It was our pleasure when we organized the first Freestyle cooking event on Friday 22nd ,August. I posted it on couchsurfing boad event on Wednesday. We were not sure whether anyone wanted to join.
Then I got an email from Veronica. We was very happy and here is Veronica’s honest review for us.
Here I am, staying 6 weeks in Bangkok. That seems little bit too much for a nature lover who most of all enjoys hours and days walking the hills or even better hiking in the mountains, crossing freezing rivers barefoot, sleeping in the tent and eating from the aluminum pots.
I am coming to Bangkok as a volunteer in a small guesthouse that for exchange for your help provide accommodation. This gives you some freedom and time to explore the town on your own pace, meet new people and learn everyday something new.
But what exactly can you learn in 6 weeks? In a country with so many flavors that basically every day one can taste different dish without being bored… Where just walking on the street makes you hungry… Where you want to find out about the importance of five fundamental taste senses: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and (of course) spicy. Yes, I want to learn more about Thai food, the secret why it is so popular and desired by so many foreigners who later come back again and again.
The plan is easy: we shop, we cook, we eat…
It was a “last minute” call, when I found the message from Petz on the CouchSurfing web saying Freestyle cooking group: TODAY. It was 11 am and the “group” was supposed to meet at 2 pm. Hurry, hurry! Luckily living in the 21st century has this huge advantage of fast messages exchange, so at 1.30 pm I was on my way to Thong Lo station to meet Petz and Sam.
I recognized them straight away – Sam was in the middle of taking pictures of all different products and street food stalls while Petz was explaining origin and purpose of each item. “Hey…how are you?…where are you from?…” the easy introduction chat, little observation and sharing the fact that all of us love food and cooking. After few minutes we knew the cooking group has the best assets to enjoy the very first cooking afternoon while creating the mouth watering food.
Today’s menu: Sweet & Sour Stir Fried Vegetable with Prawns, Minced Pork Omelet and Thai Green Curry. Yum!
We spent about an hour and half in the marker choosing the right ingredients and flavors for our dishes. We did shopping in the supermarket and bought some vegetable on the local market on the way to Sam’s apartment where we were supposed to cook. Her kitchen is perfect for small group of excited food lovers, so we immediately started the initial preparation – washing vegetable, cutting meat…and obviously taking pictures
The cooking itself didn’t take very long, most of the Thai dishes are being prepared on a single pan and usually don’t take more than 10 minutes. We started with omelet with minced pork. The preparation was easy so did the frying. The difference between Thai omelet and European one is the seasoning. Here we put fish sauce and lime juice, which made it nice and fluffy. The main ingredient however was minced pork (which I personally didn’t even notice). We decorated with fresh chilly and mint leaves…hmm.
Thai green curry was our second dish and that was definitely a big success. I absolutely loved that!!! Petz was leading us, telling us what to do, what to put first, etc. We used chicken breast with skin and we add a small amount of pork cooked blood which was very nice when cooked in green curry. As a vegetable we chosen baby egg plants, wing bean and coconut milk.Thisdiffers from what I usually use for curry back at home (potatoes, carrot, capsicum and chick peas). The green curry was served with rice or Chinese noodles or Kanom Jean ??? both of them great!!
The stir fried vegetable with shrimps was the last of all dishes and was probably the one that took the longest to prepare as we needed the vegetable to be nice and soft. The flavors were nicely mixed as we started with crushed garlic, later we added oyster sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Here we put lot of vegetable: carrot, onion, tomatoes and cucumber which cooked together. I personally didn’t really enjoy the taste of cooked cucumber as cucumber is in my country usually eaten fresh in salads. So this was the ‘first time’ for me.
We prepared everything, now it is time to try, yay!
It was definitely nice experience. I loved to try new way of cooking, different preparation and ingredients, some very different from what we are used to back in Europe. I enjoyed the way of cooking when Patz gives us instructions. Sam and I tried to make it by ourselves, step by step, as well as taking notes and pictures of the whole procedure. This gives you the idea of the time needed for the preparation and cooking.
Great, now I just use my new skills to prepare some of these dishes to my family once back at home Keep you posted how it goes, hehe!