Friday, May 8, 2015
I love to cook.
I love thai food.
So a cooking class makes perfect sense, right!?!
The day started with them picking me up at my hostel around 9 am, and a quick ride to Ruamchook Market. Compared to Wararot Market, this market is exactly what I think of when someone says “market”.
Back in the van, we headed to the farm. Once we arrived I instantly thought,
What a cool place to cook!
There were several classes going on, but each set of 10-12 people had their own “building”. Within each building everyone had there own prep-station. With no AC, everything was open with natural light everywhere. A few more fans would have been nice (it got REALLY hot once we started cooking) but overall an AMAZING atmosphere to cook in.
Thai Farm Cooking School:
The assistants prepping for the class..
One of the assistants was so adorable, she kept photo-bombing my pictures 🙂
Eventually I asked her to smile, and check out this precious smile.
Meet Ning, our instructor. She MOVED A LOT and had a ton of extravagant facial expressions, so it was hard to get a good photo of her.
Step 1: The Garden
Part of the “draw” for this cooking school is that they have their own organic farm for many of the ingredients used in the recipes. Ning walked us through the garden, showing us what they were growing and exactly what we would be using that day.
Step 2: Rice
We, well Ning, was making two types of rice (1) Sticky rice and (2) Jasmine Rice. The sticky rice was to eat with the curry and for dessert (nomnom mango and sticky rice) and the Jasmine rice was for the stir-fry.
The key to sticky rice is soaking overnight, and then steaming.
For the Jasmine rice she just rinsed and place in the rice cooker 🙂
Step 3: Make our own curry paste
Have you ever used a mortar? Well, it is HARD. Especially, when you have a slave-driver like Ning who keeps telling you to pound more. She kept saying, “PEANUT BUTTER, it needs to be smooth like PEANUT BUTTER”. Oh my goodness was it exhausting. Luckily, I was faster than everyone else, so Ning helped me towards the end (aka she might have done most of the work) to show everyone how it should look like “Peanut Butter”. I detailed the steps in the image captions…
Step 4: Tom Yam Soup
It was close to lunch at that point so we needed to make our starter, Tom Yum Soup.
You start with water.
Add oyster mushrooms.
Add galangal and shallot. Ning said you can NEVER replace ginger for galangal, even though galangal is in the ginger family.
Add tomato, don’t cut too small because they “melt” when boiled.
Add scallions, cilantro, Thai parsley, and kaffir lime leaves (make sure to take off the stem because it will make you dish bitter).
CRUSH your lemongrass stem (with the giant pestle) and CRUSH your chilies(with the flat side of your knife) and add.
Add a heaping spoonful of Thai Chili Paste, and a dash of coconut milk.
And finally add a baby pinch of salt (pointer and thumb) and a “crocodile” pinch of sugar (4 fingers and thumb).
Boil for 4 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook for 20 seconds.
HOLY SMOKES THAT WAS SO EASY.
Best part, it tasted FREAKING INCREDIBLE. The soup hits the three “S” words Ning kept talking about:
Want to really know what it tastes like? MAKE IT YOURSELF 🙂
The goofball was at it again…
Step 4: Vegetarian Yellow Curry
Step 5: Chicken and Basil Stir Fry
The sauce consisted of…
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- “Crocodile” pinch of sugar
- and 3 tbsp Water
Lunch is served!
Step 6: Pad Thai
Ok, at this point is was “all hands on deck”. You push the tofu-radish-shallot-egg mixture to the side and add your rice noodles. Add the sauce to the noodles and stir (do not mix in the other stuff) until the noodles are “soft”. Then mix in the other stuff and add the carrots, beans sprouts, and scallions.
The sauce was…
- 2 tbsp ripe tamarind juice (Ning had been boiling tamarind fruit in water all morning)
- Spoonful of palm sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mushroom sauce
- 1 tsp of molasses
Cook the noodles to “dry them out” then add peanuts, chili powder, and a little sprinkle of fish sauce.
I didn’t actually eat this but got to take it home for dinner! I have to say, I did a pretty good job! Tasted just like the ones I’ve bought!
Step: 7: Mango and Sticky Rice
Add coconut mixture to sticky rice and let sit. Serve with MANGOOOOOOO
So I was really full at this point…but I ATE IT ALL. I mean, come on, subtly sweet coconut sticky rice with an incredibly ripe mango, ugh, heaven.
OH MY GOODNESS. SO MUCH FOOD.
But. It was all SO easy. I promise that when I arrive home I am heading to the asian market and making myself some authentic Thai food 🙂 In the meantime, I think I will keep letting people cook for me 😉
Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette