Create your own Thai 7 Spice blend with this simple recipe that will impart authentic Thai flavors into meats, vegetables, rice, or noodle dishes. A very flavorful spice blend needs to start with the freshest just ground ingredients made in small batches to retain its flavor. When you make your own you will know you always have the best blend for all your recipes.
What is Thai 7 spice?
Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic seasonings and a spicy edge. In comparison, the seasoning might seem spicy for a foreign palate. This Thai seasoning blend recipe ensures that a balance of a little sweet, some savory, and a touch of heat is present.
Common Thai seasonings
There are countless combinations for Thai seasoning recipes. However, there is a common thread of ingredients. Here is a list of common spices found in Thai recipes.
- Dried spearmint leaves give sweet flavors to Thai dishes.
- Lemongrass is used for its citrusy flavor.
- Turmeric has an earthier flavor and as a color enhancer in Thai dishes.
- Ginger is used for a sweet-spicy slightly warm flavor.
- Coriander seed ground into powder gives a subtle spice to dishes.
- Peppercorns give spiciness without intensity, unlike chiles, which give heat.
- Birdseye Chiles are one of the hottest chiles, with a Scoville Heat Unit rating ranging from 100,000-225,000. These chiles are very popular in Thai cooking.
- Galangal is very similar to ginger but slightly more intense. The flavor of galangal is sometimes compared to cinnamon.
- Makrut Lime Leaf is used in nearly every curry or soup in Thai cuisine.
- Thai Basil is popular in Thai cooking because of its slightly sweet flavor.
What is the main spice in Thai food?
Thai food is very aromatic and flavorful cuisine. The use of spices and herbs, including dried or fresh coriander, Thai chili powder, galangal (Asian planet in the ginger family), Macrut lime leaves, green peppercorns, lemongrass, and turmeric, are all typical in Thai cooking.
Chinese 5 spice vs Thai 7 spice
Chinese 5 Spice is a flavorful blend of spices used in traditional cooking. The five components most commonly found in Chinese five-spice are star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and fennel seeds. There are various additions and substitutions often made according to family traditions and regions.
Thai 7 Spice is an aromatic blend of star of anise, cloves, pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. It lends itself to a more savory spice blend.
What can I use instead of Thai spice?
There are many companies that sell Thai 7 Spice blends but it is super easy and economical to mix your own. A few simple pantry staple spices and you have an aromatic Thai 7 spice mix.
You could also mix up a batch of my basic Thai Seasoning Recipe. It is a more savory blend with a hint of coconut.
How to use the seasoning?
Thai 7 Spice Seasoning is used to infuses flavors on poultry, seafood, and beef. It can also add a robust flavor to noodles, rice, marinades, and stir fry dishes.
Recipe ideas for Thai 7 spice?
One of my favorite ways to use my Thai 7 Spice Seasoning is to fire up the grill for this slightly spicy, exotic flavored Thai Grilled Chicken. It’s easy to prep ahead so all you have to do at dinner is to grill and eat, which is perfect for a quick night dinner or a bbq on the patio.
If you are looking for a Thai appetizer then try this creamy Thai Peanut Hummus Recipe. It is loaded with spicy Thai seasonings, hints of cilantro, and coconut all wrapped up with a nutty peanut flavor. It’s healthy, delicious, and great for dipping vegetables or pita chips.
Spice grinding tips
If you are not familiar with star of anise, you are going to love the aroma of this spice! Taste of Home, explains to us that despite its name, star anise is not the same thing as aniseed. It’s actually the fruit of a small evergreen tree in the magnolia family (Illicium verum).
The green fruit is picked before it can ripen and it’s dried until it resembles a hard, nut-brown seed. You’ll find anywhere from six to ten points on the star, each containing a single seed. For freshes, flavor purchase star of anise whole and grind it yourself.
How to grind star of anis
I have a coffee grinder that I only used for grinding spices. Place the seeds and pods in the grinder. Pulse for about 30 seconds, then give it a 30 long grind until you can no longer hear pieces spinning around in the grinder.
I took a black permanent marker and wrote spices only on it, so the family doesn't use it for coffee beans. They might get a surprise hint of spice in their coffee if they did.
How to make a spicy or mild blend
If you want to make your 7 spice spicy, add a 1/2 teaspoon of chili pepper instead of black pepper. If you like it really spicy, make you sweat kind of spice, then substitute the chili pepper for habanero powder.
How to store seasonings
I store my spices in glass see-through jars with airtight lids. I also label my jars so I can easily see what is in the jar.
How to make Thai seasoning sauce
To make Thai marinade just add a few tablespoons of the spice mix to a can of coconut milk and you have the perfect way to marinade all your favorite beef, pork, chicken, or fish dishes.
How to make Thai sesoing paste
Mix 3 tablespoons of miso paste white with 1 teaspoon of Thai seasoning.
How to make Thai peanut sauce
You can make Thai peanut sauce by mixing a teaspoon of Thai Seasoning with 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 teaspoons tamari,1 teaspoon of vinegar, and some water to thin out to a consistency you like.
More seasoning and sauces
Thai 7 Spice
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3 teaspoons black pepper use chili pepper if you like it spicy
- 2 teaspoons cloves ground
- 2 teaspoons star of anise ground fine
- Place all the seasonings into a small bowl and whisk to break any clumps and mix well.
- Pour Thai 7 Spice into an air-tight jar and secure the lid. Use within 3 months.