Filipino cooking is distinct in such a way that our food influences reflect the dishes we make. For example, Chinese influence brought our love for noodles, dimsum, among others.
In our daily cooking, the go-to aromatics are usually garlic and onion and we occasionally add more depending on the dish we are making. One example is the additional use of ginger when we make tinola. These additional aromatics vary, but garlic and onion remain the base combination for sautéing.
Other countries would have their own as well.
India is famously known for its masala spice mix, using well-loved spices such as chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, etc.
Korea is known for its gochujang and Japanese cuisine is quickly identified by the use of mirin, sake and miso in daily cooking.
It is the same outside the Asia region as well: some examples include the heavy use of oregano, olive oil and lemon juice in Greek cooking while Mexico is known to use cumin and coriander, among others, in their daily cooking.
Enter Thailand's Kratiem Prik Thai or more commonly known as the Three Best Friends or Three Buddies.
This spice mix involves just three natural ingredients: coriander root, white peppercorn and garlic and is considered a beloved staple in Thai cooking, making the dishes distinctly Thai.
In preparing this it is encouraged to use mortar and pestle, a kitchen tool most of us have, to release the flavor and aroma nicely. Of course, for practical purposes you can blend this as well.
Kratiem Prik Thai lends a distinct aroma to many stir fry dishes, marinades and even soups and one will be delightfully pleased to discover such flavor profile that may be new to the Filipino taste and palate.
For those who love cilantro, this is an essential pantry staple to have – you may refrigerate the paste or freeze in ice cubes if you're making a big batch.
White peppercorn is the preferred variety to use in this case, as this gives an earthier and more complex flavor, with less spice.
Coriander roots – about 6 to 7 roots, washed, cleaned and dried
White peppercorn – a teaspoon or two
Garlic – a few cloves to half a head
In a mortar and pestle, pound the white peppercorns and subsequently add the coriander roots and garlic, combining all three by grinding and mixing in a circular motion. This will be your base spice mix which you can now add your choice of sweet and salty components — brown sugar and soy sauce for one, which you may then use in preparing your stir fry dishes and marinades.
As a standalone spice mix this gives a very good flavor to soups: just stir fry the spice mix in hot (not boiling) oil before adding your soup ingredients. I have also tried this in noodles and the resulting flavor is delicious. For marinades, add soy sauce and sugar to your base mix and season your choice of meat prior to baking/roasting/grilling.
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PHOTO/Caption: For team cilantro, kratiem prik thai is an essential pantry staple to have and it only requires less than five minutes of your time.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net