For us, learning new skills and cooking are two of our favourite things, so a Thai cooking course ticks all the boxes. Add to that getting to eat our delicious creation, a highly entertaining tutor, a fantastic support team and a couple of delicious cocktails, and for us we had all the ingredients for a perfect evening!
That is what’s on the menu at Thaikhun, and we were lucky enough to go along to the first of one of their new regular cookery classes. Having eaten very well at Thaikhun before (you can read about that here), we had high hopes for learning how to cook like they do.
We started with a drink and an introduction to our tutor Poom, and her team who supported us throughout the evening. Poom is a wonderful lady, with her infectious enthusiasm, cheeky jokes and charming bossiness (a key requirement of a chef!), it was impossible not to love every minute.
We were introduced to the dishes we were to cook that evening, and given a bit of background information, before getting kitted up with aprons and hats and becoming acquainted with our work stations.
The first dish we made were the humble vegetable spring roll. We started by finely slicing cabbage, carrot, mushroom, garlic and coriander, and then stir-fried on a high heat, stirring constantly until the vegetables had wilted.
We then added a dash of soy sauce and oyster sauce and sprinkle of sugar and a good handful of water-soaked rice noodles, cooking for another minute or so until thoroughly mixed.
We then wrapped a tablespoon of the perfectly seasoned mixture into the pre-made spring roll pastry (available from any good Chinese supermarket), and sealed with a dab of flour and water mix. We made a whopping 17 in about three minutes, winning the speed making competition and were awarded a bag of rice noodles to take home.
Our perfectly formed rolls were deep fried for two minutes at 180 degrees and promptly devoured, with chilli sauce, and another cocktail.
Next up was our main; green Thai curry, made from scratch, including the curry paste. We started by mashing four fresh green chill’s, two shallots, two lemon grass shoots, a thumb sized chunk of galangal (a strong Asian ginger type root), two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of salt and four kaffir lime leaves in a giant pestle and mortar.
Some of those ingredients are pretty fibrous so really need to pound the stuff to get a good paste. When you’re there add some diced green pepper to provide a little moisture. And do a little more pounding and imagine the guns of steel you’ll be building up.
We then fried the paste in some veg oil and added coconut milk, then sliced chicken, the cream from the coconut milk, and boiled for a few minutes.
Next we added green beans, courgette, fish sauce, chilli, salt, palm sugar and basil, and let the ingredients combine over the heat for a few more minutes.
The dish was a little more watery than I’d expected, but this is the way it should be apparently. It was served with sticky white rice and tasted so deliciously fresh and spicy.
We learned so much during this fantastic evening. We also laughed a lot, which isn’t something we’d expected, or had experienced so notably on other cooking courses. Poom and the team were fantastic and we’re really looking forward to going back to learn more. It’s also worth mentioning that this class is very good value when compared to other similar courses, at £80 for two people. We’d highly recommend it – we had a great time.