Mochi and I had an indulgent Girl's Day Out yesterday in Brisbane. We had been planning this since forever and to say I was excited is a major understatement! If ever there was a reason not to sleep in on a Sunday, a Thai cooking glass with your favorite food-loving girlfriend, followed by cake, massage, spa and champagne would be it.
We signed in at around 10 to 9 in the morning and gathered around the table with 6 others. The classes are very intimate with only 8 per session, which to me is perfect because you get the right amount of attention.
Taya introduced herself as our mentor for the morning. She has a wealth of experience in Thai cooking and her friendly and enthusiastic attitude put all apprehensions to rest.
Recipe booklets and aprons were handed out which we donned eagerly, willing to look the part.
I ADORE this mantra printed at the bottom of the booklet:
"By undertaking this awesome cooking class I hereby promise to try these recipes at home. My friends and family love me so they will pretend to like it even if it is bad. But chances are it will taste great because I learnt it at my thai kitchen."
As part of our class, we were to make one entree(complete with dipping sauce), two mains and a salad. Rather than going through these one by one, we prepped certain elements to get them ready.
First, the filling of our golden parcels (har tong) was prepared as a group. We all contributed to the stir-frying effort and the filling was then spread on some trays to cool.
The remainder of the dishes were prepared in pairs, which was great for Mochi and I. We had a real team work thing going on, adding alternating ingredients and so on.
During this time, we started preparing the salad ingredients. I had never tried My Thai Restaurant but Mochi claims she's been 'several times' and was most looking forward to learning how to make their cucumber salad.
I loved the part where we got to use these awesome zig-zag peelers to easily create shredded cucumber. I will definitely be buying one of these babies - they are so cool!
We also got all the ingredients for our garlic lamb ready. These were arranged on a platter for each pair and set aside for later use.
The curry was very straight forward. We watched Taya fry off the curry paste and then we literally plopped all the ingredients in a pot and let it simmer away.
Taya then showed us her version of 'drunken noodles'. She was so fast I could barely catch what was going in but we all got a portion to try after (this was great because by then, we were so hungry from prepping but not eating) and the noodles were delicious. When asked why they were called 'drunken noodles', Taya informed us that in Thailand, the noodles are often eaten as an accompaniment to alcohol..
Next came another of my favorite parts, wrapping the hor tong. There was a great sense of satisfaction folding the little parcels up and seeing our creations.
Finally, it was time to cook the lamb. Mochi and I kept pointing at each other announcing 'you do it!' and 'no, you do it!'
I drew the short straw and became responsible for the stir-frying. I think I was novice to say the least and Taya had to take over a couple of times to stop bits and pieces burning.
As a group, we were then able to start plating everything up. The dishes used were just gorgeous and when we brought everything back out to the dining room, we felt so proud of our dishes. They looked amazing (if I may say so myself).
We didn't hesitate to tuck in. YUMMMM...
First, we tried the hor tong with narm jim dipping sauce. They were crunchy on the outside and the chicken and water chestnut filling was beautiful. I loved the sauce too - it was a great combination of sweet, sour and mild chili.
As a reader of my blog, you'd know I make curries quite often. The yellow chicken curry was so easy yet the chicken tasted better than any I've made before. Mochi and I learnt that we normally cut the pieces up way too small.
The garlic lamb was so flavorsome. I actually hate garlic because it makes my mouth feel so awful afterwards and I'm usually very hesitant to order anything with the term 'garlic' in the name. This wasn't like vampire-killing levels of garlic. It was just very tasty and the sauce over the veggies and rice was super good.
I was excited about the salad. It is packed full of flavor but perfectly balanced. This salad is refreshing and healthy and I think it'll be great for summer. Having the cold salad there is a wonderful compliment to the rest of the meal.
I loved the Mild and Tasty class at My Thai Kitchen that I've already booked my next lesson (this time dragging Byron along). I kid you not, it left such a good impression on me that I can't wait to try it again.
The experience was great and what's most important is that I learnt lots. It wasn't just the recipes we learnt (all of which are transferable to everyday home cooking) but also small tips and tricks that I didn't know before. The class itself was the right amount of hands-on without being tedious.
Taya is ideal as a mentor to this class and she was key in making the whole morning fun and fruitful. The amazing lunch we had after was the icing on the cake to a great morning.