Sunday, August 21, 2011

Budding chefs

Day 68: Cooking class

Seeing as how we all love Thai food so much, we decided to take a cooking class while we were here and learn directly from the source! When we had called to book the class, we were supposed to do it tomorrow (every day has a different menu and we liked tomorrow’s better), but they suggested we come today instead, so we requested to make a few of the dishes that we really wanted to learn, and they said they would be happy to oblige.

So we got up and went to the meetup point for our class, from where the teacher took us to the market to buy our ingredients for the day. The market looked like a little open factory, with tons of ingredients (meat, coconut, spices, fruits, veggies) and machines turning those ingredients into whatever you needed them to be. We bought a bunch of stuff from there, and then went outside to the veggie store where we learned about all of the different vegetables that go into Thai cooking. It was really interesting to learn about protein, fragrant, and filler ingredients and the methodology that is used in cooking.

When we got all our ingredients, we walked over to the cooking school, which consisted of three rooms and a long balcony located at the top floor of an apartment building. We washed our hands and got straight into it. Some people cut the meat, some washed the veggies, and once everything was prepared, we started learning how to make everything from scratch – from actually squeezing the shredded coconut to make coconut cream and coconut milk to grinding the spices to make the curry pastes.

Since we had asked to make some specific dishes, they just tagged them onto the menu instead of replacing others so we were extremely lucky (as were the other people in our class) that we got to learn 10 dishes instead of 6 – and all for the same price! Also, since we were learning 10 dishes in the same amount of time as they had allotted for 6, we were learning everything at the same time (and the three of us were doing the work for our dishes while the rest of the students simultaneously did the work for theirs).

We learned all the techniques to make the dishes, which we never knew about, and that make a big difference in the taste, and the dishes we made were phenomenal. It was so easy to make everything, and it all turned out so good! We were so excited to finally learn the secrets to amazing Thai cooking! When we were done, they gave us booklets with all the recipes, and since Gaurav recorded everything we were doing, we hope to be able to recreate the recipes when we’re home. Thai dinner party! 

It was a half day class, so when we were done, we went back to the hotel and walked around the market a bit, and then decided to go to a restaurant for dinner that had a traditional Thai show every night. When we arrived, we had dinner and waited for the show, only to find out it was cancelled! Disappointed, we went back to the hotel and Gaurav and Kyung went to get a massage, while Rachna rested in the room. 
Wok setup


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