We started the morning with happy goofy faces as we waited for our cooking hosts at A Lot Of Thai - Home Cooking Class to pick us up for an all day class.
There were two couples from Australia, two couples from Canada, one couple from Switzerland and us. The cooking stations were well laid out and immaculate.
Yui as she explained is pronounced like the abbreviation for U-Turn! And this is how the day went. In between her demonstrations of what we would cook, her circulating the room to give advice or help to fix a mistake and our actually sitting down to eat what we had made, she would crack jokes and relate stories of family, her young teenage days and experiences of consultation for restaurants in other countries.
One story was her living and consulting for a restaurant in Brazil for a month. No one told her that none of the cooks spoke anything but Portuguese! Yui's is fluent in English, but she had to learn to communicate with the kitchen on the fly. She said, “How do you say sweet, salt, too much, too little, more, less?” It was one experience that she relates with a bit of humor and she was happy to have learned some Portuguese in the process.
Yui explained ingredients, and showed us first how the dish is made and we were told to taste it. We then went to our stations to hopefully re-create the dish. Surprisingly, there were not many that didn't like how theirs turned out. She stresses tasting the sauce and adjusting and making sure to have the correct heat. She works the room and is there to help in an instant! The dishes we made today were quick and easy. And we are hoping to find the ingredients when we are back in the states.
All of the Pad Thai dishes I have tried I have not liked. But this one was fabulous!
Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp
We took a break to go to the Nong Hoi Market which is the one across the street from our condo. We learned some extremely valuable tips of which lady has organic produce.....as she pointed to three different women she said that she has been to all of their homes and has known them for many years.
She pointed out which rice was recent harvest and how to tell the difference of how old and dry the rice is because of the color. I took pictures of Oyster Sauce and Fish Sauce she recommends. She said, if you see that bottle at a street cart, the people know what is quality.
If you see piles of rice like this at a market, the bright white rice is the most fresh coming from recent harvest. As it gets more yellow that is when you know it is years old and dry.
Yes, we almost forgot to take a picture!
Sticky Rice and Mango
Yui uses black and white sticky rice for this recipe. We made our own coconut sauce and even though it is not mango season, this dish was still amazing!
Yui's daughter playing with Vince and the camera.
We told Yui that we would be coming to more classes as soon as we move in August. She said she looks forward to running into us at the market!