When it comes to Thai restaurants in Nashua, like ours at Giant Siam, weâ€™d like to say we stand out from the crowd. Why? Well, because unlike several other restaurants, we prefer our herbs and spices fresh from the garden. Although dried works well in several recipes, thereâ€™s something to be said for the taste of freshly picked ingredients. And, why not – especially this time of year when gardening is in full swing!
Also called pak chee, coriander is the most commonly used herb in Thai cooking. Unlike other cultures that utilize only the sweet leaf, the whole plant is valued in Thailand. The leaves of coriander are often found in soups and salads, whereas the roots of the plant are pureed for use in stocks.
The roots of the coriander plant differ in taste from the leaves. Sweet versus a deep, earthy flavor. Beyond soup and stew bases, the roots can also be combined with other ingredients to create a seasoning.Â
Lemongrass is a wonderful herb that is often misunderstood. Resembling an ornamental grass, many gardeners plant this herb without utilizing its beneficial features. With the high ratio of natural antioxidants, lemongrass is good for healing colds, helping in digestion, regulating blood pressure, boosting the metabolism, plus so much more. However, when it comes to Thai cuisine, this herb provides the lemon zing to several dishes.
Although this one isnâ€™t quite an herb, itâ€™s green and leafy, so we feel it fits here well. The kaffir, or makrut, lime is a native fruit in Southeast Asia. However, like cilantro, both the lime and leaf are used in cooking. As a good source of antioxidants, kaffir leaves provide a full citrus flavor and are often used in dishes such as tom yum soup and panang curry.
Possibly one of the most commonly grown herbs, basil is known for its sweet flavor. However, the popular sweet Italian basil is much different than Thai Basil. Instead of sweet, when consuming Thai basil, youâ€™ll experience savory, anise-like notes with a touch of spice.Â
Another popular herb in gardens across the globe is mint. With a vast array of species to choose from, mint provides intense, sweet flavors to deeper hues in several dishes and drinks. In Thai cooking, we love mint, in particular peppermint and spearmint. From salads to sauces, beverages to seafood, fresh mint pairs well with just about anything!
Visit us today at 90 Main Street to experience Thai cuisine the way it was meant to be.Â