Friday, October 16, 2009

Cooking with gas!

I'm starting to feel human again, getting over my cold and the crappy stuff that happened towards the end of my time in Rayong. So I decided to venture out and take a cooking course. It was a good decision.

There were five of us... a newlywed couple from Germany, a Canadian couple a year out of college and on their way to a year in New Zealand for a working holiday.... and you know, me... myself.... alone... khun deo. But really it was okay, the other couples were very friendly and we had fun chatting. It's kind of cool to be doing the travel bit after my year of working because when we get around to the whole "How long have you been in Thailand?" game, I always have the trump card.

And after a year of trying to fit into the Thai culture, it's fun to be a genuine tourist here. Since there are soooo many tourists here I have no problem whipping out my camera and snapping pictures of anything that's "weird."

For example, all kinds of random stuff at the market, where my cooking class started.

The instructor, "Miss Bitch" as her t-shirt proudly announced, told us a bit about the different Thai ingredients, then let us wander around while she did the actual shopping.

Back at the school we started on breakfast - for me Pad Thai. All the ingredients were set out for us, all we really had to do was mix this and that and do the stir-frying. It's definitely more for fun than for actually learning how to cook... but that was fine with me.

After Pad Thai came the appetizers, Spring Rolls for me, and Som Tam (papaya salad) for two of the other students.

Miss Bitch had quite an entertaining teaching technique: "Crush the garlic like your ex-lover", swirling the egg in the wok for the pad thai: "swirl the egg, swirl the egg, swirl your hips - sexy sexy sexy!" and admonishing the guys not to use the toilet after touching peppers to avoid getting chili willies "I cannot help you with that!" It was a routine, but it was still really funny.

Next I made Tom Yam Gung, a very popular sour coconut shrimp soup. It starts with coconut milk, lemon grass, chili paste, keffir lime leaves and... something else I've already forgotten. =( We only add the shrimp at the end, and don't stir because it makes it taste too fishy, according to Miss Bitch.

For the main course I learned to make both stir fried chicken with cashew nuts and yellow curry. Although she demonstrated making the curry paste from scratch with a mortar and pestle ("now treat it like your new lover - harder! faster! harder! faster!") she told us that even most Thai families buy their curry paste at the's cheaper than buying the ingredients separately.

Both of these dishes were absolutely delicious, and I cannot wait to try them at home. After each dish we stopped and ate, and napped.... it was a LOT of food for one day.

And when we were more bloated than could possibly be imagined, we made dessert! I chose mango with sticky rice, which I think could be well adapted to peaches depending on your climate.


I started feeling relatively comfortable with the wok, and we got a recipe book at the end, so in theory I should be able to make all these wonderful dishes at home.

You know, at that time in the undetermined future when I actually *have* a home again!

TAG: Code Sweet Chili Sauce


Jonathan said...

Sounds like it was a blast!
Could the extra ingredient in the soup be ginger? Gung is ginger in Vietnamese.... could be the Thai introduced it here...

Can't wait to see you in Ha Noi!

Batty said...

Now that's good touristy fun! I'm glad you had a blast. And I'm just really entertained by Miss Bitch... wouldn't have thought to create a cooking teacher persona along those lines, but it does sound incredibly entertaining.

Bezzie said...

Oh YUM!!! Between this post and the boss making me order him Thai food for lunch Friday as part of my Buttmoney Secretary duties...I'm craving Thai food!!!

Exuberant Color said...

I'm glad you figured out a way to post pictures. Descriptions of food just don't do it for me without a visual aid.

Rebel said...

jonathan - it was ginger.... but gung in Thai is shrimp

batty - yeah, it's certainly not soething I could have gotten away with

bezzie - your cheapskateness would LOVE it here, each of the things on your menu would cost like $1.50

Exuberant - I"m glad too... so many pictures, and no one to share the with.

Yankee in England said...

I am jealous in a pinch I can use a wok to do a stir fry but I usally leave the wok work to my DH as he is so much better.

Stariel said...

That looks so fun! I taught myself to make black sticky rice pudding, but I'd love some of your Thai recipes when you get back. Mmmm... homemade Thai food!