When we found out we were going to Thailand for a friend's wedding this year the first thing I thought was, "Time for a Thai cooking class!". So the bride to be was kind enough to ask her wedding planner for recommenations and as a result we were booked into Tawai Cooking School - with a good part of the wedding party, including a number of guys. Fantastic!
Note: in the interest of keeping this post to a manageable length I will provide the recipes each in future posts. So check back soon!
The operation was much slicker than I expected. When we arrived we were greeted with a bottle of water, a printed apron, and a customised recipe book.
The kitchen was well equipped and it was obvious that there was a fair amount of preparation already complete for our class.
I have to say, it was hot. VERY hot! But we were here to learn so when we were asked whether we would like to make our curry pastes from scratch or use paste out of a pouch the answer was obvious. We were making things from the ground up!
We made sure to get the guys to work from the beginning. Here, the bride's father is hammering away on some key spices for the red curry paste in the mortar and pestle.
Dried chilies were chopped up to be blended in the red chili paste.
Then, each paste (red and green) were cooked with oil for about 5 minutes. Apparently, after this process the pastes can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 months.
And we're off! There were five burners so we divided into groups of two and got started.
The number and variety of spices and condiments was pretty impressive.
Tom Yum Goong
The first dish we made was Tom Yum Goong. I thought it was delicious but it definitely was our spiciest dish of the day. The English contingent could get very far into it - I ended up eating two portions!
First rule of food blogging? Don't get so lost into your food that you forget to take the picture of the dish before you eat. Fail!
Next was Chicken Larb, one of our favourites. We started out by roasting some rice until golden brown and then ground to a powder.
I tried to convince the Gourmet Female to add more spice but we settled on medium heat.
At least I took this photo before we got stuck in!
Red Chicken Curry
Now to a classic, Red Chicken Curry. To my surprise, there is no difference in heat levels between red and green curry. So an Australian urban legend!
Green Chicken Curry
This was great but no one was a fan of the little, round eggplants. They were far too sour.
And to conclude, the classic of all classics, Pad Thai. I was surprised that the noodles aren't cooked in water at any point. Yet they were soft and very, very tasty.
In the end we absolutely loved the class. It was more food than we could eat and we learned so many things about true Thai food. Highly recommended if you ever make the trip. And guys, even if you don't make the journey to Thailand, get yourself to a cooking class! You'll learn heaps.
The recipes will follow soon!