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Cooking Popular Thai Food - Thai Fruits


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Thai Cooking Ingredients - Fruits

lime fruit, manao, thailand limes Lime (Manao)
The limes in Thailand are smaller, juicier and have thinner skin. They are not the same version I was used to in the US. However, they are the same which are grown in Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and the Florida Keys. In the US they are referred to ‘Key Lime’, since they are grown in the Keys. The ‘key lime’ is native to South East Asia, and was brought over to to Central America & the Caribbean by the Spanish, via the Middle East.
kafir lime, ma-kgroot Kaffir Lime (Ma Kgroot)
Ma-kgroot are a type of citrus, related to lime, but with a completely different smell and taste. The juice (what little there is) is not used. The skin of the fruit is used in curry pastes, and the leaves are used to flavor soups, curries and more.

It may be next to impossible to find fresh ma-kgroot outside of Thailand. You may be able to find frozen or dried. If frozen, double the amount called for in the recipe, as freezing the fruit makes it lose flavor. If dried, pre-soak to soften, and use three times what the recipe calls for.
tamarind, ma kham Tamarind (Ma Kham)
This brown, acidic fruit is shaped like a large, broad bean that grows on the tamarind tree. The tamarind seed is used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. To make tamarind water, combine 2 to 3 ounces of tamarind pulp with 1 cup boiling water in a non-metallic bowl. Mash the mixture with a fork and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain by rubbing through a sieve. Tamarind juice is also available in cans.
mango, ma muang Mango (Ma Muang)
Mangos are available in many shapes and sizes and from all corners of the globe. The smooth, leathery skin of the mango can range from yellow to red to green. Ripe mango flesh is sweet and yellow to orange in color. Mangos are enjoyed fresh, dried, and and in desserts and drinks. Some varieties of mango are enjoyed while not fully ripe, giving the flesh a crisp, sour taste.

Mangos are a popular fruit that grows all over Thailand. When they are unripe they are green and very sour and we eat them with chilli and sugar and something salty. When they ripen they become soft and yellow and suitable for desserts.

papaya, pawpaw, ma la kaw Papaya or Pawpaw (Ma la kaw)
Papaya is known as the "power fruit" as it is used as a universal remedy for many health disorders and diseases. It contains beneficial enzymes and has a high antioxidant content. It strengthens the immune system, helps the digestive system and protects against free radicals.
banana, thai, gluay Banana (Gluay)
Bananas are available all year round, and are eaten fresh, grilled, dried and made into candy. People also eat the flowers, and use the leaves for steaming.
pineapple, thai soparot Pineapple (Soparot)
There are two main types of Pineapples grown in Thailand, the softer and sweeter ‘Sri Racha’ variety grown in the coastal areas around Bangkok, and the crunchier and more sour ‘Phuket’ variety grown in the South. Pineapples grow very easily here, and are exported all over the world.
coconut, thai maprao Coconut (Maprao)
The flesh of mature, ripe coconut is used in a variety of ways. It is shredded, toasted, and eaten with savory foods, cooked into desserts, or shredded and pressed with water to make coconut milk.
mangosteen, thai mahng khoot Mangosteen (Mahng Khoot)
Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit (white on the inside) from Southeast-Asia, Thailand being one of its largest producers. Ripened mangosteen is roughly the same size as a mandarin orange, with a reddish-purple rind.

An interesting fact about mangosteen is that there is always a type of scar at one end. This is a remnant of the flower, and the number of remnant flower parts contained in the scar will tell you how many segments of fruit are inside. Besides containing more fruit, mangosteen that has the most segments will also have fewer seeds. The fruit itself is sweet, with a texture that has been likened to a ripe plum. It is rich in phosphorus and calcium, and vitamins B and C.

thai grapefruit, pomelo, som oh Pomelo or Thai Grapefruit (Som Oh)
The pomelo is a citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick pudgy rind. It is the largest citrus fruit, 15–25 cm in diameter, and usually weighing 1–2 kg.

The pomelo tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit, though the typical pomelo is much larger in size than the grapefruit. It has very little, or none, of the common grapefruit's bitterness, but the enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and thus usually is discarded.

rambutan, thai ngor Rambutan (Ngor)
Rambutans are very pretty Thai fruit, slightly sweet but with a fairly bland taste and jelly texture. Cut around the middle of the skin twist and the skin will come off. Eat the flesh, leave the stone.
rose apple, thai chompoo Rose Apple (Chompoo)
The Rose Apple, Mountain Apple is very common in Thailand. From bright red to pink or green, the Rose Apple is bell shaped and similar in texture to an apple but sweeter.

Most often eaten fresh but also nice mixed with shrimp in a spicy salad
star fruit, thai ma ferng Star Fruit (Ma-Ferng)
Originally from India, the star fruit has smooth, yellow skin with five lateral ridges running the length of the fruit. Cut width-wise, the fruit has a pleasant star shape, making it attractive as a garnish and in fruit salads. The star fruit is crisp and sweet. Star Fruit is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C.
durian, thai dturian Durian (Dturian)
Weighing in at around 4 pounds and 1 foot long and 6 inches wide this ovoid, thorn-covered fruit looks more like something that would be dropped out of a B-52 at high altitude rather than fetch top dollar in the markets of Southeast Asia. You either love Durian or hate it. Most locals love it and Durian is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand.
lychee, thai linchee Lychee (Linchee)
The bright red fruit of the Lychee (linchee) is just smaller than a golf ball with a rind similar to the golf ball but with pimples rather the dimples. Firm presure with the thumbs breaks the rind and reveals the white fleshy fruit that is very sweet and rich in vitamin C. The seed inside the fruit is not edible. The fruit is available only a few months a year but is easily canned and is often served as desert in Thai and Chinese restaurants.
custard apple, thai noi na Custard Apple (Noi Na)
The Custard Apple is sweet but very seedy. The skin of the ripe fruit is green with many segments.
star gooseberry, thai ma yom Star Gooseberry (Ma yom)
The Star Gooseberry is very common around Thai houses. The tree is said to bring good fortune to the residents and it produces many small tart fruits in a short time. It makes a small shade tree but in fruiting season drops fruits almost to fast to keep up with, even with children in the house, among whom the fruit is very popular.
guava, thai falang Guava (Falang)
One seldom sees a ripe Guava in Thailand as Thais prefer to the fruit raw, dipped in salt or sugar mixed with driel chilis. An unripen Guava reminds one of the texture of a ripe apple. Guava juice is readily available and is rich in vitamin C.

Raw guavas are eaten out-of-hand, but are preferred seeded and served sliced as dessert or in salads. More commonly, the fruit is cooked and cooking eliminates the strong odor.

jackfruit, thai kanoon Jackfruit (Kanoon)
Weighing up to 80 pounds and a yard long, the Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. Broken open, the Jackfruit reveals dozens of large seeds covered with a sweet yellow sheath which has a taste similar to pineapple but milder and less juicy. It is said that the flavor of Juicy Fruit chewing gum comes from the Jackfruit.
longon, thai lam yai Longon (Lam yai)
The longan or "dragon eyes" is so named because of the fruit's resemblance to an eyeball when it is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard and closely allied to the glamorous lychee. The fruit is edible, and is often used in East Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried, sometimes canned with syrup in supermarkets. The seeds of fresh longan can be boiled and eaten, with a distinctive nutty flavor
langsart fruit, thai lansart Langsart (Lansart)
Langsart are a sweet fruit with a pale brown skin with an inner stone which is quite bitter. The fruit hang in bunches of 8 to 20 pieces. The smooth outer skin is a dirty yellow color. Under the thin peel, which exudes a milky sap, are about five white or pinkish segments unequal in size. Most segments are sweet, but one or two contain a viable seed and are very bitter to the taste.
dragon fruit, thai geow mangon Dragon Fruit (Geow Mangon)
one of the most beautiful exotic fruits: a bright purple-red skin that hides pitaya crisp tender white flesh, strewn with many tiny black seeds. On the palate the fruit is sweet and sour. Very thirst quenching. Dragon Fruit is highly recommended for diabetics and people with other diseases of endocrine system. Helps with stomach pains. Promotes weight loss.
sala fruit, thai sa la Sala (Sa La)
Sala has a fibrous center with a complex flavour, I'm told it tastes of sherry trifle with slightly bitters notes next to the sweetness. If you want to try one Thai fruit this is the one I'd go for. Sala also forms the basis for many cream soda drinks.
sapodila fruit, thai lamut Sapodila (Lamut)
sweet and juicy fruit with smaller seeds between the fibers. The shape resembles a rugby ball, with the size of kiwi. Sapodilla has a thin inedible skin, which easily exposes the soft brown flesh. As food it is consumed only in mature form, when the fruit becomes soft and dark-brown outside. It has a high content of vitamins C and A and calcium.
camachile fruit, malaysian tamarind, thai makaam thet Camachile or Malaysian Tamarind (Makaam Thet)
Its fruits are similar to those of the tamarind tree but has a softer skin and a different taste. Its tender curly skin is red-green and its whitish-pink flesh sits around shiny brown seeds.

The tree for this grows wild in north east Thailand, it's not cultivated and the berries are not sold, but they are eaten by children. The older the berries are, the more they turn red, and the redder they are, the sweeter they are. Peel off the outer husk and eat the pulp minus the seed.


See also:  Thai Vegetables & Herbs

More ingredients coming soon!


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