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My Favorite Thai Food

I was thinking of providing a comprehensive of “foods found in Thailand” list but decided there are just too many and listing the foods that I love most would be far easier. So… The list below provides a short list of my favorite Thai foods.

Fried Rice – I love Thai style pork fried rice for breakfast. This is basic fried rice with tomatoes, onions with Thai spices like lime and chili thrown in at the end.

Thai Omelet – The Thai omelet is simple but delicious dish made of eggs, chili, onions, pork and other things as desire. The chilies make it spicy and Thai. The omelet is served with white rice.

Som tum or papaya salad – som tum is a spicy salad consisting mostly of shredded fresh papaya with tomatoes, chilies, garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce. Thais love this dish SPICY, so be careful.

Hoi tod – hoi tod is a mixture of egg and mussels (or oysters) pan fried with spices, namely white pepper. This is served over a bed of fresh bean sprouts. This is often made on the street and I like mine cooked crispy.

La moo ma ma or Ground pork salad – this is browned ground pork with chilies, fish sauce, tomato sauce with chopped shallots mixed in before served. This is often served with instant noodles. This is another HOT dish so, again, be careful.

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Wing bean salad – This very similar to the dish above but tends to have more of a tomato base and chopped fresh wing bean are added and lightly cooked at the end. Very tasty.

Glass noodle salad – glass noodles are made of green bean, are very thin, and absorb the flavor of the accompanying foods very nicely.

Fried grouper – this a simple deep fried sea fish dish. What makes it on my favorite is the condiment they serve with it. The English name is seafood sauce and it is made with finely chopped green chilies and garlic in fish sauce. It is very spicy and delicious.

Common Condiments
Fish sauce – fishy and salty amber colored liquid

Seafood sauce – green, smooth to lumpy, chili and garlic dip

Soy sauce – tangy and salty brown liquid

Red pepper – dried chopped red chili

Vinegar – usually served with fresh chopped chili

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The longer i live in Thailand the longer this list grows. When visiting Thailand I urge you to try as many things as possible, but remember, most western people can not eat the spice level of the Thais, not without practice.

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Thai Food for Health

Dining in the UK is, like so many aspects of modern life, sometimes a compromise. In days gone by, when gender roles conformed to long-established stereotypes, a housewife would prepare a full, cooked meal for the family to share in the evening. These days, when it is more likely that both partners in a relationship will have careers, time is at a premium and many begrudge time spent cooking after a busy day at work. Consequently, takeaway food and restaurant meals account for a larger part of our diet then ever before.

While many of us avoid the kind of fast food that we consider to be junky American imports, such as burgers and greasy fried chicken, we do not seem to be so aware of the health aspects of other cuisines which, although established, are also relative newcomers to our shores.

Health in diet and lifestyle is a modern obsession. We shy away from overdoing the very obvious unhealthy foods. We limit our intake of cakes, sweets, chips, but we are less wary of eating Indian and Chinese restaurant meals or takeaways – perhaps several times a week – even though, at the back of our minds, we know that these are often as full of fat, sugar and salt as the more obvious junk foods.

Of the imported cuisines popular in the UK, Thai food offers one of the most consistently healthy and well-balanced diets available. Its various techniques and components are a fusion of contributions made by the Asian, European and African cultures that, at various periods, took advantage of the trade routes upon which Thailand was so well placed. It is almost as if it has embraced all the best elements from the many influences that played parts in its evolution, while leaving out most of the things which we now know are not healthy to eat.

An article in the health section of the BBC’s website stated that the popular Indian dish chicken tikka masala with pilau rice typically contains around 47g of fat, while a similar Thai food choice, stir fried chicken with plain steamed rice (phad khing hai) has just 13g of fat of which only 3g is saturated fat. The difference is striking, and the more dishes one compares, the greater the contrast one sees between the two cuisines so far as healthy eating considerations are concerned.

As well as a healthy, balanced overall diet, the individual ingredients used in Thai cooking are well known for their benefits and, in many cases, they are actually used in Southeast Asian medicine.

Turmeric, for example, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of these qualities are known to play a part in preventing the development of cancer.

Lemongrass, a lovely, fragrant, lemony herb is used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of colds and flu-like bugs. It is also known to help maintain good digestion.

Galangal is a variant of ginger and, as such, shares many of its properties. Galangal is particularly renowned for its effectiveness in relieving digestive problems and gastric disorders. It is also reputed to assist in the reduction of pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.

Chillies, cayenne in particular, have recently come to the attention of western researchers. Indications are that chillies and their extracts may be beneficial in maintaining a healthy cardio-vascular system, and in supporting the body’s ability to produce insulin. Some researchers have also found positive impact on certain skin conditions, and on digestion. Another, quite unusual, benefit of chillies is that they are known to combat insomnia, so your delicious Thai meal will also help you to sleep soundly at night!

Coriander is well known throughout Asia and is one of the most vital ingredients common to most cuisines from that region. Like many of the other herbs used in Thai cooking, it is known to aid good digestion, and is reputed to encourage a strong immune system, thus helping to defend against common minor illnesses.

Coconut milk is believed to assist in the lowering of LDL, a form of cholesterol which is harmful at high levels. It also helps to raise levels of more desirable fatty substances that the body needs in order to function optimally. Like coriander, coconut milk is known for its immunity boosting properties. Some of its components are also known to inhibit some of the effects of aging.

Kaffir Lime Leaves have antioxidant properties like several of the ingredients we have mentioned already. Kaffir is said to purify the blood and assist digestion, while promoting dental and oral health. Kaffir is one of the main flavours used in Thai cuisine.

But there is more to the healthy eating aspect of the Thai diet than the individual properties of its ingredients: one should not underestimate the importance of the freshness of Thai herbs. Where many Asian cooking styles use a lot of dried spices and extracts, Thai cooking tends to make use of fresh herbs in their natural, whole state rather than extracts. Whole foods of any kind are now widely recognised, even in the west, as being the healthier option, and should be preferred over processed or powdered derivatives.

The popularity of salads, fish and seafood mean that there are plenty of alternatives to red meat. That said, body builders and macho traditionalists who don’t consider a meal to be a real meal unless it contains a decent helping of red meat would find that a Thai menu caters for them too.

As with all cuisines, there are some things best enjoyed in moderation. If one ate only dishes rich in coconut milk, for example, then one might reasonably expect to add a few inches to one’s waistline. Similarly, someone on a diet may decide to opt for plain or fragrant, rather than fried, rice dishes in order to keep the calories down, but the great thing about Thai cuisine is that meals are generally composed with all elements very well balanced, so it is most likely that a full meal would contain all these marvellous ingredients in just the right proportions.

Few dietary experts would dispute that the Thai diet is one of the most intrinsically healthy in the world.

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Thai Cooking

Thai Cooking

 Thai cooking is a fine mix of Indian, Chinese, and indigenous influences.  Over centuries, it has evolved to become what it is today–a flavorful and healthy world-renowned cuisine.  But, what really makes Thai foods so unique and loved?  Actually, it isn’t any one item, but rather a combination of many ingredients, each contributing to make Thai cooking so tasty.  To start with, Thailand is a “Land of Plenty,” being blessed with a year round growing season.  Soils are fertile, and rain is sufficient thereby allowing for a wide range of cultivatable crops.



 

 

 

 

 

There is nothing boring about Thai cooking.  The Thais have developed a huge number of meals to enjoy.  Most meals, however, will use some combination of the following basic ingredients:

1.  Coconut (milk and pulp)

2.  Peppers

3.  Spices and herbs

4.  Seasonings

5.  Sauces

6.  Curry pastes (panang, red, yellow, green, tamarind, massaman)

7.  Other pastes (chili, shrimp, ….)

Plus:

1.  Vegetables

2.  Meat/seafood

Plus:

Most meals are served with either rice (regular or sticky) or noodles

Thai cooking is not a science; it is an art.  There is no “one” way to prepare a meal.  It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that–all up to each cook.  Thai cooking is very forgiving.  And because the food is so delicious, no wonder eating is a national past time!  Come join us in our cooking academy and experience for yourself the fun and great flavors of Thai cooking.

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Our Academy

Our Academy

Welcome to Bangkok, home of world-renowned flavorful and healthy Thai foods.  We, at Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy, invite you to join us for some fun hands-on learning of how to prepare and cook Thai meals.  There is no better place to learn Thai cooking than here in Bangkok.  So, what are you waiting for?

We pride ourselves in teaching visitors and expats the ins and outs of successful Thai cooking.  Our air conditioned school is conveniently located in the heart of Sukhumvit, near the intersection of the MRT (Subway) and BTS (Skytrain) at Asoke.  Actual instruction is in an air conditioned quaint Thai home, and all classes are small and personal.  To start, for the morning classes our English-speaking Thai chef will meet you at the Dunkin’ Donut shop which is at street level where BTS Asoke (Exit 3) and MRT Sukhumvit (Exit 3) intersect. .  All Thai cooking starts with a visit to the market, in this case the Asoke produce & seafood market, where fresh ingredients will be selected.  The market tour includes instruction in making coconut milk, as well as selection of peppers, spices, herbs, vegetables, and seafoods.  Upon returning to the school, our instructor will also discuss sauces, sticky rice, and the preparation of various curry pastes.  During class, coffe, tea, and water are served free.   Hands-on experience will be obtained by preparing each ingredient, combining as appropriate, and cooking in a wok, using traditional Thai cookers and cooking utensils.  Upon completion of each class, a recipe booklet, containing basic Thai cooking knowledge and recipes of the meals prepared in your class, will be provided.  For those completing 3 or more courses, a pictured Certificate of Achievement will be given.

We offer two classes daily, 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday).  Class times are 8:45-12:45 and 1:15-5:00.   All morning classes start with a market tour.  For those electing not to visit the market, they can meet at the academy at 9:15 am.  The afternoon class meets at the academy at 1:15.   We offer 10 courses, each featuring different meals (a total of 50 meals), to choose from, PLUS we have 2 “BEST OF THAILAND” courses (on Saturdays only).  Cost per class is only 1,250 baht.  For those really serious about learning Thai cooking, we offer an IMMERSION SPECIAL–7 courses for 7,500 baht.  Other special prices are available for multiple classes.  To view what meals are taught, when they are taught, and our pricing specials, please refer to the “Classes & Rates” page.  Special times, private classes, fundraisers, and team building events are available.  For more on this, please refer to our “Special Events” page.

We are available to answer your questions and to handle your booking.  To contact us, please call Ron at: Office–022584021, Mobile–0807706741 or E-mail–Ron@phuketthaicookingacademy.com

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