Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thai Cooking Class Part 1: Getting Ready

Last Saturday, Gerry and I spent the day at Thai Farm Cooking School, about 17 km north of Chiang Mai. We stopped along the way at a local market so our instructor, Kook (pronounced "cook"), could explain about the ingredients, how they are made, and how they are used. The market turned out to be the same one Gerry and I visited daily during lunch break from massage school, so we ran into an old friend who serves great Ka Prao. This is stir-fried meat (pork, chicken) served over steamed jasmine rice with the option of a fried egg on top. Our lovely new friend from Slovakia introduced us to both the place and the dish, kop khun ka Tomas!

fresh veggies and herbs at the market
thanks for the great ka prao :)
Kook explained that MSG is often used at restaurants here, but is added separately from sauces, so we can easily request  a meal without it

mmmm, chicken

Kook explained how jasmine rice, brown, and red rice are prepared differently than sticky rice 
This is palm sugar. We used it in the green papaya salad. It is semi-liquid with a wonderfully mellow flavor , similar to real maple syrup. Kook said we could substitute honey or brown sugar - but I need to find this stuff - yum!

bugs, anyone?

I ate one of these, couldn't manage to try the beetles or crickets. These weren't half bad - salty and crispy like french fries

this nice girl from Canada tried one first

I don't think she minded the taste, just couldn't get over mental side ;)

It's not all bugs at the market - you can also buy donuts :)

these small grilled bananas are delicious and cheap! 4 for 10 baht (about 35 cents)

Kook opened a "century egg" and encouraged us to try it - I was first to take a bite, and it wasn't that bad! Just very "eggy." It was more the texture combined with taste that was weird - like egg flavored jello :)

After our trip to the market, we head off to the farm, about 10 minutes down the road.

These lily pads were HUGE! I was tempted to step across them,...

The kitchen

outside the kitchen: sinks to the left, dining table to the right
Before taking us on a garden tour, Kook taught us how to prepare the sticky rice....

She rinsed the rice two times, strains it, then pours it into a bamboo steamer

She sets the rice to steam for 30 minutes as we tour the farm
Jasmine rice was even easier: just add rice and water to the electric cooker ;)

Next post: touring the farm and first course: curry and soup...

1 comment:

Trea said...

awesome pictures!