Recently took a short break and made a trip to Thailand. One my plans for the trip were a cooking class. A few years ago I had taken a half day lesson at Baipai Thai Cooking School and really enjoyed it so it was back for another lesson. The school is reasonably priced around $50 for a lesson and that includes pick up at your hotel. The school is small with largest class size less than a dozen. Each student has there own work station, yes it is hands on and lunch is included, 4 courses that you cook yourself. There were only 3 of us in this class, a fallout of the airport being closed for 10 days. I flew in 2 days after it reopened. Each class has something additional about Thai cooking, In my first class we made our own coconut cream starting by shredding fresh coconut using a traditional device. This time it was a trip to the neighborhood market.
Going with the staff to the market the assistant chef pointed out different fruits and vegetables and show how to tell if they were ripe. Back at the school, the first dish we made was the desert Khao Neaw Moon ,Coconut Sticky Rice. We did a little cheating here, since the rice takes hours to soak and time to steam, we started with the rice ready for the preparations. We prepared a coconut Marinate and soaked the rice in it setting it aside while we made the topping. While waiting for the rice to finish marinating, we had a demonstration on the next dish, then back to give more attention to our rice before setting it aside till dinner. Back to our work stations we worked on the appetizer Satay (grilled) chicken. This was very simple, just chicken breast on a stick grilled over a charcoal grill. What gave it a different taste was that while grilling we brushed it with coconut cream. It was served with a peanut sauce and a sweet and sour relish. Generally I am not a fan of peanut sauces but this one was outstanding. It had a curry paste, not hot, coconut milk and cream, and tamarind. After having a short break and eating our appetizers we moved on to the salad. The salad was Plah Goong, Savory Prawn salad. Besides how great it tasted and how easy and fast it was to prepare the largest comment I have that this would be a great lunch by itself, or a dinner entre if slightly larger serving.
The main course was Gai Pad Med Ma-Muang, Chicken with Cashew nuts stir fried. Cooking time for this was very short and not too much prep time either. The meal was great even if I did cook it my self
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