Our day at the Silom Cooking School
The first thing that struck us when we were taken on a food market tour as part of our course, was the diversity of produce available. Now, the Vietnamese may well have established themselves as the kings of counterfeit couture, but when it comes to imitating ingredients, these Thai folk win hands down. We quickly learned that there’s a Thai version of everything; Thai Basil, Thai Ginger, Thai Coriander, Thai Garlic, Thai Aubergine… even Thai Celery!
And unlike Vietnamese copies, this stuff is the real deal.
Once Nusi, our particularly camp cookery teacher, had introduced us to the smells and sights of a traditional Bangkok Market, he led us through a labyrinth of back streets just off Silom Soi 13, to his quaint and charming cookery school (which he also lived under).
Maria, myself and the other ten students were put to work straight away washing the veg, before being taken to a second prep room where we sat around a large mat on the floor and began chopping, peeling, slicing and dicing the good stuff.
Ingeniously, Nusi and his two helpers, had made the most of every square inch of the space he rented. This included turning the balcony into a bank of gas hobs for the woks- and this was where each of our six courses were made.
The ‘menu du jour’ included:
1. Tom Kha Gai, a chicken and ginger coconut soup
2. Chicken with cashew nut
3. Spicy glass noodle salad
4. Thai Fishcakes
5. Red Curry paste (from scratch) to make the final main dish of Thai Red Curry.
The sixth and final dish was a dessert: banana in coconut milk. And although it was deliciously sweet and much needed after the spicy red curry, it was the only thing we didn’t finish. This may have had something to do with the five dishes which preceded it filling us up to bursting point!
As we headed back to Jan’s, literally rolling down Silom Road, Maria and I agreed that we’d both enjoyed a fantastic day- leaving with big grins, full bellies and some fantastic recipes to try out on you guys when we get home.
(Please book early to avoid disappointment)