Broccoli: Thai name is also Broccoli
Broccoli, a member of the cabbage family, is green to purple-green in color and has tightly clustered flowers, or florets, borne on sturdy stalks. The florets are the most tender part. The stems, if peeled, can also be used. Choose firm stalks and closed heads with deep color and no yellow areas. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 4 days.
Carrot: Thai name is also Carrot
Carrots are root vegetables that are bright orange in color, with a sweet flavor and a crisp texture. They range in size from small, baby carrots to short, almost round varieties to long, slender roots. Fresh carrots are sold year-round. Avoid droopy carrots with cracks or dry spots. Remove the feathery green tops and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Peel or scrub carrots before using.
Lotus root: Thai name is Raug Bua
Lotus root is an underwater root that grows to be as long as four feet. The root is dark reddish brown and needs to be peeled prior to using. The flesh is a creamy white and tastes similar to coconut. Lotus root is available canned, dried or candied and can be used as a vegetable or in dessert dishes.
Shiitake Dried Mushroom: Thai name is Het Hom Hang
It is also known as Shiitake mushroom. It has no flavor but is used for its texture. It is available in dried form, and looks like dried, black, wrinkled paper. When soaked in water for about 10-20 minutes, it swells and resembles wavy seaweed or jelly. Stored in its dried form, it will keep indefinitely.
Bean Sprout: Thai name is Thua Ngok.
Most often used of bean sprouts in Thai cooking are the small "green" sprouts from mung beans and the larger "yellow" sprouts from soya beans. Soya beansprouts have a stronger flavour than mung beansprouts, but both are relatively delicate, with a pleasant and unique crunchy texture. Fresh beansprouts are widely available in supermarkets, health-food stores and Asian food stores, or you can easily sprout your own beans at home. Avoid canned beansprouts as they are flaccid and tasteless.
Bell Chilli: Thai name is Phrik Youkg Bell Chilli,
Phrik youkg, is light green in color and mild in taste. They are used in spicy salads and chilli Pilstes for their fragrance, and in stir-fried meat dishes for both flavor and aroma.
Bitter Melon: Thai name is Ma Ra
Tropical, annual vine has bitter taste Culinary use: Soup, curry, and salad. (If you don‘t like the bitter taste, parboil with salt and rinse 2-3 times before cooking.) The Thais belive that it is very good for the kidneys and blood. Look for small and firm specimens that are still green when buying. Medicinal use: Mild laxative, antipyretic gargle the fruit juice to relieve an aphthous ulcer.
Banana Blossom: Thai name is Hua Plee
Also called banana flowers and banana blossoms, these are in fact the tender hearts of unopened banana flowers, which have been stripped of their purple petals. They are available fresh in some Asian markets and also canned or dried. Fresh banana buds discolour rapidly once they are sliced or shredded, so should be brushed with lemon juice to prevent this. Banana buds are used in northern Thailand to make a tasty, squash soup. They are also a popular salad ingredient, tasting rather like artichokes.
Chinese Radish: Thai name is Hua Chai Tau or Hua Phak Kard.
Thais value this vegetable, believing that it aids digestion, cools the body and improves blood circulation. Also called giant white radish or winter radish, it is a long white root that resembles a slender, smooth-skinned parsnip in appearance. It can be up to 40cm/l6in long, although the Thai variety is often considerably smaller. Large specimens tend to be fibrous and should be avoided. When raw, the flavour of mooli is cool, sharp and peppery, and the texture is crisp. Thais don't often eat it this way, but the grated flesh is sometimes used to tenderize seafood. When the vegetable is cooked, the characteristic texture is retained, but the flavour becomes quite sweet.
Chinese Mustard Green: Thai name is Phak Kwang Tung Jeen.
The Chinese name for this type of cabbage is choi sum. It is widely grown in the West and is often available from farmers' markets, as well as Asian food stores. The stalks, leaves and yellow flowers of this plant are all edible and have a delicate flavour. The cabbage is usually cut into short lengths and used in soups and noodle dishes, but it may also be stir-fried.
Coconut: Thai name is Ma Phrao
Coconut, ma phrao, is found nearly everywhere people have settled in all parts of the country and its production is important to the economy. The use to coconut milk in curries is a hallmark of Thai cooking. The meat of ripe nuts is scraped either by hand or by machine. The grated coconut is placed in a basin and mixed with a certain amount of warm water. The coconut is then picked up in the hand, held over a second container, and squeezed to press out the coconut milk, ka-thi. A fine meshed strainer should be positioned below the hand during squeezing to catch any meat that falls. Many cooks add a little salt to the water or the milk.
Cucumber: Thai name is Taeng Kwa
Cucumber, taeng kwa, Cucumis sativus, has short fruits about 8 em long which are crispiest while still green and white, before yellowing. A larger type, taeng ran, are also eaten.
Tomato: Thai name is Ma kheua Thet
Tomatoes, Ma-Kheua thet of three types are used in Thai cooking. The first is small, round fruits, not much bigger than a pea, which grow in clusters and have a sweet and sour taste. These are used in Northern and Northeastern dishes. Large-sized tomatoes are sweet and are used in sour and spicy soups and in spicy salads. The third type is cherry tomatoes. These have a sweet and sour taste and are used in Northeasternstyle papaya salad as well as in curries and sour and spicy soups.
Twisted Cluster Bean: Thai name is Sa Taw
The seeds of a huge tree that grows in southern Thailand, these beans are about the size of broad (fava) beans. The bright green pods that house them are flat and wavy. The beans themselves have a peculiar smell and nutty taste that give a distinctive flavour to regional dishes. The beans are usually eaten as a vegetable, and they taste good in a sweet-and-sour stir-fry. They are also sometimes roasted and eaten with nam phrik, and are made into pickles.
Wax gourd: Thai name is Fak Khiao
Wax gourd, fak khiao, Benincasa hispida, also called white gourd or Chinese preserving melon, is oblong and light green to white. The ends are rounded and the flesh is solid and white.
Yard Long Beans: Thai name is Tua Fugk Yaew
These are long, deep green ,stringless beans which grow up to 30-60 cm. Cut in short lenghts, they are used in stir-fries, curries and sometimes soups, They have less flavour than other types of green beans but are easier to prepare.
Bamboo Shoot: Thai name is Nor Mai
Bamboo shoots are the crisp, mild-flavored, white to ivory shoots of the bamboo plant. The shoots of the bamboo are cut when they have grown about 15 cm. above the ground. Before using, peel the skin and boiled the inner white part for 30 minutes. The canned variety needs to be boiled for only 10 minutes. This is a popular ingredient in Thai cooking and can be purchased from general stores and markets.
Baby Corn: Thai name is Khao Phod On
Baby corn refers to whole, entirely edible cobs of immature corn, no more than 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) long. Corn is a popular vegetable in Thailand. For stir-fries and soups, Thais prefer baby corn cobs, which have a musty sweet flavour, as well as a crunchy texture. They are available fresh and canned. Fresh baby corn cobs are best eaten soon after purchase but can be stored for up to 1 week in the salad drawer of the refrigerator.
Asparagus: Thai name is Nor Mai Faruang
Asparagus are long, slender vegetables that grow as shoots in spring and early summer. The straight, firm stalks, which range from pencil thin to as thick as your thumb, are prized for their delicate flavor; the tender tips have a particularly delicate flavor and texture. The most common variety is green and sometimes tinged with purple at the bud. White and all-purple stalks are also available in farmers' markets and well-stocked grocery stores. Look for asparagus with crisp, straight stalks and tight buds. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Trim the stalks before using. Cut or snap off the tough ends and discard. If desired, peel the bottom third or half of each stalk with a vegetable peeler for a more tender texture.
Apple Aubergines: Thai name is Makheua
These small round aubergines are pale green, yellow or white. They are eaten raw with the ubiquitous chilli sauce, nam phrik, or cooked in curries. They have little flavour, but when raw have an interesting texture. They discolour rapidly once cut, so drop' them into salted water if you are preparing them in advance.
Angled Loofah: Thai name is Buap Liam
Also known as silk gourd, silk squash or Chinese okra, this dark green vegetable looks like a long, thin courgette (zucchini) or a very large okra pod, and has angular ridges down its length. A close relative, the smooth loofah is paler in colour, larger and more cylindrical, with a slightly thicker base. Both have a very mild taste, similar to cucumber, which can be used in its place in most cooked dishes. The gourds are eaten young, while they are still sweet. They become unpleasantly bitter as they mature. Loofah is used in stir-fries and soups, and is often boiled and eaten with nam phrik.