This summer I have singed up for a six-part series on Thai cooking held at Kendall College. The classes will be held once a month for six months. The first class was called "Four Regional Cuisines of Thailand".
Discover the secrets of Executive Chef/Owner Arun Sampanthavivat of Arun’s Thai Restaurant in Chicago. Chef Arun invites you and friends to this one-of-a-kind series of Spice Up’s Adventures in Thai Cooking classes that will be chock full of useful tips and techniques. Starting Tuesday, June 17th Chef Arun will teach a three hour course of his six part installment that covers one subject in depth each month expanding from Four Regional Tastes of Thailand to the Art of Thai Menu Design. With Chef Arun’s step-by-step instructions, hands on guidance and easy recipes, he is sure to have you whipping up dazzling dishes in no time. After just a few classes, your family and friends will be convinced that you've studied at Kendall College. Space is limited be sure to register today
Classic Thai cooking always balances the four fundamental flavors of hot, sour, salty and sweet, with the occasional addition of bitter. Four Regional Tastes of Thailand will be a survey of Thai culinary culture, aiming to take you to explore the exotic tastes of the exotic land of Thailand. Four regional cooking of the classical Thai tastes will be offered; the diversity of flavors, textures, and forms of the Thai cookery tradition.
This class delivered everything I was expecting it to. We started off the class in an auditorium and Chef Arun gave a very informative overview of the different cuisines of Thailand. After about a half an hour we went down into the kitchens and got to work. We prepared four dishes, one from each region of Thailand.
The Central Plains: Mee Kati (Coconut Noodles)
These were rice vermicelli noodles that we died pink! It is the traditional way to serve them and makes for a very elegant presentation. It seems simple, but I think that is the most unique lesson I took away from the class. While soaking the noodles in water, just add some red food coloring.
The North: Nam Prik Ong (Pork Chili Dip)
This one blew me away. I'm not sure what I expected based on the name, but was it ended up being was like a ground meat chili. But very fine and flavorful. It is served with vegetables which was a really unique compliment to the greasy, spicy meat.
The South: Khanom Chine Nam ya (Rice Noodles with Fish Curried Sauce)
Fish curried sauce may seem gross, but I assure you it is simply amazing. The recipe calls for a strip bass and you end up smashing the cooked fish in a mortar and pestle and them mix it in with a curry paste. I never thought I'd be mashing up a fish to use in a recipe!
The Northeast: Kai Yang (Thai Grilled Chicken) and Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Absolutely AMAZING chicken! There were all sorts of amazing real Thai dishes and I couldn't get over how flavorful these chicken legs were. This is definitely something I"ll be making on the grill this summer. However, I doubt I'll be making the papaya salad because even though it was really great, you had to SHRED an entire papaya! I simply do not have the patience for that. I might give it a go with my mandolin though...