Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thai cooking class

Before it becomes a distant memory, I should wrap up a few additional thoughts about Thailand.

In Chaing Mai, we spent our last full day taking a traditional Thai cooking class.  The day began with pad thai, followed by tom yum soup and cashew chicken. 
Then we took a break to visit the local market with Yui, where we purchased some of the ingredients that are hard to find in western grocery stores - palm sugar and sticky rice (we bought kaffir lime leaves later in our trip).  Something I had never noticed before in a market (but have since) is that they bundle soup mix ingredients for sale, just like can be found in U.S. grocery stores.  However, these soup mixes are small rubber-banded bunches of lemongrass, galangal, and kafir lime leaves.

Upon our return to the classroom, we made our own spring rolls and finished off the day with mango and sticky rice.

Probably the most valuable part of the class was learning more about how to use fish sauce, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce.  Fish sauce goes with meat, soy with vegetables, and hoisin with both.  The amount used should be proportional to the quantity of the meat, but always less than you think.  As they say in Hebrew, le'at le'at, or "little by little."  Taste, add, taste, add, until it's right.   

It was a delicious learning experience!

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