Greetings Dear Readers!
I hope you’ve all been well. I am back from Thailand and where to start? I spent my time in the northern city of Chiang Mai and began my adventure with some exploration of my neighborhood. In my wanderings I stumbled upon a guest house called “Gap’s House” that also hosted a one or two-day cooking class. I signed up for the one-day class and was thoroughly impressed.
The day began around 9:30am with a trip to the local food market to see where the locals shop. We got to see fresh coconuts being ground and squeezed into coconut milk, as well as a plethora of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Random fact: Thailand is home to over 20 different kinds of eggplant. According to our cooking teachers, most Thai people don’t even know the names for all of them, but they still use them if available for many dishes like red or green curry.
After the trip to the market we jumped back into the truck and went to our cooking school. We met the staff who would be helping with our ingredients and dishes, as well as making sure we didn’t burn the place down.
First meal up: Green curry.
Next: fish soufflé in a self-made banana leaf bowl (mine was kinda crooked) and set our rice to steam while we prepared the next dish.
Then: Sauteed chicken with cashews and fried fish cakes, followed by spicy and sour lemon grass soup with shrimp (lemon grass soup shown in lunch picture further down, the one with my hand holding the spoon).
By then it was almost 1pm and time to revel in our cooking skills by eating what we made for our lunch.
After lunch, we proceeded to learn the art of vegetable carving, which I was not very good at. We tried to carve lotus flowers out of onions but out of the three of us students, only our teacher’s onion was photo-worthy, which you can see below.
Following a failed attempt at onion carving, we went back to the kitchen to make Thai spring rolls and pad thai to take home for dinner.
After our dinner meals were packaged, we made dessert which was made with a whole squash opened and cleaned out for the bowl, then filled with coconut cream, layered with custard then set to bake.
We got to take all that home for dinner and received a cook book, a Gap’s House cloth grocery bag and a Gap’s House cooking certificate. Our teachers were engaging, funny and smart. They made learning fun and even taught us how to make curry paste from scratch! Quite handy when living somewhere like Korea where Thai cooking ingredients are not always easy to find. Overall very cool and a great way to dive into Thai culture. Stay tuned for my next article on my adventure with real live tigers!