Learning to Cook Thai Food


Evan’s ready to cook!

One thing Evan and I have wanted to do for a long time is take a cooking class, and we heard that Chiang Mai was the place to do it. We signed up for a day-long course at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, and were picked up in the morning and taken to The Wok restaurant, where we were going to learn about Thai ingredients and how to put them together.

We started by taking a trip to the market, though most of the class actually stayed in the cooking demonstration room to hear about what we got to see in the market. When we got back, we started on the first of our 6 dishes of the day. Unfortunately, we wolfed almost all of the food down so fast that we didn’t didn’t get any good photos of it. Oops. Or should I say, burp?

Our first dish was tom yam soup, which is a sweet/sour/spicy prawn soup. Since I don’t eat fish and Evan doesn’t like prawns, though, we made tofu and chicken versions, which turned out splendidly. We just added some ginger, lemongrass, mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots, chili peppers, cilantro and lime to our broth, and we had a delicious and quick soup. Definitely one to try at home — and we got a recipe book so we could recreate the dishes we learned to make.

The next dish was fish cakes. Evan made the fish version while I made a tofu version that came out really well. All I did was mash up tofu with some soy sauce, egg, tapioca flour, green beans, kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar than toss it into oil in a wok. The instructor made some sweet and sour cucumber sauce to go along with them, too.

Next, we made green curry, which was our most complicated dish because we had to separate the oil out of the the coconut cream in our wok, which wasn’t exactly an obvious process. Thank goodness our instructors told us when to leave it, turn up or turn down the heat. As with most of our dishes, our instructor encouraged us to use lots of chilies, so it turned out super spicy. It was still really delicious, though, and we also had a chance to let it cool off while we cooked some pad thai.

I’ve done pad thai before at home, and as expected, it was a bit of a scramble to get everything cooked  the right amount. Still, it was relatively easy, and for the veggie version, instead of fish sauce I used soy sauce, and instead of oyster sauce I used mushroom sauce. The pad thai and curry lunch with rice was delicious and filling, and it was interesting to compare how the dishes could turn out a bit differently even with the same ingredients and the same instructions.

After lunch, we finished up by making a chicken salad — I made mine with mushrooms — which was my least favorite dish of the day, though still quite tasty. And we made a dessert of boiled, dyed-red water chestnuts, which we coated in tempura flour before boiling. They turned out translucent and ruby-like, and we at them in coconut cream and sugar syrup with ice to keep it cool. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did — it was a great, refreshing end to a thoroughly delectable yet stuffing day.

Who wants to come over to dinner when we get back to LA?

2 Responses to “Learning to Cook Thai Food”

  1. Ronna says:

    I am ready for a good home-cooked Thai meal.

  2. thai seafood says:

    I would like to invite you to http://thaiseafood.blogspot.com
    I hope you enjoy my blog.

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