one of the last things I did on my trip in asia was take a cooking class for a day. It was a delicious way to end my time there and was totally worth it (only spent $30 USD for the day) One of the best things about the meal was that all the ingredients (with the exception of a few- rice, noodles, coconuts) were grown in the garden on site at the farm where the class was.
In just a few hours, I made pad thai with chicken, green papaya salad, panang curry, tom yum soup and coconut sticky rice with fresh mango. Of course, everyone in the class picked different dishes to make, and everything was super fresh, authentic and delicious.
Here are a few snap shots of the food:
Meang Kum- a welcome snack traditionally served at Thai parties. The big green leaf is a betel leaf, which to me had a very aromatic peppery flavour. This dish is pretty obviously all about contrast. Crunchy coconut, toasted & buttery peanuts, spicy peppers, hot & fragrant ginger, sour lime, tangy red onion and the thick, sweet syrup. It all just comes together beautifully.
All the ingredients are wrapped in the betel leaf into a little pocket and you pop it in your mouth, whole. What an explosion of flavours!
Prepped veg and chicken for pad thai- a Thai noodle dish, which surprisingly is not that popular among Thai people, but more so among foreigners (like me..) The dish is made with flat rice noodles and flavoured with fish sauce, tamarind paste, and shrimp. Yuuuuuum.
Pad thai is usually garnished with a sprinkle of sugar, chopped peanuts, chives, and a squeeze of lime.
Now don’t get me wrong- I’m a huge pad thai enthusiast. Absolutely love it. You can ask my friends Morgan & Megan who I travelled with; I pretty much had it once a day for 2 weeks. But this next dish I actually fell in love with, so I thought I had to share the recipe with you all!
GREEN PAPAYA SALAD (som tum)
recipe serves 1
- -1-3 (depending on how hot you like it) small thai chilies
- -1 long bean, cut in 1 inch pieces
- -2-3 cloves garlic
- -1/4 tomato, sliced
- -1 plate shredded green (young) papaya
- -1 tsp roasted peanuts, for garnish
- -2 tsp fish sauce
- -1 tsp palm sugar
- -1 tsp lime juice
- -pound chilies, beans and garlic together in a mortar and pestle until starting to break
- -add tomato, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and mix together- crush the tomatoes slightly
- -add the shredded papaya and mix
- -serve and top with peanuts
In vietnam we came across a similar salad- it had some cucumber and carrots and was served with freshly grilled prawns. Feel free to make any variation on this, I’m sure it will be marvelous!
The ingredients needed to make a green curry paste: small green chilies, kaffir lime rind, turmeric, ginseng, coriander seed, garlic, shallot, lemongrass and galangal
Similar ingredients for red curry, only large, dried red chilies are used. Less spicy. Panang curry is made from the red curry, only after the paste is made, peanuts are added in and then pounded again until smooth.
Pounded away at this baby for a good 20 minutes!
Panang curry paste
The final product! The paste is cooked in a wok with coconut milk (no oil!), fish sauce, palm sugar, sliced fresh kaffir lime leaves, chicken, and loooooove. Served with rice, not over rice. Thai people eat their rice and curry separately to preserve the taste of the curry.
Tom yum soup ingredients
Tom yum soup- hot and sour prawn soup, flavoured with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce and chili jam.
Coconut sticky rice with mango. By the time we got to dessert, I was ready to give birth that’s how full I was. But somehow I still had room for this, it was absolutely TO DIE FOR. Although I’ll admit I love sticky rice, I love mangoes, and I love coconut.. So maybe I’m a bit biased.
Overall, the experience was unforgettable and the food was absolutely mouthwatering. Like I said, the perfect way to end the trip and I’m so glad to be able to share with you!
stay ravenous, my friends!