Choosing the best Thai chicken marinade is a two-step process. First, a cook should determine which parts of the expansive Thai spice palate most appeal to his or her senses. After that decision has been made, a cook can choose either the best Thai chicken marinade recipe or can select the best pre-packaged marinade.
Thailand is blessed with a rich ecosystem, in which many different herbs, spices, and vegetables can be easily grown. As a result, Thai cooking tends to feature very rich and complicated blends of flavors. It usually blends together a mixture of flavors to provide sweet, salty, sour, and bitter elements in a harmonious combination, but there are many different combinations of ingredients that can produce this sort of combination. Most Thai recipes include hot peppers. Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and basil are all also very common ingredients in Thai cooking and in Thai chicken marinade.
Many Thai dishes make use of peanuts to add a rich, earthy flavor to food. Thai chicken marinades often include peanuts or peanut butter. Chicken satay, a Thai mainstay, relies on both a marinade rich in peanuts and a peanut dipping sauce.
Another ingredient that commonly appears in Thai cooking is coconut milk. This rich liquid can be used as a base for curry sauces, soups, and many other dishes. It can also be used as the base for a Thai chicken marinade. Marinades based on coconut milk have a distinctive creaminess.
Fish sauce is another common base ingredient in Thai cooking, and an excellent base for a Thai chicken marinade. As its name implies, fish sauce is made from fish that has been fermented. It adds a very salty and hearty flavor to food and blends well with most of the Thai spice palate. In addition, it is well-absorbed by chicken, which picks up some of its earthy flavor quite rapidly.
A certain amount of combination and experimentation is necessary for anyone to learn what ingredients he or she prefers in Thai chicken marinade. Once that exploration is complete, the process of marinade preparation is fairly simple. When cooking from scratch, fresh ingredients are crucial, and fresh or frozen spices are preferred. Asian markets operate in most large cities and offer access to the majority of ingredients needed to make a delicious Thai chicken marinade.
If homemade marinade is not an option, it is generally best to select a prepared marinade with a list of ingredients as close to those that would go into a homemade marinade as possible. Any marinade should be labeled, and it makes sense to choose those with more spices and fewer filler ingredients. Some cooks may also prefer to select marinades which contain few or no artificial ingredients.