I knew coming into the cooking course at Asia Scenic that I was not going to be high up on the spicy scale. Meow, our cooking instructor, referred to our spice levels not as spice, but as the amount of sexy we are. Apparently that makes me Baby Sexy. David, on the other hand, ranged from High School Sexy to University Sexy. Go David!
The Asia Scenic cooking school had been recommended to us by our friends Andrew and Alecia who visited Thailand a couple of years ago. We had the option of a half-day course or a full-day, and we decided to brave seven dishes and do the full-day course out on their farm.
The course began with a trip to Mae Jo market – a real local market where we were the only farang (foreigners) to be seen. Plastic bags filled with noodles or curry pastes abounded, bags of chili peppers (a.k.a. my nemesis) were overflowing and we even saw the odd pink egg. The pink eggs, century eggs, are eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, salt and ash for a period of weeks or months. When you finally crack it open, they are black and grey inside. Appetizing.
Arriving at the farm, we were welcomed by Meang Kum, a make-it-yourself snack where you assemble ginger, shallots, chili (which I skipped), lime, roasted peanuts and roasted coconut into a betel leaf, topping it off with a honey-like syrup. Delicious and light! When I get back, girls’ nights at home will definitely come with Meang Kum… and champagne.
Throughout the day we cooked all sorts of treats and I soon realized that the key step in cooking Thai food is in the prep work. The ‘cooking’ part is quick and easy. It’s all in the chopping, peeling, squashing for flavor and pounding into a paste. Meow explained that there are five flavours that should be balanced at all time in Thai food: sweet, sour, spicy, salty and bitter. She had that right. Every dish tantalized the taste buds, and I can truly say that at the end of the day I was well-fed, if over-fed, with a truly happy belly.
Baby sexy be damned, I enjoyed my food.
P.S. If you ever feel the need to bring it up next time you see David, remind him that I roll a better spring roll than he does. Hehehehe.