Find a Balance of Salty, Sour, Spicy, and Sweet : In Thai cooking, taste-testing is a complete necessity. Following a Thai recipe is a good start, but because tastes vary from person to person, you will need to find your own balance of seasonings with each dish you make. Here are some tips to help you achieve that balance:
To tone down a dish that is too spicy, add coconut milk or yoghurt. A little sugar may also diminish some of the fire.
To tone down a dish that is too salty, add lime juice, lemon juice, or tamarind water (made from a little tamarind paste mixed with water). /When you find a dish not salty enough, add fish sauce instead of salt—or soy sauce if you are vegetarian. This way you will get more flavor as well as the saltiness you’re seeking.
To sweeten Thai dishes, you can use plain white sugar, although brown sugar is closer to the rock sugar most Asian chefs use. Since I prefer not to use sugar in my cooking, I substitute with xylitol—a sweet, sugar-like ingredient that does not raise blood glucose levels (available at health food stores). This is also an excellent substitute for diabetics. .
If you find your dish not sour enough, a little lime juice or tamarind water will suffice nicely (for tamarind water, see above).
Not spicy enough? That’s easy! Add more fresh (or dried) chillies, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, or a teaspoon of Thai chilli sauce (available in Asian stores).
Stir Frying Tips : The most important cooking tip I have learned in terms of Thai cuisine is this: make sure adequate time is taken to prepare all ingredients before heating up your wok or frying pan. In Thai cooking, preparation is everything. You’ll find that once all the necessary ingredients are sliced, ground, and ready to go, the actual cooking time required is minimal. Most Thai stir-fries (including many noodle dishes) are cooked at high heats and for only a few minutes, which is what makes them particularly fresh, delicious, and nutritious. When stir frying, start with a well-oiled wok. Spread a good frying oil (like sunflower or canola) around your wok, including up the sides. Add ingredients when the wok is hot so that not too much oil will be absorbed by the food. When the wok gets too dry, I add a little water, broth, or cooking wine instead of more oil. This is a healthier option and works just as well. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. at a time as needed.
Stir-frying Rice : To achieve restaurant-quality stir-fried rice, it's important to start with left-over boiled or steamed rice - preferably at least 2 days old. It should be fairly dry and hard to the touch. To achieve this type of rice in a shorter time, place a pot of cooked rice in the refrigerator with the lid off. When you're ready to fry the rice, first pour a tablespoon or two of oil into the rice and work it through with your fingers, gently separating the grains. This will make the rice nice and fluffy once it's fried - plus this way it won't clump or stick together.
Stir-frying Vegetables : Stir fried vegetables are done when the colors are enhanced (bright green for broccoli). Do not overcook, as this is one of the greatest health benefits of Southeast-Asian foods - the fact that vegetables retain most of their essential nutrients.
Source : http://thaifood.about.com (Author : Darlene Schmidt)
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