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Thai Cooking 101: All You Need to Know About Tamarind Paste

When asked to think of something with a sour flavour, most people will immediately think of lemons, limes, and vinegar. Chances are tamarind paste won’t even be anywhere near the top of most people’s lists. But in Thai cooking, tamarind paste is a powerful ingredient that’s used to give certain dishes a distinct sour taste that other ingredients can’t replicate. One problem with tamarind paste is that it’s such an alien ingredient, so most westerners don’t know what they can use it for. Even though it’s sour, tamarind doesn’t have any hint of citrus whatsoever. Instead, it smells like sweet fruit, but its sweetness is very subtle.

Making tamarind paste from tamarind - Thai cooking

To help you understand how to cook with this magnificent ingredient, here’s a quick guide to tamarind paste:

What Is Tamarind Paste?