Bangcook some Thai Food
Who is hungry?…Me, me, me!!!…all the time:).
I don’t know how about you but for me Thailand is associated with FOOD. My record included 3 tasty Pad Thais during a 24 hours stay. Not bad…right? I wasn’t surprised when i found out that Thailand won the title of the “Street Food Capital of the World”.
In order to promote Thailand worldwide, “bangkokians” not only fill the air with aromatic smells of the street food, but also divulge their secret in many of the cooking schools. This is another way to get to know the culture and the lifestyle of Thailand, also to add some new exotic ingredients on your grocery shopping list. Following my colleague’s recommendations I went to Silom Thai Cooking School located on the road with the same name and I was mesmerised by everything that I have witnessed.
One thing that I really admired about the school is that nobody tried to hide the real daily life of Bangkok. Instead, all the things were just the way you would normally find them in a regular house: clothes, shoes, pans, cats, laundry, neighbours chilling and catching the rhythms of the old songs from the radio. With this relaxing atmosphere the cooking class provided by a certified chef was more enjoyable. I knew I was on the right track when I was asked to put on My apron and join My 9 team members.
Like in the good old days of traditional habits, all of us set on a mat and were absorbing every single drop of information about Thai Cuisine. I didn’t know that lemon grass smells so good and the bamboo basket keeps the sticky rice from drying out. The chef took us on a Rice tour and introduced a variety of thai ingredients like: jelly mushrooms , kaffir lime, green papaya, galangal ginger, thai garlic which is crucial in Thai cooking. One of the most common mix of the sweet and sour extremes are given by the palm sugar ( also known as coco sugar or coco sap sugar produced from the sap of cut flowers buds of the coconut palm) and lime or tamarind that gives the sour note. It took 12 components to make the famous Red Curry Paste ( nam prik gaeng phet), 4 minutes to prepare it and only 2 minutes to eat it. This suggests that Thai Cuisine as a whole, features many different ingredients combined harmonically in between each other creating an intense contrast of flavours and textures.
Along with my teammates from The Netherlands and Singapore, I’ve learned how to cook 5 complete dishes from the scratch. I was radiating from happiness when I had the first bite of Pad Thai made with my own hands. The best one ever. Under the small rooftop of the outside kitchen, we were all tearing and coughing from the spicy smell of the Curry with Chicken ( Kaeng Ka ri gai). But it didn’t take us a long time until we cooled down with Green Papaya Salad ( Som Tum) beautifully cut by the chef. While we were following short instructions, the assistants prepared all the additional side dishes we needed for the next joy. I guess they were working on the final treat as well, because our plates with fresh Mango and sweet Sticky Rice ( Glutinous rice, Khao neaw mu muang) waited for us quietly on the shelf.
It is also a great way to have a healthy dinner as the time in between the dishes allows you to digest properly and not over doze your stomach. There are classes in the morning, afternoon and evening. You pay 1000 Baht for the classes in the morning and enjoy an unique experience shopping with the chef in the local market. I’ve heard you can learn some new ways of bargaining as well as familiarise yourself with Thai goodies. I had a busy schedule the whole day and made it only to the class that starts at 18:00 and finishes at 21:00 witch means that no market for me and less money to pay ( 900 baht~USD 25).
Thai Cuisine is well-known worldwide from the 1960s onwards when Thailand became a destination for international tourism. With a lot of influence from neighbouring countries like: China, India, Cambodia, Vietnam the thai dishes kept its uniqueness and originality. In Bangkok there is food everywhere you look, and the flavours won’t stop impressing you. So, go ahead and give it a try. Swim in the ocean of delicacy and share your favourite dishes with us.
Silom Thai Cooking School
Address: 212/13 Si Lom, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Phone:+66 84 726 5669
PS: You can check out more articles on my original blog http://www.travelin24hours.com