The beautiful art of Thai garnishes

There’s something about Thailand that sets it apart from every other country in the World, it’s rich with colour, stunningly friendly and welcoming and delicate and ornate in it’s beauty. This all follows through to the food from the delicate spices and bright plates down to, what we’re about to talk about, the ornate Thai garnishes.

The art of fruit carving is embedded into Thai culture and the skills and techniques are passes down from one generation to another.It is used to make food offerings, weddings and for entertaining. It is partucularly used to garnish dishes during royal celebrations which harks back to where it all stems from; the palaces of the kings in the Sukhothai period 700+ years ago.

These garnishes need not be hugely complicated but they all share a common theme and that is to bring joy through their beauty. It’s a fantastic (and addictive) hobby as you see how your designs improve and grow. You can jump right in and buy specially designed tools or you can start with your normal kitchen knives etc to see if you enjoy it. To get you started we’ve got a few ideas below that are simple to master but that will create an impression.

Rose garnish

  • Take a tomato and using a knife peel off the skin in one continuous peel
  • Roll up the skin to a tightish roll to form a rose

Try this technique with other fruits and veg such as apples for the top of a coconut rice pudding. Sprinkle with a little sugar and caramalise with a cooking blow torch for a bit of ‘wow’ at your nest dinner party!

Veg flowers

  • Take a vegetable such as a carrot, cucumber or courgette and cut a design out of the skin – you could start off with cutting V shapes out at 12,3,6,and 9 o’clock positions
  • Slice the veg and you’l see the design appear.
  • Experiment with the design and the thickness of the flowers you cut

Get some inspiration

If you’re looking for some inspiration then check out our Pinterest board dedicated to the art of fruit and veg carving.

Thai Spices

Thai dishes are incredibly well flavoured and spiced and range from mild aromatc dishes to hot, spicy ones. No matter your taste you should find a Thai dish that fulfils your taste buds!

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