If you are a person who likes eating spicy food, this article will show you how to cook basic modern Thai food from six main ingredients, together with cooking some rice in a pot.

Supermarkets for buying ingredients

Usually, most Asian people buy food and sauces at an Asian supermarket. There are two Asian supermarkets in central Auckland. One is Taiping supermarket located on Beach Road, close to Alternative Rental Cars. Another is Limchore, which is situated in the middle of the row of buildings between ANZ bank and Starbucks coffee shop on K road. The shop’s sign is yellow. However, some ingredients can be found at Countdown as well.

Some key things to keep in mind are:

  • Don’t buy any food or ingredients without checking if they are expired goods, especially those that are extremely discounted because sometimes they are near their date of expiry and bad quality.
  • The prices in Asian supermarkets are cheaper than others.
  • These supermarkets also have many kinds of vegetables, fruits and sauces.
  • Customers can pay both by debit card or cash.

Let’s cook modern Thai food


Everyone may know that Thai food is famous in the world for being hot and spicy. Besides this, it is low fat and is highly nutritious. In addition, spicy food can burn fat in your body too. Normally, Thai people eat Thai food with some rice as well.

How to cook rice in a pot

First of all, for 1-2 people you need to measure some rice by using a water glass which is around 10 cm tall. Then, the rice is put into a pot which has water for cleaning it. Tip the water out and put new water in, rinsing again and again two more times. Then add clean water for cooking. The water level above the rice should be 2.5 cm. Put the pot on the stove to boil. You need to wait 7-10 minutes until the heat can make the rice will expand.

Six main ingredients in three dishes

  • chicken or beef (cut into chunks of meat or mince meat)
  • fish sauce
  • fresh Kaffir lime leaves
  • hot chilli
  • juice from a lemon or lime
  • liquid chicken stock

Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum soupThe first dish is Tom Yum soup. Other ingredients for this dish are mushrooms, sliced galangal ( a Thai root which is quite similar to ginger) or you can use sliced ginger instead if you cannot find it, and the last ingredient is chicken stock.

Heat the stock to boiling. Add sliced galangal or ginger, add slices of meat and sliced mushrooms into the boiling stock and after that, put in lemon juice or lime juice, 1-1 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce and sliced chilli. Finally, put a few fresh Kaffir lime leaves in the soup and remove from the heat to serve hot.


The second dish is Laab. Other ingredients are sliced onions and sugar. Laab

Heat a little bit of the chicken stock to boiling. Add the slices of meat into the pot to mix with the stock. Wait 4-5 minutes until the meat is well-done and then put 2-4 tablespoons of lemon juice or lime juice, 1-1 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce, ½ teaspoon of sugar, sliced onion, a few fresh Kaffir lime leaves and chilli into the pot. Mix together and remove from the heat to serve hot.

Thai Salad

Thai saladThe last dish is Thai Salad. The other ingredients are sugar and carrot or fruit, such as apple, pineapple, grapes and kiwifruit.

Put a little bit of the chicken stock in a big bowl. Then, put in 1-1 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce, 2-4 tablespoons of lemon juice or lime juice, ½-1 tablespoons of sugar and chilli, and mix together. Finally, put sliced carrots or slices of fruit to mix with the sauce again.

Cooking delicious Thai food at home is one of way to save money and it can help you be healthier when you live in New Zealand.

Author: Yanika [NICs]

NICs is from Thailand and is a student at Languages International.

Photos: Thai chilli plant by Dey, Galangal by liza31337, Tom Yum Soup by Renée S. Suen, Laab by Vitamin-K, Thai Salad by StreetFly JZ, Fresh condiments and garnishes on tables at a road-side cafe (feature photo) by thaths