Food in Thailand – yum! This has been one of our absolute favorite places in the world when it comes to eating.
Della is in heaven eating her fried noodles – whether it be pad thai or pad see ewe – every day! Eric has loved all the different kinds of curries! Everything is delicious and we could probably eat here forever.
For that reason, we were super excited to do a cooking class. We had some time in Chiang Mai and we knew that there were several classes offered. Della picked one where one of the main offerings was Pad See Ewe.
The one we chose was called Tom Yum Thai Cooking School and we loved it.
Our first step was to get picked up by our teacher Oun from our hotel in a minivan. He brought us quickly to one of the markets in the city. Here he showed us many of the different vegetables and herbs we needed to know for cooking Thai food. Some of the more interesting things we learned were:
- Ginger and Galangal are almost the same, but different.
- Raw turmeric looks a lot like ginger.
- There are 3 different kinds of basil used in Thai cooking: holy, lemon, and sweet. (We mostly used sweet)
- There are a ton of different kinds of eggplants – the Thai ones we used were tiny.
- Long beans in Thailand are truly long!
- Palm sugar is a thing and can be sold in different ways.
We also just enjoyed wandering the market with someone who knew what everything was.
After shopping for our food, we hopped back in the van and headed to Oun’s house. Here we quickly got dressed up in our aprons, ate a quick snack of prawn crackers, and then began to cook.
Throughout the cooking class, we had the chance to cook and eat 5 different courses. For each course, we had a choice of three different things to learn to make. For the most part, because it was Eric, Della, and Peggy taking part, we each did something different.
Course 1: Stir Fry
Della learned Pad See Ewe, but both Eric and Peggy learned Pad Thai. For each course, we learned our ingredients, the best way to prepare them (chopping, smashing, etc), and then the order in which to cook. We won’t tell you too much more: you’ll have to go take the class yourself! Cooking these dishes did make us want to buy a fancy wok when we get home.
Course 2: Soup
Della learned Tom Kha (chicken in coconut milk soup), Eric learned Hot and Spicy Pork Soup, and Peggy learned Hot and Sour Prawn Soup. The base of the different soups was actually quite similar, and there were only a few ingredients that distinguished them. For example, Eric’s soup did not use coconut milk but the others did.
Course 3: Salad
Della learned Cucumber Salad, Eric learned Mixed Fruit Salad, and Peggy learned Papaya Salad. All of the salads used the same homemade dressing, which was a flavorful mix of sweet, sour, salty and spicy ingredients.
Course 4: Curry
Della made Green Curry paste, Eric made Khao Soi Curry Paste, and Peggy made Panang Curry Paste. After all the pounding and grinding to get the paste, we each made the corresponding curry. Eric’s was slightly different as his was more of a curry noodle soup (a Chiang Mai specialty) and his was quite a bit more complicated. He was also the only one in the class who chose this dish so had to do the grinding of the curry paste all on his own! He didn’t report being too sore though!
Course 5: Dessert
We all learned how to make Mango Sticky Rice. Yum! We learned a lot about making sticky rice that we didn’t know: for example, it is steamed, not boiled!
One of the best parts of the class was that we got to eat everything we cooked. It was all delicious and we were quite stuffed by the end!
We can’t wait to get home and try out our new, mad Thai cooking skills. We are hoping that we are able to find all of the proper ingredients at home in Denver. We know we might be making quite a lot of trips to HMart in our future!