Sadly but truely, even the nicest holiday comes to an end at some stage… You can just make the most out of every moment you have, breath in the warm air, feel the sun on your skin and the sand below your feet, listen to the sound of the leaves of tree which gives you shade on the beach and enjoy the flavors of the lovely meals you get to try out every day. And HERE comes my point: The only thing you can take home is as easy as that!! Try to learn the local cuisine and cook it yourself at home!
It’s not the first time that we did a cooking class either at home or when we went abroad. This time in Thailand it was one of the nicest ever: directly on the beach, the sea as a view and a chef just for the two of us. Epic! Lucky as we were we could even chose the dishes to cook the day before and we only chose our most favorite meals of our holiday: green papaya salad, Thai glassnoodle salad and tom yam goon (hot and sour prawn soup). Those are actually all starters but after I’ve done curries in a course four years ago already we wanted to focus on those.
Our chef prepared all the ingredients and when we came the restaurant manager helped him with translating everything. They built up a small mobile kitchen on the beach next to the restaurant and after the introduction it started with hands on! Not even 2hours later we were the happy people enjoying a lovely meal, fresh, tasty, boasting with Thai flavors and the best news: it was so easy to make! We left happy and hoping to get all the ingredients back in Malta. Three days after our return four of our best friends were the first guinea pigs. It took me 2hours to get around different supermarkets and veggie stores but finally I got everything and I was really impressed by the huge choice of the Asian supermarket in Gzira. Abroad I guess you’ll have less stops to get all the fixings you need ;) Everything came out really well and nearly the way we had it on the beach just a couple of days ago. The only thing I was adding to our menu which was not totally authentic was the dip to start with our aperitif (pinapple prosecco btw). So if anyone knows a Thai dip to start a meal I’m curious for ideas! Instead I tried out another SmittenKitchen’s Bean & Pepper Dip wich came out really nice too – check out the recipe here (really nice food blog btw).
All recipes serve 6:
Thai Glassnoodle Salad with chicken
Soak glass noodles (1 bunch p.p) in cold water for a couple of minutes, drain, put aside. Chop up some cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, chilies as well as fresh corenader. Fry some garlic and ginger in coconut oil and fry approx. 400g of minced chicken. Season with fish sauce and lime juice to taste. In the meantime put the prepared glass noodles in cooking water for like 10min, drain. Add them to the chicken, add tomoatoes and shallots and some sweet and sour chili sauce. Stir everything and decorate with chopped coreander. Top with fresh chilies depening on your love for heat ;)
Note: If you can’t get fresh coreander celery greens is also great. You can also take spring onions instead of shallots. This dish can also be done with prawns, seafood or all of them together.
Tom Yam Goon (hot and sour prawn soup)
Chop up 2 pieces of galanga, a bunch of lemongrass, some cherry tomatoes and shallots as well as fresh coreander. Wash some kaffir leaves (dried or fresh would be even better if you can get them). Put everything but the prawns in a pot with boiling water and let it simmer for some minutes until nice and fragrant. Add 2-3 tablespoons of high quality tom yam paste (I prefer the brand COOK from the Asian supermarket which they also used in Thailand) and season with lime juice and fish sauce, some sugar if it tastes too sour. At the very end add the prawns (or seafood) until they turn pink and finalise with a splash of coconut milk. Divide it in nice bowls and decorate with fresh coreander. Serve with fresh chilies so everybody can take spice it up to taste.
Note: can be served with rice to make it a full meal (or handle the heat ;) )
Banana in sweet coconut milk
Slowly heat up 750ml of coconut milk. Add some tablespoons of brown sugar and some pinches of salt. Cut up 6 bananas in half and half them another time. Put them into the hot coconut milk for some minutes. When they are soft and tender serve them in little bowls.
Note: This dish can also be done with sweet pumpkin, melon, lychees or other fruit.