Is Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine all the same?
No. Chinese cuisine doesn’t employ a wide range of spices, as they rely on stocks, as do the French. Because it is native to China, their dominant spice is star anise. While North Vietnamese cuisine bears the strongest relationship to Chinese, South Vietnamese food was influenced by Indian and French spices and cooking. Vietnamese food uses more fresh herbs and spices, Chinese cooking uses a lot of fresh green leaf vegetables. The main spices in both these cuisines are: Star anise, fennel seed, coriander leaf, dill leaf, cassia, ginger, Sichuan pepper, chili, cloves and licorice. Thai food in the Western word is mostly influenced by our exposure to area restaurants. It’s aromatic, fresh, yet hot and sour, with tastes of coconut. Their main spice and herb mixture includes: coriander leaf, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, green and red chili, turmeric, garlic, ginger, galangal, cloves, and cardamom. I have several different blends that represent these cuisines nicely.