Chef Jet Tila describes the principles of yum, the balance of five flavors — hot, sour, salty, sweet, savory. How is yum achieved in Thai cooking? Fish sauce, palm sugar, an acid like rice vinegar or lime, and Thai chiles create the perfect balance. “We’re finally at this point where anyone in America can find curry paste,” says Chef Jet Tila. He suggests Mae Ploy, Maesri, or Mae Anong brands, which are widely used by Thai restaurants.