Today we took our cooking class and there was so much food! We made soups, curries, desserts, and even a few local specialties. We were so stuffed by 2pm that we skipped dinner altogether!
The class started with a visit to a local market to discuss and purchase ingredients. We got to smell a few types of very distinct basil and ginger and feel different kinds of eggplant. One interesting variety is the pea eggplant. It’s about the size of a small marble and it tastes quite bitter. My favorite parts of the market tour were the doses of food “wisdom” from our guide. For example, she let us know that you should drink hot water after eating oily food in order to clean out your throat and then she lectured us on the merits of MSG. She also told us if we were lucky we could watch a fish get killed by a hammer slam to the head. Luckily, we were not lucky.
Jess and I made some of the same items and some that we’re different. First we were given a completely unnecessary plate of Thai snacks. Then we both started off by making Pad Thai, which was light and very simple to make. Next, she made spicy som tum while I rolled up some tasty fried spring rolls filled with glass noodles, minced chicken, and plenty of sweet oyster sauce. After that we made coconut milk based soups. Mine had chicken and Jessica’s had seafood. All of these items came together amazingly quickly. At that point we took a break so the staff could eat lunch and we could rest our full bellies.
After the break, I made green curry paste which we turned into a green curry with chicken. Jessica made khao soi, which is a classic Northern Thai dish. Khao soi is usually eaten in the early afternoon. It contains egg noodles in a coconut milk-based curry and is topped with more crispy fried egg noodles. We finished the immense meal off with some sweet mango sticky rice. I can’t wait to make sticky rice at home. I find it so comforting and filling.
After the class we saw a bunch more wats (there seems to be one every few blocks) bought most of our remaining souvenir gifts (only two left!) and considered seeing a Muay Thai (Thai boxing) match, but instead stumbled upon an amazing free ladyboy Cabaret show in the market. The show was incredibly entertaining, from the lavish costumes held together by binder clips, to the badly lip-synced ABBA medley, to the strippy version of “My Way” where a ladyboy shifted from his female persona to his male one all while mouthing the words dramatically. And all that brilliance for the price of one beer!
Tonight I finished filling up my first memory card with over 1000 pictures. Hopefully I have enough space left on my 2nd memory card to document the rest of the trip!