Herbs used in Thai Cuisine

How Herbs are Used in Thai Cuisine


Thai cuisine is celebrated for its bold flavors, vibrant colors, and fragrant aromas. Herbs play a pivotal role in Thai cooking, adding depth and complexity to dishes. In this blog post, we’ll explore how various herbs are used in Thai cuisine, their culinary applications, and tips for incorporating them into your meals.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential Herbs: Lemongrass, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, and kaffir lime leaves are staples in Thai cuisine.
  • Culinary Uses: Each herb adds unique flavors to different dishes, from soups and curries to salads and stir-fries.
  • Health Benefits: Many Thai herbs offer health benefits, including digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.

Essential Herbs in Thai Cuisine

1. Lemongrass

  • Culinary Uses: Often used in soups, curries, and marinades for its citrusy flavor.
  • Flavor Profile: Fresh, lemony, and slightly sweet with a hint of ginger.

2. Thai Basil

  • Culinary Uses: Commonly used in stir-fries, curries, and salads.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet and spicy with a hint of anise and clove.

3. Cilantro

  • Culinary Uses: Used fresh in salads, soups, and as a garnish.
  • Flavor Profile: Fresh and citrusy with a slight peppery taste.

4. Mint

  • Culinary Uses: Adds freshness to salads, soups, and beverages.
  • Flavor Profile: Cool, sweet, and refreshing.

5. Kaffir Lime Leaves

  • Culinary Uses: Used in soups, curries, and stir-fries for their fragrant aroma.
  • Flavor Profile: Distinct citrusy flavor with a hint of floral notes.

Tips for Using Thai Herbs

  1. Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs provide the best flavor and aroma.
  2. Add at the Right Time: Add delicate herbs like cilantro and mint at the end of cooking to preserve their flavor.
  3. Infuse for Flavor: Bruise or crush lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves to release their essential oils.
  4. Balance Flavors: Combine herbs to create a balanced and aromatic flavor profile in your dishes.

Health Benefits of Thai Herbs

  • Lemongrass: Aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Thai Basil: Contains antioxidants and can help reduce stress.
  • Cilantro: Rich in vitamins and aids in detoxification.
  • Mint: Supports digestion and provides a cooling effect.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves: Boosts immunity and aids in digestion.


Herbs are an integral part of Thai cuisine, adding depth and complexity to dishes. By understanding how to use lemongrass, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, and kaffir lime leaves, you can bring authentic Thai flavors to your kitchen. Enjoy experimenting with these herbs to create delicious and healthy meals.