Category Archives: Thai Cooking Class
Terrific Thai Cooking Class in Miami Beach – here’s a shot of our red curry with beef!
Last week we returned to Miami Beach for another Thai cooking class. All hungers were satisfied as we cooked up batches of green and red curries, ginger chicken, tom yum goong, and Thai iced tea to wash it all down with.
If you’re looking for a private cooking class, contact me and let me know what kind of menu you’d like to learn. Be sure to be hungry when I arrive too, as we don’t take any food home!
We cooked up a storm in our Thai cooking class on the Zoom yacht last week, in a galley fit for royalty. But lest you think this was all about the wonderful ship and galley, let me tell you about the food!
We cooked up a big batch of green curry first, featuring some gorgeous, fresh kaffir lime leaves. We shredded them up finely and got a great lime boost in our potful of curry. We also used the creamiest possible coconut milk – yum! And the clincher – we had beautiful, fresh Thai eggplants to use too. Not just the mature ones either, we used the “baby” eggplants as well.
Next up came our Tom Yum Goong. We were able to use giant Italian prawns; some of the nicest-looking crustaceans I’ve ever seen. And this sour soup was destined for greatness anyway, benefiting from an amazing collection of fresh ingredients, including fresh galangal root, just picked Thai chillies and freshly cut lemongrass straight from the garden.
Of course, where there are Thai food lovers, there will always be demand for Pad Thai. We used some of those gorgeous prawns, as well as chicken to cook two large pans’ worth. It really came out tasting good, and we made a huge platter full for the hungry folks on board.
And for desert, the Thai standard called “Tub Tim Krob” which we made using red and yellow colors. This crunchy, sweet desert really hit the spot after eating all the other food.
Here is the menu we covered in the first class on Feb 4th
Papaya Salad (Som Tam),
Green Curry with rice noodles
Tao Huay Fruit Salad ( Milk pudding w/tropical fruit)
Can’t wait to schedule more Thai cooking classes – stay tuned:)
Finally I’m going to write about Pad Thai noodles – ผัดไทย. We call it “Guay Tiew Pad Thai” in Thai. Please don’t pronounce this first word as “pad”, rhymes with “bad”, but rather as “pat” which should roughly rhyme with “paht”.
Pad Thai has been one of the most popular traditional noodle dishes in Thailand ever since World War II. Because of inflation, the price of rice was very high, so the government encouraged Thai people to consume noodles. Check the PadThai.org website for more information about the origins and varieties of Pad thai.
Originally this dish was called “Guay Tiew Pad” which literally means stir fried noodles. Later it came to be called “Guay Tiew Pad Thai” to match the new country name of the former Kingdom of Siam. People soon started calling it the shorter “Pad Thai” and that name stuck to this day.
Usually we cook Pad Thai noodles quickly over high heat. The main ingredients for Pad Thai are shrimp, small to medium sized rice noodles, egg, chive, bean sprout, tofu, sweet pickles, ground peanut, dried shrimp.
Normally we season the noodles with fish sauce, tamarind juice, and palm sugar, but it’s common, and certainly easier, to make the Pad Thai sauce in advance.
Garnish this dish with ground peanuts and always serve with lime wedges. Before eating it is important to squeeze some lime juice onto your serving of Pad Thai.
We cooked this Pad Thai noodles for private cooking class last weekend.
This class was less noisy, a good crowd with very attentive and interested students. I saw some students taking notes, capturing every detail of what I explained.
Luckily I was be able to get Kaprao, better known as Holy basil. It’s peppery, and gives a spicy flavor to the dish; perfect for drunken noodles.
Salmon came out perfect! This was the best dish of the night. At least 3 people came to tell me that they like my Choo Chee curry salmon dish so much, even though they said they don’t like salmon.
Now that’s what I call a spicy success!
Tom Yum Goong is one of the most popular Thai soups. I really like Tom Yum Goong because it includes all the flavor components that I like – sour, spicy, and a little bit salty. We usually make this with prawns, but you can use any kind of seafood or chicken really.
This is one of recipes that gets requested the most, from my Japanese friends when I was in Japan, and from local friends here in South Florida now, so I put it in my Thai cooking class last week.
All the ingredients used in this soup are good for you and have many health benefits.
- Kaffir lime leaf or “Makrut” (มะกรูด) in Thai has benefits for blood, helps increase the circulation
- Lemongrass or “Takrai” (ตะไคร้)- has benefits for digestive system, helps boost immune system, reduces uric acid, detoxify the liver and pancreas
- Galangal or “Kha” (ข่า) in Thai helps promote better blood circulation, protect against risk of cancers, stop motion sickness/sea sick, cure hiccups, cold, diarrhea and more
My family likes to eat Tom Yum Goong with white rice, but I like to cook with noodles sometimes. When you make Tom Yum Goong, you can use the same ingredients to make Tom Kha Kai also. Stay tuned 🙂
I just gave a Thai cooking class in Miami Beach on Thursday, in a gorgeous private residence on the island. It was a small group, very intimate, and very informal.
It was actually a demo & hands-on combination, so it was more casual and relaxing than a big group in a classroom setting. Everyone was more able to interact and ask questions. I shared what I know about the Thai dishes and we shared laughs … so much FUN 🙂
We cooked Papaya Salad (Som Tam), Green Curry with shrimp, Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) and Thai Tea…
I’m going to do another Ft. Lauderdale Thai cooking class next week. The last one was fun and successful, so I’m returning to Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking studio in Fort Lauderdale with yet another Thai curry.
Come see us next week for the next installment on April 21st. I’m so excited to share a new recipe for “Choo Chee Curry” and one of my old favorite recipes for Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles) People usually love both of these classic Thai dishes, so I’m pretty confident about how it’s gonna turn out 🙂
Here’s the menu:
– Som Tam ( Papaya Salad)
– Choo Chee Curry with salmon
– Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodle)
– Thai Tea
This is Salmon Choo Chee Curry from my Thai cooking class yesterday. It is one of my favorite curry dishes. I found it’s a very yummy, healthy and sexy dish. It’s just the perfect dish to serve in a fine dining situation for a couple, a big party or even a group of 5-6 friends.
You might wonder how Choo Chee Curry is different from regular Thai Red Curry. I found out that the difference is the proportion of herbal ingredients used. Choo Chee curry is made using more of kaffir lime zest (ผิวมะกรูด), but red curry is made using more coriander seed (เม็ดผักชี) and cumin (ยี่หร่า) in the curry paste. That’s why kaffir lime leaves are so crucial when you make Choo Chee Curry.
Choo Chee curry is also thicker than red curry, and it’s often used with fish or seafood like shrimp. You can use either meat or seafood in Red Curry. Seafood is plentiful in South Florida, so for my cooking class in Fort Lauderdale I use seafood!
The only ingredients you’ll need for Choo Chee Curry are fresh salmon (I like wild alaskan salmon), creamy coconut milk, and lots of kaffir lime leaves. Of course you want to season the curry with Thai fish sauce and sugar. I dress up the dish with steamed asparagus. It looks pretty and crunchy aroi maak ka^^
p.s. aroi means delicious, yummy, tasty in Thai language.
After a boring introduction, Patti jumped right into it with Thai tea. She had some made ahead of time so everyone could drink some while she demonstrated making some. So far – perfect!
She made the tea using a strainer, and amused everyone by claiming you can make this by straining it through a sock. Of course the students were all impressed by the bold color of the tea.
Next came the sticky rice. Patti had a large metal container with water that looks like it should hold a potted plant of some sort. On top was a bamboo weave basket, lined with a banana leaf, and filled with uncooked sticky rice. She explained that you need to get the Thai long grained glutenous rice and showed a bag so that people could see.
“Is this the same as sushi rice?” always gets asked, and the answer is always no. Sushi rice is short grained, roundish rice that you rinse and soak so that it comes out tender. Thai sticky rice should be firm and big; it’s finger food!
Now the fun really got started as Patti demonstrated making Som Tam. Armed with garlic and Thai chili freshly picked from her garden, she headed straight for the mortar and pestle.
Patti explained that you should use a nice tall “cloak” (mortar) for a couple reasons. After she makes the initial paste, she added a healthy amount of liquids, lime juice and fish sauce, and you should be able to mix that together easily without spilling.
You don’t want to worry as you add green beans and tomatoes after that. They only need to be “bruised” to mix the flavors, but there is already liquid , so the tall mortar is a must-have. Also you need the vertical room so you can add the shredded papaya and carrot, and have enough space to finish the dish entirely in that mortar.Next came the larb. This dish is just so easy for Americans to love, and she explained that we would eat it in lettuce wraps and accompanied by sticky rice.
People commented on the healthy nature of this pork dish, compared to most. Patti pretty much steamed the ground pork in a saute pan, then added the other ingredients.
Here, as with the Som Tam we noticed her adjusting her recipe on the fly, adding sourness and saltiness as necessary after a couple key tastings. As if to placate the terrified crowd she explained that the limes here were just not as sour as she had become accustomed to in Thailand.
Now came the making of green curry. Nobody was expecting to see her cooking green curry paste in a frying pan, and then with the creamy top of a can of coconut juice, but that’s exactly what she did.Patti explained that you want to patiently wait until the coconut cream begins to separate before proceeding. She also said you should use the brand with a real thick cream if in fact you can’t get the real frozen coconut product.
People were visibly relieved when more ingredients were added, as it started to take on a restaurant-like appearance. Patti made a relatively spicy version, for green curry that is, and talked about the less ordinary ingredients like kaffir lime leaves and Thai sweet basil.
But things got raucous when the Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles) was made. This is one of those pan fried noodle dishes that starts out with bold hot flavors and stays that way. Into a hot pan went garlic and Thai chili and the smoke began filling the kitchen!
Luckily for all, the dish does not take long to complete. The remaining ingredients were added and the finished dish was plated in just about three minutes. Patti explained that the time required was really all devoted to the prep work.
“If you can’t get fresh noodles,” Patti explained, “soak these dry noodles in warm water while doing your prep work” and held up a pack of medium or large dry noodles as an example. She said not to overcook them into mushiness, but don’t make the mistake of trying to make them al dente like spaghetti; they should be soft!