Because I took a cooking class and can now cook six Thai dishes, so… Seems like a good post-graduation plan, right? Isn’t the statistic something like 90% of restaurants succeed in their first year? I think I’ll do it. I’ll just go for it. I don’t want to hear your protestations quite yet. Check out my restaurant-quality pictures and meals before you discourage me from this new endeavor.
I found C&M Cultural Center on Trip Advisor and, wow – it was an incredible experience. Cherry, the woman who ran the cooking class, was hilarious, knowledgable about Thai food and Thai culture, and super chatty. Clearly I loved her. There were eight of us in class and everyone was super nice. We started the class at 3pm with a briefing on traditional Thai fruits, veggies, and sauces.
The class was held right on a gorgeous lake. It started dumping rain during our lesson but we all stayed nice and dry.
We started off by prepping ingredients. Chopping spring onion, crushing cashews, cutting veggies (with a decorative knife, fancy huh?), and slicing lemongrass.
Our first dish of the afternoon was…
Spring Rolls with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.
We sautéed veggies with various sauces (fish sauce, oyster sauce, soya bean sauce, etc etc) and glass noodles. After cooking them up, we added the mixture to a bowl of bean sprouts and got ready to roll the rolls.
Cherry teaching us proper rolling technique…
Fresh out of the fryer!
Mmm, check out those beauts. The spring roll closest to the camera was in a traditional spring roll wrapper. The one further away was in a rice paper wrapper. Both were insane.
Sweet Thai chili sauce topped with crushed cashews and coriander.
The verdict: Simple, quick, and delicious.
After we all sat down and enjoyed the first dish, we geared up for dish #2:
With lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and galangal and veggies and chicken and OMG IT WAS SO SO SO GOOD.
Look at that! We used fresh, homemade coconut milk as the base and added in brown sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock to flavor it up. Then we dumped in chicken, veggies (baby corn, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, peas, peppers, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves) and topped it off with a squeeze of lime.
How pretty is that?! I made that!
Sucked that one down in no time.
And then it was onto the noodle dishes. First…
No egg, please. I just can’t deal with eggs. I so wish I liked them, but I can’t get on board. Ick.
The base of Pad Thai is a medium-sized rice noodle and a sauce of soya sauce, black soya sauce (<< super concentrated), palm sugar, salt, oyster sauce, fish sauce, tamarind, a splash of oil, garlic, and shallot. All cooked up with whatever veggies you please!
After inhaling that Pad Thai, we moved on to…
Fried Big Noodles.
I loooove big noodles, and although some people despise the texture, I find it delightful. We used a similar sauce as the Pad Thai, plus more fresh veggies. I ate a few bites and then bagged the rest up to eat later.
One we were all noodled out, we moved on to my favorite dish of the day…
We started by making the curry paste from scratch, which was awesome. We ground up coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, salt, dried red chilies, galangal, lemongrass, Thai lime rind, garlic, shallot, and a few other things all into a paste.
Then we began the curry sauce. Coconut milk, chicken broth, the curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, and a few other ingredients became the actual curry. We added in potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, green beans, chicken, cinnamon, and kaffir lime leaves before letting it all simmer away.
Topped with cashews and eaten with rice… AMAZING. I made some questionable moaning noises while eating this. SORRY EVERYONE.
We finished off the evening with a classic Thai dessert: mango with sticky rice. The mango here is unreal. Seriously unlike any mango I’ve ever had in the states. I’m gonna miss you, mango.
Thanks for the awesome class, Cherry!
So what do you think now? Restaurant ready? No? Really? Are you sure?