One of America’s best Thai restaurants is a place called Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon. It was opened in an old house by a young chef named Andy Ricker and is a shrine to thai grilling. Here are Ricker’s five must-have Thai ingredients.

Nick Fauchald
June 01, 2009

Thai Grilling Temple

Plus: Thai Grilling Temple

Cilantro (pak chee)

Thai cooks use the leaves in soups and salads, the stems in stocks, and the roots in curries and sauces.


Coconut Milk (ka ti)

While Andy Ricker uses Aroy-D brand milk, he prefers to make his own by pulsing fresh coconut in a food processor, moistening it with hot water and squeezing out the milk through cheesecloth.


Dried Chiles (phrik haeng)

Ricker prefers Thai bird’s eye chiles; look for dark red, pliable (not crumbly) ones.


Dried Shrimp (kung haeng)

Sweet, umami-rich dried shrimp come in many sizes; Ricker recommends medium. Look for them in the refrigerated sections of Asian markets.


Fish Sauce (nam pla)

Thai fish sauce is generally made from salted, fermented fish. Ricker prefers the brands Tiparos and Squid.


More Terrific Thai Recipes:

Fast Thai DishesFast Thai DishesThai Favorites10 Thai Favorites American Chef’s Malaysian CookingMalaysian Cooking