We all love Thai food so much that we just can’t get enough of it. However, not all restaurants we go to really serve authentic Thai food. They might taste the same but some restaurants cook their Thai dishes with substitute ingredients. Luckily, we can help you tell if the food is authentically Thai if you can find these ingredients in them. And if you want, you can even cook your own Thai dishes!

Fish sauce

The Thais really love fish sauce. In Thailand, this is called nam pla. It is made by fermenting fish together with salt. You can tell if it’s authentic if the label says it contains anchovies, salt, and water. Thais usually use fish sauce when cooking with chillies.

Curry paste

In Thailand, you can find pre-made curry paste almost anywhere. They come in different variants such as green, red, and yellow. While different types of curry pastes have varying ingredients, they usually have galangal and lemongrass. However, green curry paste is usually made with green chillies while the red paste is, you guessed it, made with red chillies.

Rice vinegar

Thais don’t normally use cane vinegar but would rather use rice vinegar to add sourness to their dishes. Rice vinegar is one of their main ingredients for a dipping sauce that’s usually used for grilled chicken.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is usually used to make curry dishes. You can find canned coconut milk anywhere in Thailand and can also be found in Asian sections of supermarkets all around the world.

Sticky rice

Thais don’t just use rice; they use sticky rice. It’s a common ingredient for dishes found in northern Thailand. They eat it like bread by using their hands. It comes as a side dish together with other main Thai dishes such as curry.


Because Thai people love it when their food is spicy, chillies are stapled ingredients for their dishes. They come in all sorts of variants such as green and red. The spiciness also varies depending on the colour of the chilli.

Lime juice

Thai dishes are usually well-balanced. To add some acidity and flavour to their dishes, they use lime juice when cooking grilled meats and for salads. They even use grated lime zest for many of their other dishes to add a floral aroma.


Thais also love using garlic and even shallots. They chop them up and add them to their salsas and even their salads. And to add flavour to their savoury dishes, Thais mince the garlic or shallots and add them into hot oil before cooking up a meal.


What makes Thai food so great is that Thailand is abundant in herbs and spices. Thais take advantage of what nature has given to them by often using fresh herbs such as basil and coriander to add different sorts of flavours to salads, curries, and fried rice.

Black pepper

When they aren’t using chillies, Thai people use black peppercorn to add some heat to their dishes. They are often used to marinate grilled chicken and pork because of how they blend better with meat than chillies do.