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The time I took first prize at a Thai Cooking Class

Thai food has always been a favourite for me. I absolutely adore the mix of sweet, sour, salty and tart. I’ve even taken a Thai cooking class in South Africa before and have a whole collection of Thai recipes that I can whip up together whenever I want this fare. My local Thai restaurant closed down a while ago, and ever since, I’ve been craving great food in this style.

Taking a Thai cooking class in Thailand though, is a whole other ball game. Since we were cooking something I’ve learnt to make before (and have made on numerous occasions), Thai Green Curry, I didn’t expect to learn a whole lot more than I already knew! I was so wrong. The firsthand experience of cooking with a qualified Thai chef was incredible and well worth the time it took.

My Thai cooking class took place at The Siam Hotel, which I’ve blogged about before here. Chef Oil led us out into the garden near the river and presented a massive array of ingredients that were mostly recognisable, but somewhat strange. Veggies and roots that I didn’t know turned out to be different varieties of those we’re familiar with.

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Chef Oil took the time to show us how to grind down our own green curry paste. It’s well worth doing if you want to make an authentic a dish as possible. The flavour and aroma of the fresh paste, as well as the bright green hue, make a world of difference to the final product.

Although not really a competition, the fellow guests at the hotel turned the experience into one, all boasting about how they would in fact produce the best dish. It’s pretty hard cooking in the sun over the gas flames, but luckily a refreshing ginger punch was on hand for this very reason!

IMG_0876 IMG_1205Here are the top things I found interesting about this experience:

  • Our chef used galangal instead of ginger in her paste. The reason being that it has a more delicate flavour, ginger can overpower the other bits and pieces going in
  • We used a variety of different eggplant or aubergines. These little eggplants have a similar texture, but aren’t as spongey as the regular kind I thought, so they don’t get too oily
  • We didn’t use any oil to fry up our veggies, but rather the coconut cream from the top of the can. I liked that we didn’t add in any extra fat
  • Chef Oil can chop faster than any TV chef I’ve ever seen!

Although it’s easy to find a recipe for a Thai Green Curry online, I plan on using the one from my class from now on because it came out so well! So well in fact, that Chef Oil concluded that my brilliant curry was the winner in texture and flavour. The only concern, a little bit too much oil had formed on top, but that’s easy enough to skim off. See recipe below.

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Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

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