While we were in Bangkok Dave and I decided to sign up for a cooking class. We both love Thai food and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to make our favourite dishes. I'm so glad we took one of our afternoons to do this and I can't wait to recreate everything we made on the course. Dave has already perfected one of the dishes we learned and makes it once a week usually (we can't get enough!)
We first met our instructor at one of the train stations in Bangkok where we told him what dishes we would like to create. He brought the 7 of us to a local market where he taught us about the different produce you can find in Thailand. We learned about the different types of ginger, how many different flavours and spices Thai people use while cooking and so much more. It was fascinating! Then we headed to the cooking school where everything was ready for us to start prepping. Each person was able to make 5 dishes: one curry, one stir fry, one salad, one main and one dessert. That wasn't even the best part, that was definitely the eating we got to do at the end!
The instructor explained each vegetable, spice or fruit that sat in front of us. Each dish had different components to make it taste exceptional! It was fascinating learning all about the different types of food Thai cooking calls for vs. what we use in our cooking. Some people ended up cooking the same dishes, but sometimes we were on our own making something completely unique. Dave and I decided to each do 5 different dishes so that we could in the end learn how to make 10 total. As we make them and perfect them I will post the recipes and directions on here to show you how we recreated them after learning in Bangkok.
After chopping everything for each dish we headed to the dessert station. I know dessert before dinner? That's something I could really get behind! However, there was a reason behind it. The dessert could sit for longer and not loose it's flavours or textures, whereas the savoury dishes were better eaten right after cooking. For dessert there were three different options: deep fried bananas, banana in coconut milk (which Dave did,) and my all time favourite: sticky rice with mango.
Each of us had our own station where we cooked our own dishes with the help of the teacher and assistants. Below are my four dishes: Larb Gai, Pad Thai, Stir Fried Morning Glories, Kao Saoi. Each dish took a little bit of prep but once you got cooking it was quick and easy and ready in just a few minutes!
My creations were all very delicious. Some a little bit spicier than others, which I did not manage to finish but I have to say I did eat most of what is in the photograph below.
Kao Soi is a Northern Thai dish that is a curry noodle soup. It has salt, turmeric, garlic, shallot, coriander root and chillies, all of which you grind together to make your own curry paste. When you cook it up you had coconut milk and coconut cream, noodles and whatever protein you'd like. Top it off with some deep fried noodles and coriander and you've got a delicious and warming soup I really can't get enough of.
Larb Gai is a Thai salad of sorts. It is made up of coriander, shallot, green onion, chill powder, lime and fish sauce. These delicious flavours mix with ground chicken and you can eat it warm or cold for a more salad effect. Beware of the chili powder though, that was my mistake, I definitely put the whole lot they gave us in and couldn't eat any of it because it was just too spicy for me!
Pad Thai is probably the most well know of the Thai dishes I cooked. It's one of my favourites and such a comfort food that I almost always seem to order. Other than the noodles it has green onion, shallot, firm tofu, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, pickled Chinese radish, lime, egg, chili powder and peanuts. We have already made it once since being back but we are having a hard time getting it to taste just right.
Stir Fried Morning Glory is something my sister introduced me to and ever since we first ordered it at a restaurant I have wanted it again and again. It was the most simple of the dishes I made because it was really just the morning glory, which is a type of vegetable that you do not find here. Then it is flavoured with garlic, red chili, peanut sauce and dark soy sauce. You cook it at a very high heat for a short amount of time and then the vegetable is left crispy and delicious!
Sticky Rice and Mango is a traditional Thai dessert that I ate a lot of while I was traveling. It is absolutely delicious and simple. This dish is a little more time consuming as making sticky rice takes quite a bit of time. Topped with coconut milk to make it creamy and a tangy but sweet mango on the side makes for a delicious mouthful each time.