

Krachai (Finger root/Lesser Galangal) is from the same family as both ginger and galangal, but again, it is used in a completely unique way. Because Krachai’s exuberant, aromatic quality freshens the taste of seafood, it is used primarily in seafood dishes. To prepare, Krachai is cut into fine slivers and tossed along with other fragrant herbs into hot-and-spicy seafood stir-fries, curries and hot soups.

 

 

 

Turmeric is pleasantly mild and does not have a sharp bite unlike ginger and galangal. Turmeric has a very vibrant orange coloury orange inside an orange-tinged beige-brown skin. When added to foods, its vivid orange colour can give dishes that it is used in a  bright yellow colour. Turmeric is extensively used in curries, soups, stir-fried dishes, fried foods, snacks, desserts and can even be made into tea. Turmeric has many health benefits, and has been used all throughout history as it was believed to have healing properties.

 

 

 

 

Young Green Peppercorns are soft, highly aromatic and only mildly hot. They grow in short segments of stems with rows of small green berries. They are usually used in spicy stir-fried dishes, dry curries, dipping sauces and intensely flavored soups, but can also be chewed on for a refreshing burst of flavor.

 

 

 

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Our Fresh Veg:

Thai Aubergines are essential ingredients in Thai curry dishes such as in kaeng tai pla, green and red curry. They are often halved or quartered, but can also be used whole, and cooked in the curry sauce where they become softer and absorb the flavor of the sauce which helps them lose some of thier bitterness. They are also eaten raw in Thai salads or with Thai chili pastes (nam phrik).

 

 

 

Pea Aubergines come in clusters of small bright green berries, similar in size to that of a pea. The berries themselves are very bitter, so can be to an acquired taste. They can be used is many different ways, such as in red and green curries, where they would be added just before serving and cooked for only a couple of minutes to keep them crunchy. They can also be used in stir-fries, again only to be cooked for a couple of minutes. Pea Aubergines can even be eaten raw, and are also used raw in home made dipping sauces.

 

 

Beansprouts are another staple of Asian cooking. They only have little flavour themselves, but they give dishes a pleasant texture. They are used in stir-fries and only added and fried lightly at the end of cooking to keep their unique texture.

 

 

 

Phak Choi (Pak Choi/Bok Choi) come in green and white variety. They are a long leafed variety of cabbage, but have a texture between cabbage and spinach. They can be chopped and added to soups and stews, but are mostly commonly cooked for 1-2 minutes in stir-fries. Phak Choi can be used raw in salads, but just like a cabbage, it is better cooked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choi Sum is a member of the mustard family. The flowering shoots and younger leaves of Choi Sum are used in salads or stir-fried, lightly boiled or steamed and added to meat. Like Phak Choi, its flavour is a mixture of cabbage and spinach, but is more mild in taste than phak choi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Papaya is a long green fruit that has a rather bland flavour. Despite this, when green papaya is shredded and mixed into salads, it soaks up much of the flavours of the dressings and becomes slightly chewy giving a very pleasant sensation. Although it is used predominantly in papaya salads, there are many many ways of preparing the sauce such as spicy, non-spicy, sour or sweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mooli (Daikon) is a type of long radish. It extremely versatile and is used in many ways all over Asia. In Korea, it is often shredded and used as a type of kimchi. Japanese tend to grate it and use them in soy sauce, raw in salads and to garnish sashimi. Vietnam pickles them with sweet and sour vinegar with carrots. Thailand chops them into chunks and uses them largely in soups and stews.

 

 

 

 

Morning Glory (Kangkong) is mainly used in stir-fries, and cooks very quickly. It can be fried from fresh only until wilted to preserve its natural crunch, or can be boiled or blanched before frying depending on the consistency of the dish. Although it is suitable mainly for stir-frying, it can be used in most stir-fry dishes, or is a good healthy dish on its own simply fried with garlic.

 

 

 

 

Red Shallots (Hawm Daeng) are used in place of regular onions in Thai cooking. Their flavour is sweet and mild allowing them to be easily eaten raw in salads. They can be pounded with a pestle and mortar and added to curry pastes to add the tangy sweet and sour flavour, or sometimes they are roasted before adding to a curry to give a deeper, smokey taste. Another use for Red Shallots is to fry them in a very hot pan or wok until they turn brown and crispy, and this can be used to add a crunchy texture and distinctive flavour as a garnish to many dishes. We do stock Red Shallots ready fried, but food is always better when prepared yourself.

 

 

Yarldlong Beans (of just Long Beans) are to be eaten in their pod. Long Beans are eaten in dishes all over the word, but their preparations are largely the same. They are usually cut to desired length, or kept whole and stir-fried with soy sauce and chillies, or chillies and shrimp paste, or they can be stir-fried into almost any dish you like. Because they can be quite firm, they may need to be cooked a little longer than the other veg, such as allowing to fry in the wok, simmering in sauce or even steamed in the wok for around 5 minutes or so, however, they should not be boiled or blanched as they can become waterlogged and lose their flavour. Some people even like to eat them raw.

Cha-Om (Acacia) is a small shrub with sharp thorns. It has a rather unpleasant aroma, but this vanishes when it is cooked. Unlike the other vegetables, Cha-Om is used more like a herb rather than eaten by itself or stir-fried. Cha-Om’s flavour marries very well with eggs, so is generally used when making egg based stir-fries but usually it is used in Thai style omelettes. The omelettes then can be eaten by themselves, as a side dish or cut into squares and added to curries or stir-fries.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit:

Durian is known as the king of fruit, and is grown extensively around Asia. The countries that grow it take the growing very seriously indeed, and hold festivals and even regional and national competitions dedicated to the fruit. It is well known for its very strong smell which some find rather unpleasant to the point where it is banned from many public areas. Those who enjoy Durian say that the flesh tastes sweet almost like custard and has a soft consistency. The flavour lends itself well to many types of dessert such as cooked with sticky rice and coconut sauce, but can also be eaten raw. The shell is very thick and covered in sharp spikes, but when the shell cracks naturally the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. If you place your fingers in the cracks, the shell can be pulled apart without too much difficulty, but never fear, we . Durian is seasonal and is only available between April and September.

 

Coconut needs no introduction as its health benefits have been widely publicised which has caused its popularity to sky-rocket in recent years. Coconut has a vast amount of uses and is implemented extensively in all aspects of Thai and Asian cuisine. Our Fresh Coconuts are actually quite easy to open as their shells are quite soft. With a bit of force and with a swift chopping motion, you can use the corner of a large knife to cut a square around the tip and lift it off. After you have drank the water inside, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

 

 

 

 

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Available to Order:

We do have more veg and fruit that are available to us, but we do not order on a regular basis. If you would like to order any of the fruit and veg listed below, our deliveries take place on Fridays, and the order must be made by the previous Saturday to the delivery.

Banana Leaves are not in themselves edible, but when it is wrapped around food such as sticky rice, it imparts a sweet flavour and aroma to the rice, but it should be discarded after it has been unwrapped. It can be used to create desserts, but is also used to bake fish as when wrapped the thickness of the leaves prevents the fish from drying out, and gives the fish a unique flavour. Please note that we also have frozen banana leaves available if you are unable wait for the delivery.

 

 

 

 

Pandan/Pandanus Leaves (bai toey) are similar to Banana leaves in so far that they are not to be eaten directly, but they are used in many areas of Asian cooking. They can be chopped and added to rice and desserts while cooking to enrich the flavours of coconut and other sweet and syrupy dishes, but should be eaten. They are most commonly used to wrap sticky rice, chicken, fish and other ingredients because they imbue their flavour to whatever they are cooked with. They are sometimes used purely as decoration as they can be weaved into basked to display food.

In addition to this, Pandan Leaves has a cooling effect and is excellent for the treatment of internal inflammations, urinary infections, colds, coughs, measles, bleeding gums and skin diseases. Please note that we also have frozen pandan leaves available if you are unable wait for the delivery.

 

Rambutan is a small round fruit with a strange red skin with red or green hairs which is mostly grown in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and several other Southeast Asian countries. The flesh is a little sweet and sour and much like a grape in texture. It is usually eaten raw, but it can also be stewed with sugar and cloves and made into a dessert.

 

 

 

 

Mangosteen is a small round purple fruit that originated around Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, but is now grown in tropical climates all around the world. The meat of the Mangosteen is divided into segments similar to citrus fruit, and their flavour is so unique and well loved all over the world that it has earned them the nickname “queen of fruit”. They have been described as a mixture of peaches, lychees with a hint of strawberry. Mangosteens are very seasonal, only being available for short periods and can often be subject to import restrictions. If you wish to order some, we will be more than happy to check their availability.