Thai Vegetables

Angled Luffa - Buab Liam

One of the cheapest Thai vegetables, it is also known as ridged luffa, ridged gourd. The tubular fruit is a warm season plant that is widely consumed in Thailand. The vegetable is high in fiber when mature. The luffa is also locally made as a sponge for body scrub.

The angled ridges dark and rough surface needs to be peeled and discarded. The white to light green spongy flesh has a subtle sweet flavor. Try this Stir Fried Angled Luffa with Egg

Banana Leaves – Bai Tong

Banana leave is one of the oldest ingredients used in Thai cooking for many centuries. It is extensively used for wrapping food and dessert or to be made into a cup or container for food and dessert. You can also use banana leaves as mats for steaming. Food cooked by steaming or grilling is usually wrapped by banana leaves which give a subtle scent to the food.

Before use, the leaves must be washed and dried, then pass the leafs over a low flame from the stove or kitchen blow torch until there is slightly oily and its color changes on the surface to make them pliable which will prevent them from easily tearing.

Bean Sprout - Tua Ngork

Bean sprout are very easy to find in super markets. They are sprouts of mung beans which tend to have crispy texture and a more delicate flavor when it is consumed fresh. It is best to refrigerated for 4-5 days for optimal freshness. It can be eaten fresh or cooked. It is a great choice for stir fried vegetable dishes or add in stir fried noodles or noodle soups.

Bitter Leaf (piper sarmentosum) - Bai Cha Plu

Bitter leaf, widely used in SE cuisines, should not be confused with betal leafs as they are used with different purposes. The bitter leaf and betel leaf look very similar due to its shapes and color of the leaf. Bitter leaf is one of the oldest Thai vegetables extensively used Thai cooking for centuries.

It is the key ingredient for aThai traditional starter called "Miang Kam" (assorted condiments wrapped in fresh bitter leafs). The fragrant leafs are also commonly used to make Thai curry dishes or salad dishes.

Black Fungus Mushroom – Hed Hu Nu

It is also known as cloud ear, tree ear or wood ear mushroom. It is mostly available fresh in Thailand or in dried form available in most super markets overseas. It has an incredible crunchy texture and no flavor. Before cooking, dried black fungus is required to be soaked in water for approximately 15-20 minutes and then thinly sliced.

The black fungus mushroom normally swells enormously in its size after soaking in water. Trim the tough gritty part around the top middle of it, and then slice into thin strips before adding to the dishes only for the last few minutes of cooking. It is great for stir fries, soups or salads. Refrigerate well in airtight bag up for up to a week or two.

Cherry Eggplant - Ma Kue Puang

Cherry eggplant is also known as pea eggplant due to its pea-sized berries of the nightshade plant. It is green and grown in clusters. It offers slightly bitter flavor. It is often eaten raw as a condiment with spicy shrimp paste-based dips or added in Thai green curry. It is best stored in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper up to a few weeks.

Chinese Broccoli - Kana

This Thai fresh produce, Chinese broccoli is also known as kai-lan or Chinese kale. Its dark green leaves and light green stems are thick and slightly bitter. It is a great choice for stir fry with rice noodles, stir fry with vegetables and oyster sauce (Chinese style), or blanch the green leafs and serve it with variety of rice dishes. Chinese broccoli is rich in vitamins and is a medicinal vegetable. It is best refrigerated and can keep up to a week.

Morning Glory - Pak Boong Jeen

Morning Glory or water spinach is a water plant that is available all year round in Thailand. One of the most popular Thai stir fry dish morning glory is stir fried morning glory with garlic and oyster sauce. Its stems and leaves are also used for curries and salad dishes.

It can also be eaten raw by blanching and serve with several spicy dips. Morning glory is very inexpensive vegetable and is often used in daily cooking in Thailand. It can be stored only 4-5 days.

Pumpkin – Fuc Tong

The typically orange or yellow creased pumpkin is one of the versatile vegetables used for Thai cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers.

One of the versatile Thai vegetables, pumpkins are widely used for many stir fried dishes such as stir fry with vegetables or stir fried pumpkin with egg. It is often used in many curry and soup dishes. Pumpkin flesh has a delicate sweet flavor which is great for desserts such as pumpkin in coconut milk. Pumpkin is also popular for vegetable carving which can be used as a food container or to decorate with food.

Straw Mushroom – Hed Fang

This Thai fresh produce, thumb sized mushroom is very popular in Thai cooking. It is distinctive and has slightly earthy and musty flavors. It is great for soups, hot and sour prawns soup (Tom Yum) or stir fried with mixed Thai vegetables.

Unfortunately, the fresh straw mushroom does not have a long shelf life. It can be refrigerated up to 1-2 days only. However, it can be found in canned form for oversea consumers.

Thai Eggplant - Ma Kue Pror

There are varied kinds and sizes of eggplant used extensively in Thai cuisine. This Thai eggplant is round white and green with stripes which is similar to golf ball’s size. It is also known as Green Tiger.

The eggplants are slightly bitter and crispy. They can be eaten raw or cooked. The fresh Thai eggplants are often sliced into small pieces and served together with other fresh veggies for Thai traditional dips like "Nam Prik". It is also one of the key Thai ingredients for Thai green curry. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped in an airtight plastic bag, for up to a few weeks

Winter Melon – Fuc – Khew or Fuc Faeng

Winter melon, also known as hairy melon, fuzzy melon, fuzzy squash or moqua, is a vine plant that produces a large fruit dumbbell sized, with green skin and very fine hair around the fruit. When mature, it is eaten as vegetable by peeling off the skin and internal external flesh surrounding the seeds.

Its mild subtle flavor can be described as cucumber, honeydew (but as not sweet as) or summer squash. The edible white flesh usually needs to be cooked by boiling or steaming. In Thai cooking, it is commonly used in making soups, together with other Thai vegetables, daikon and mushroom, or curry dishes.

Yard Long Bean - Tua Fak Yao

One of the Thai vegetables mostly eaten raw, yard long bean is also known as snake bean, Chinese long bean, or long-podded cowpea. In Thai cooking, it is often eaten raw with Thai salad dishes or blanched and served with spicy shrimp paste-based dips or it is excellent when stir fried with garlic or added in Thai dried red curry with chicken

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