The Green Chicken Curry sitting safely at ex-Marine’s work station, it was back to the classroom, for the Phad Thai/Pad Thai (Thai Fried Noodles) demonstration. If you eat Thai food, you’ve probably eaten Phad Thai, everyone’s favorite and a fast and easy dish. Phad Thai calls for: fresh or dried rice noodles (if dried, soak in water for about 10-15 minutes), chopped garlic, dried shrimps, tofu chopped into small pieces, chicken stock, two beaten eggs, roasted and chopped peanuts, chives, bean sprouts, cabbage and chives. None of these ingredients are difficult to find but the sauce may present a difficulty. Sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and tamarind juice – that’s the kicker.
Students listened intently…View image, took notes throughout each class and followed along reading their individual cookbooks. Fast demonstration over (video), it was back to the wok. Phad Thai didn’t require much chopping or cutting except for smashing and mincing the garlic, and cutting chunks of yellow tofu. As I said, all the other chopping and prep work had been done by the assistants.
Fry the garlic, dried shrimps and tofu in hot oil until garlic turns golden and then add rice noodles. Keep stirring over high heat, add the chicken stock, stir-fry until noodles are soft. Turn heat down, add sauce, stir well, add eggs and stir fry until eggs are cooked. Add peanuts and chives, bean sprouts and you are done!
Sounds easy but this dish required our combined four hands to get everything, including the egg, into the wok without burning the garlic. Chef Sampon made his rounds up and down the lines of students and shouted out, “You forgot to add the sauce” when he got to us! Oops… Good thing we weren’t thrown out of the class since the majority of students were very serious about their cooking skills. We may have not been “serious” but it did educate us, gave a chance to try Thai food that we had been hesitant to order in restaurants and we had so much fun.
Finished, ex-Marine picked up his brilliant rendition of Phad Thai/Pad Thai, sauce and all, the bowl of Green Chicken Curry made earlier, ladled out pre-made rice and went to one of the tables to eat and schmooze with students from the United States, a couple from Guam (living in Nigeria), Dutch, English, Canadians. There was plenty of food for the two of us to share and everything was very yummy thanks to the omnipresent assistants that we drove crazy. Especially making the Phad Thai/Pad Thai. “Do we add this now? What do we do next?”
This was the last dish for us since we had only signed up for a half day class. Truthfully, I had only envisioned learning how to make one dish, not four. Those who signed up for the full-day class still had two courses to go. A sticky rice pudding and Papaya Salad. Driven out of the very beautiful development…View image…View image…and back to our hotel. it was a great experience.
If you are a little tired of Thai food, Rob (Vieng Travel) recommended Chez Marco for French/Mediterranean food, 15/7 Loi Kroh Road, next to the Raming Lodge, on the side of the street before the Puntong Wat. Take a walk somewhere in that vicinity and I’m sure you’ll find it.