HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it

small green things, what thai ingredient is this?

lottobear May 28, 2012 08:17 AM

Today I went to a thai grocery store and among the refrigerated greens, there was a bunch of round little green things. Hard to describe the size exactly but imagine kinda, bigger than a blueberry but smaller than a strawberry. Kinda the size of a raspberry...I asked the shopkeeper and I am pretty certain she said something about "apples" but the rest was simply too incomprehensible for me and with the keyword "apple", I figured I would've been able to figure it out. So when I got home I took out my recently purchased book "Thai Food by David Thompson" and tried to find it but I didn't so I turned to google but with no luck there either... So, what on earth am I talking about?!

  1. l
    lottobear May 28, 2012 09:37 AM

    Cool, hopefully they'll still be in stock when I need them in the future!

    As for the shrimps, nope no shrimps there either but they did a larger version, scampi/tiger prawns I suppose. However, I kinda chickened out because well, isn't fishing these really bad for the environment? I know that "normal" grocery stores over here don't sell these because of these issues. Isn't fishing these kinda like just pressing a big red "DELETE" button for the environment? :p

    3 Replies
    1. re: lottobear
      kengk May 28, 2012 01:31 PM

      Like Rocky Road,I have not an idea what's going on in Sweden, but I would guess that the tiger prawns you saw are what many/most of us U.S. based people are calling farm raised shrimp from Asia.

      1. re: kengk
        lottobear May 28, 2012 02:01 PM

        "farm raised shrimp from Asia."
        Well that's a long name! I'm finding quite a lot of english information regarding the tiger prawn though, you make it sound as if the word is some weird translation made up by me! :(

        Unless I misunderstood everything... Well either way, I barely have a clue about all these environmental issues but I know there's even been commercials on TV over here basically telling people to pick something else than these giant prawns. Whether it's because of these prawns are dying out or if it's because of those mangroves or about the coral reefs, I don't know. Point is that I would've felt like a douchebag if I had bought the prawns, seeing how this seems like a very serious issue and all...

        1. re: lottobear
          kengk May 28, 2012 02:07 PM

          A lot of the inexpensive shrimp in the U.S. is farm raised in Asia. Shrimp farms are blamed for causing environmental problems and the shrimps themselves may not be healthy to eat. On the other hand, trawling for wild shrimp causes all manner of problems from the by catch that is killed along with the shrimp to damaging the bottom of the sea which indirectly affects many other things.

          I will continue to eat shrimp because I'm selfish that way.

          Edited to say that I think there maybe some differences in nomenclature which is causing confusion such as the difference between shrimp/prawn/scampi and raw versus frozen. It also is entirely possible that I am the one who is confused and I apologize if that is the case and I have confused the issue further.

    2. l
      lottobear May 28, 2012 09:04 AM

      Okay it's all solved now. The second link HillJ linked showed them but it's hard when you don't have some kind of measurement beside it but after googling it. It's all clear now. They have to be...... pea eggplants!

      2 Replies
      1. re: lottobear
        HillJ May 28, 2012 09:21 AM

        Glad the mystery is solved, lottobear. Thai eggplants are delicious in all sorts of dishes but I especially enjoy them in curry or pickled.

        1. re: lottobear
          Rocky Road May 28, 2012 09:23 AM

          Amazing---- a Thai grocery store with that, but no shrimp! Yikes....Need to go to Sweden one day to see what's going on. :-)

        2. l
          lottobear May 28, 2012 08:39 AM

          I am getting quite a lot of mixed pictures on Google, not very good pictures either unfortunately. But I don't think these are it. Most pictures display these as rather, well, chili pepper looking. They're long. However, these little green things, were probably round enough to roll around, they were very much shaped like a ball/orb. About the same size, perhaps a bit smaller, as a grape.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lottobear
            HillJ May 28, 2012 08:43 AM


            plenty of nice clear photos here.

          2. HillJ May 28, 2012 08:36 AM


            rose apples come in red or green. was this what you saw?

            thai produce photos here too

            1 Reply
            1. re: HillJ
              lottobear May 28, 2012 08:50 AM

              Nope, not rose apples, these rose apples are much much bigger than those things I saw. The other link says that a kaffir lime is about 1.5 inch, which is more like it. Still, 1,5 inch is still too big for those that I saw since they were just a bit smaller than a grape. Perhaps it was kaffir limes but smaller ones? I imagine the best kaffir limes aren't imported yeah?

            2. g
              gordeaux May 28, 2012 08:28 AM

              Bird's Eye chile peppers. Just a guess. Web em up.

              Show Hidden Posts