Who would have thought we would be doing actual Thai cooking in Bangkok!
Cathy read in the Toronto Star a few weeks ago about someone who was in Thailand and took a day cooking course so it was natural to try it out, right? Bottom line- it was an incredible day of learning how Thai people prepare their food and what ingredients they use:
We went to Amita's Cooking Class by boat to her small compound where she grows most of her spices just outside her open kitchen class. Guess what the favourite base for Thai dishes are?... coconut milk, coconut oil, sugar and salt. It's the mixture that gives it that kind of sweet taste. There were a total of 4 dishes that we made:
Coconut Rice and Papaya Salad. You peel the papaya and then shred/ grate and mix with garlic, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimps and long beans with a dressing of lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind paste
Barbecued Satay with spicy peanut sauce. We used sliver pork (advice- best to freeze the pork loin for an hour first to slice real thin!) but you could use chicken or beef. You grind together coriander, cumin, palm sugar and garlic and along with coconut milk you baste while barbecuing
Green curry chicken in coconut milk. You start with green curry paste, then coconut milk to cook the chicken, adding fish sauce and palm sugar for seasoning; then pea eggplants (didn't like them though), chilies and sweet basil leaves
We finished off with a Mango Sticky Rice dessert which was amazing.
It certainly helped that she taught us each of the dishes first and then had all the ingredients measured and ready for us to barbecue and cook using a wok when it was our turn. By taking the time in understanding how the base of each dish was put together, you appreciate the healthy aspect of Thai food. Even I was impressed with the taste of the food and really pleased we didn't have to clean up afterwards!