South East Asia- Chiang Mai Part 3

Saa Wat Dii Ka!!!! Today I woke up feeling like a million bucks! No nausea! No stomach problems. The day I woke up feeling sick Eddie and I set out to find some antibiotics because there was no way I was going to suffer through this during my trip. Luckily things are a little more lax in Thailand and I got some antibiotics at the local pharmacy for cheap. They totally worked! I'm a new woman! Yay! Just in time too because I took a Thai Cooking Class (or as the Thai people say Thai C-OOOO-k-ING!) today. I let Eddie borrow the camera today so I don't have any photos to show you but Eddie will be posting all about his trip to the zoo with lots of photos when we get back from our trekking trip two days from now.

They picked me up at 9am from our guest house this morning. I didn't eat breakfast as I new I would be eating all day and I was still a bit unsure of my stomach. After driving all around Chiang Mai picking up all the other students we ended up at the market that is a block from where I am staying. We spent an hour at the market (the same market I went to for the Thai Food Carving Class) and our teacher, Perm, gave us the grand tour and told us all about all the different Thai foods.

We learned about eggs. There are four kinds in Thailand: Chicken eggs (brown in color), Duck eggs (white in color), partridge eggs (tiny and speckled), and century eggs. Century eggs were interesting and I will get a picture to show you soon. They are black and have a jelly consistency and smell like pee! Apparently they eat them in salads and currys...mmm....appetizing!

We also learned about the different kinds of vegetables. They use a lot of fresh herbs and spices, such as fresh turmeric (which looks like a root) and fresh cardamon (which comes in a pod). They have a lot of vegetables that are familiar to me but many more that aren't. They have like fifty different types of eggplants, some the size of peas!

We also learned all about coconut milk, there are three kinds: coconut juice (comes from inside the coconut), coconut cream (made from squeezing the juice out of coconut pulp), and coconut milk (made by combining half coconut juice with half coconut cream).

We also learned about the different types of noodles (rice noodles, egg noodles, and glass noodles). Rice noodles come in thin sizes or very thick sizes. They also have many types of rice. Jasmine rice comes in white, clear, red, brown, and black. Sticky rice is a completely different species of rice and comes in white or black. Unlike regular rice which is cooked in water, sticky rice is steamed.

After the market tour we were taken about 30 minutes outside of Chiang Mai to a really cute little remote cottage. We each got our own little cooking station. We cooked Tom Yam Soup, a spicy soup with prawns and chili broth. A papaya salad that is eaten with sticky rice, which was awesome! It was so incredibly spicy though, we were all crying! We had mango and sticky rice which I cannot wait to make at home. Then we made spring rolls and a plum dipping sauce.

For the main course we got to choose a curry ( I chose red curry chicken), a stir- fry (I chose cashew chicken), and a noodle (I chose big noodle, yes that is the name of the dish!)

The most important thing that I took from this class are a few key tips and techniques that Thai People use that we don't back in the states:

1. Cook over very very high heat
2. Use a good quality wok that holds heat well
3. Don't use olive oil!
4. Cook in small quantities
5. Use only fresh ingredients
6. Do not stir, apparently it burns your food
7. Smash, don't chop, apparently it brings out the flavor more
8. Adding water to your ingredients before adding to a very hot wok with oil makes huge fires!

Anyways, that is all for tonight! I can't wait to try my new food carving and cooking techniques when I get home!

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