I was in Bangkok for the weekend not long ago and given the recent unrest in the city area lately, shopping was out of the question. *Sad* So to make good use of my time there, I enrolled myself in a couple of cooking classes offered at Baipai Thai Cooking School. It turned out to be a really fantastic experience!
I’ve always been a big fan of Thai food as I love the layering of flavours – sweet, spicy, sour, salty. The highlight of these classes for me was learning how to prepare spices used in Thai cooking from scratch. It is always a delight to watch the teacher/masterchef prepare a dish and explain, along with sharing tips and tricks in the kitchen. The classes were relaxed and friendly, while the teachers were extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Here’s what I learned to make during the class:
Gai Hor Bai Toey
Deep Fried Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaves
Som Tam Ma-la-kor
Goong Sauce Ma-kham
Prawns in Tamarind Sauce
Gang Phed Ped Yang
Roasted Duck in Red Curry
Deep Fried Golden Bag filled with Minced Pork and Water Chestnut
Pa-nang Curry with Chicken
Tom Yam Goong
Hot and Sour Prawn Soup
Khao Pad Moo
Thai Style Fried Rice with Pork
The Baipai Cooking School is set in this lovely al fresco courtyard.
Gai Hor Bai Toey – Deep Fried Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaves.
The ingredients that go into the Papaya Salad Dressing: Palm Sugar, Fish Sauce, Tamarind Juice, Lime Juice, Ground Peanuts, Dried Shrimp and Bird Eye Chillis (not shown).
Som Tam Ma-la-kor – Papaya Salad. This was really delicious!
Thai Palm Sugar, not like the brown Gula Jawa/Gula Melaka which I’m used to seeing and using.
Making the Tamarind Sauce for the next dish, under supervision of the friendly Chef Duu. Gotta keep a sharp eye on this sauce as it burns very easily.
Goong Sauce Ma-kham – Prawns in Tamarind Sauce.
This was one of my favourite dishes during the class. I love the sauce which is simply Palm Sugar, Tamarind Juice and Shallots (chopped).
Coconut Cream versus Coconut Milk. The cream refers to the thick foamy layer on top, while milk (a deceptive word) refers to the murky liquid/water below. Coconut cream is used to prepare the base of Pa-nang Gai curry. There was no need to use oil when making curry, instead let the coconut cream come to a boil instead and use the natural oils released from the cream.
Ahhhhh yes. Galangal versus Ginger. I have written about this before about how confusing the two can get. Shown in this photo with fresh Kaffir Limes (which I’ve never seen before).
Excited about my Toong Thong which are about to swim in hot oil.
Toong Thong – Deep Fried Golden Bag filled with Minced Pork and Water Chestnut.
Pa-nang Gai – Pa-nang Curry with Chicken.
I had a really great time at this cooking class and enjoyed myself tremendously. I highly recommend Baipai Thai Cooking School, if you’re ever in the area. The class fees are reasonable, it includes free pick-up from your hotel (limited areas) and all cooking ingredients. The best part is of course getting to eat everything that you cooked in the kitchen and making new friends who are also cooking or Thai food enthusiasts. Baipai offers six different classes, I’ve only taken two so far but want to go back and take more classes next time. :)