There are so many highlights from my recent trip to Thailand, from bamboo rafting down a river to taking in one of their famous Ladyboy shows, but one of my favorites was definitely taking a cooking lesson while in Chiang Mai with the family-run Baan Hongnual Cookery School. This school was awesome because after they picked you up from your hotel, they take you to an authentic Thai market to shop for and explain each of the ingredients being used to prepare the dishes we were learning. The location of the school was beautiful and the teachers were all so patient. It was a great learning experience and I was happy I would be able to cook Thai food for my family and friends once I returned back home.
As a result, my sister, mom, and I worked together to recreate one of my favorite dishes, Pad Thai! There is really soooo much more that goes into creating this one dish than meets the eye. Thai dishes play on a variety of tastes from sweet and sour to spicy and salty and you’ll find all of them in this one dish. With Thailand being almost 9,000 miles away, it can also be difficult to procure many of the ingredients needed to recreate the layers of flavors that pad Thai has, but luckily living in New York City, I was able to take a trip to the local Asian market and pick pretty much everything up.
Being that the very first time I ever made pad Thai while back in Thailand I had someone guiding me the entire time who knew exactly what was to go into the dish and how much of everything was needed, let’s just say that when I had to make it on my own last night there was plenty of trial and error. Nevertheless, despite a few bumps in the road, the meal turned out to be really delicious. And no Thai meal is complete without some Thai iced tea!
Here’s the recipe as shown in Baan Hongnual cookbook that was given to us at the end of the lesson:
- 200 grams – Narrow rice noodles
- 7-10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 50 grams – Chicken, sliced (pork, prawns, or tofu)
- 1/4 cup tofu
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. dried shrimp
- 1 tbsp. chopped pickled white radish
- 4 tbsp tamarind juice
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 4-5 garlic chives
- 3 tbsp. soy bean oil
- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. ground roasted peanuts
- Lime or lemon juice
- Chili powder
- Heat the oil over low heat; add garlic then chicken and tofu, stir until chicken is cooked and garlic is golden brown.
- Leave everything beside the wok and add beaten eggs and when they begin to set, quickly scramble them.
- Add noodles followed by seasoning: soy sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind juice, brown sugar, dried shrimp, and chopped pickled white radish. Stir until noodles are soft and then add bean sprouts and garlic chives. Keep stirring for 30 seconds to one minute until done.
- Put on the plate and top with ground peanuts.
- Serve hot with the banana flower sliced, a wedge of lime/lemon on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.
I definitely recommend having everything prepped and within arm’s reach while making this meal because the ingredients cook extremely fast. Once everything was done, I squeezed a little bit of lemon juice onto mine for some added acidity and we were done!
This weekend is also my niece’s 2nd birthday! So my sister baked her some delicious funfetti cupcakes and had an adorable Bubble Guppies-themed birthday party at her daycare with all of her friends. I definitely think she had a fun time and the celebrations continue today at the lake. Can’t wait!