Boiling, or “thom” as Thais call it, represents the earliest and most authentic mode of cooking known to Thailand. Yet stock was never an important aspect of Thai cooking and was only introduced with the arrival of the Chinese. Instead, Thais use paste or infusions to avor their broth. Boiling is also an oft-used technique in the making of traditional Thai desserts.
As you will see in the recipes here, both types of boiling techniques – paste and infusions – are represented. Although not a rule engraved in stone, you will nd that boiling with paste is a technique generally found in making curries (gaeng), while infusions are usually used to make soups (thom).
All pastes are made with a pestle and mortar, and these implements reign supreme in the kitchen: far more important than the knife. Without the pestle and mortar (and paste), Thai food is not Thai! I recommend you invest in a good pestle and mortar before cooking.