Thai food is delicious, it combines a mixture of flavors like no other… sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy combined with fresh ingredients. We had such a good time in Thailand trying different dishes. It was a delight for our palate. We liked it so much that we decided to have a Thai cooking class, making this trip also a cooking vacation!
Thai cuisine is very diverse. In the South dishes contain more coconut milk and in the north there is a bigger diversity of types of rice. Thai food has a big influence of Chinese, Khmer and Indian cuisine. It also has common dishes with Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Portuguese also had a small but very striking influence. 🙂 We introduced chilies in South East Asia (from America) which are now extensively used and “fio de ovos”, a delicacy made of egg yolk.
Being from Portugal everything for us was a novelty, we were Thai food virgins. Some dishes we didn’t even know what they were. Therefore we decided to do a Thai cooking class try to learn how to do some of our new favorite dishes and find out how Thai cuisine works. We did a Thai cooking Class in Chiang Mai where you can find a big variety of options.
In Bangkok we delighted ourselves with street food. We even discovered steam buns that aren’t traditionally Thai but Chinese. In the South of Thailand we had a delicious Pad Thai, Papaya Salad and Spare Ribs BBQ. So at this point of the voyage we had already tried a lot of Thai dishes, we were no longer virgins. One of our favorite dishes and probably the most famous is Pad Thai. Rice noodles with a fantastic sauce, bean sprouts and egg. It is delicious. So one of our priorities was to learn Pad Thai
Thai Cooking Class
We choose the half day cooking class at the Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School in Chiang Mai. The course included cooking 5 dishes: a curry paste and a curry, spring rolls and two more dishes from 2 categories. There were 10 people in the Thai cooking class. Alter some discussion the group decided the 2 categories we wanted to cook: stir fried (Pad Thai, cashew-nut with chicken, Pad see Uw, Hot basil stir fried) and soup (Tom Yum, Coconut milk soup, Tom Sab).
Before starting to cook, we went to the local market with our cooking teacher, to buy all the ingredients we needed for the dishes. We already had gone to numerous of markets in Bangkok, but it is different going with a local who knows the ingredients. Afterwards, we choose the herbs, which we had the privilege to pick up from the garden of the school after a small description of their properties.
We started the Thai cooking class with a welcome snack (Miang Kham), it’s a traditional Thai snack that means “one bite wrap”. It is simple snack that combines raw ingredients in an betel leave. The leaf is filled with toasted coconut, chilies, shallots, ginger, sliced lime with the skin and topped with palm sugar syrup. You have to eat it all in one bite. You will sense an explosion of flavors that combine well together.
Then came the fun part, cooking, each person had a cooking station with one wok and stove to cook. First the teacher exemplified and then we tried to do the same. After each dish that we cooked we would sit together and eat. So at the end of the class we were quite full. The recipes are pretty simple and easy to do and the teacher gave us great tips.
By the end of the class we had learnt to cook:
- Spring Rolls: made with vegetables and chicken in rice wrappers.
- Pad Thai: traditional Thai dish made with rice noodles a mixture of vegetables served with peanuts, chili powder and lime; Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew nut: made of cashew nuts, chicken, vegetables served with rice;
- Chicken in coconut milk: soup made with lemongrass, galangal, lime leave, tomato, mushroom, spring onion, chicken and coconut milk; Massaman Curry: curry made with massaman paste, chicken, coconut milk and boiled potatoes served with rice;
- Khaw Soi: traditional Chaing Mai noodle soup made with red curry past, coconut milk, egg noodles, lime, pickled cabbage and chicken leg; Tom Yum: hot and sour prawn soup made with lemongrass, galangal, lime leaf, tomato mushroom, onion and prawns.
So do you want to learn how to cook Pad Thai?
- 2 pieces garlic;
- 1 piece tofu cut in small stick;
- 100 g bean sprouts;
- 50 g chopped chicken;
- 200 g rice noodle;
- 1 egg;
- 1 tsp sugar;
- 2 tsp fish sauce;
- 3 tsp oyster sauce;
- 3 tbs tamarind;
- 2 tbs cooking oil;
- In your wok fry garlic until golden. Reduce heat and add chopped chicken and small sticks of tofu;
- When the chicken is cooked, add an egg and the seasoning ( 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp fish sauce, 3 tsp oyster sauce), mix everything;
- Increase the heat, and add fresh rice noodles (200 g) immediately add water (2 cooking spoon) and tamarind sauce (2 tbs);
- Mix the rice noodles with the sauce and cook always stirring until noodles absorbed the sauce;
- Join vegetables ( bean sprouts, chives, carrot ) cook for few seconds;
- Serve with roasted peanuts, chili powder and lime;
We enjoyed doing the Thai cooking class a great deal. It was one of our favorite activities in the trip! it is fun, tasty and learned a lot. Besides now we can eat Pad Thai at home, Portugal! 🙂
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