Thai’d and True

Food Finds by Lisë Stern / January, 2021

Bangkok native Watcharee Limanon is the brains—and heart—behind the flavor in the versatile line of Watcharee’s, a quintet of complex and delicious Thai sauces.

Brightly colored from infusions of spices, these sauces add depth to meats, vegetables, grains—just about any food, really. Deep red Pad Thai Sauce is an unusual sour-sweet-spicy blend of palm sugar, vinegar, lime juice, and chilies. Coconut forms the base for the other four sauces, giving a creamy richness. Thai Green Curry Sauce gets its color and flavor from green chilies and lemongrass, with a tang from lime juice. The popular nutty Thai Peanut Sauce is wonderful with tofu or chicken, or drizzled over a leafy salad. Golden-orange Thai Massaman Curry Sauce has intricate layers of spices and heat, with hints of coriander, red chilies, tamarind juice, and cardamom. The newest choice, sunshine Yellow Thai Curry Sauce is bright with turmeric, complemented with cumin, galangal, and cinnamon.

Limanon worked several years as an environmental lawyer (her father was a justice on the Supreme Court of Thailand). But her mother’s influence called. “She was a wonderful cook and taught me family recipes,” Limanon says. When she and her husband moved to Maine, she established the Thai Culinary Arts Studio, and then began selling these exquisitely flavored sauces. Watcharee’s sauces are available online and in area markets, including Hannaford.

Yarmouth, Maine