Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thai cooking class

Amn't I in Japan? Yes, I am.

Being in Japan, as a Caucasian person, I have instant access to international communities, and also the high school English of every Japanese adult, which often greatly expands when you find them drunk, or 'dorinku'. ("Nice to meet you, I am doRINku!")

In Japan, I have met people from more countries than ever before, and from countries whose people I never would have expected to find in Japan - either because the country is far away or I never used to think about the country very much. Here is a brief list. (I may be a bit wordier than usual at the moment because I've been reading Tolkien.)
Ireland, Jamaica, Philippines, Korea, China, US, Canada, UK (England, Scotland), Singapore, Mexico, Kenya, Germany, Finland, Thailand.

And it is thus that I found myself invited on Facebook to a Thai cooking class, called 'Connie's Mum's Cooking Class.' I don't know who Connie is, and because it was explained in Japanese, I don't know who her mum is either, but off I went.

spicy glass noodle salad
We made three things: green curry, spicy glass noodle salad, and an almond 'pudding', which here, as it seems in American English?, means basically milk jelly, or, gelatinous custard in a cup. Kind of like creme caramel, however that's meant to be spelt.

'pudding' or 'purin'

It was all good, but the green curry was premium. I should have taken a photo of the paste - yes, we did use curry paste, but it seemed to be made entirely of spices, and it came out of a bag, not a jar. It was dry, not at all liquid.

But, I will post the recipe here. I think the secret is as much in the method as in the amazing curry paste.
By the way, Japan's tablespoon size is 15 mls. 
green curry (and half an egg, yes.)

(serves 4-6)

chicken, diced 150g
curry paste 2-3 tablespoons
canola oil 2-3 tablespoons
coconut cream 200 ml
coconut milk 400 ml (or 200 ml coconut cream and 200 ml water)
eggplants 3 medium
fresh, skinny, red chilli... 1-5 [depending on how hot they are and how hot you want it. Slice the chillies and soak them in water. I believe this takes out some of the heat.]
kaffir lime leaves 3 or 4
fish sauce 7 tablespoons? I'll check.
lime juice 3 tablespoons? I'll check.
sugar 1 tbsp
fresh basil mmmm about 8 fully grown leaves

1. Heat oil in a pan, and over a LOW heat, fry the curry paste until fragrant. (It can become bitter at too high a heat).
2. Add coconut cream and stir over a medium heat until a green oil separates on the top. This might take a few minutes.
3. Chuck in the chicken, cook for a few minutes, and then add the coconut milk. Cook for about 5 minutes. Cut the eggplant into Ds or however you like.
4. Add kaffir lime leaves and half the sliced chilli. (The rest will be a garnish.)
5. Add seasonings (not basil) and eggplant.
6. When eggplant is cooked, add the basil and turn off the heat. Serve with rice. Make it as pretty as you like.


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