Monday, 8 April 2013

Time for Lime Cooking Classes - Thailand!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I escaped the country for a couple of weeks and visited Thailand. We had a fantastic time exploring what Thailand has to offer and spent time in Bangkok, Ao Nang, Koh Lanta, and Koh Jum before heading back to Bangkok to then head home. : ( 

One of the things I was determined to do in Thailand was a cookery class -  I'd taken the time to research some really good ones, and upon doing so I decided to go for 'Time for Lime'. It is situated on the southern end of Klong Dao Beach, Ko Lanta.

Welcome to Time for Lime (from the beach).
Our teacher for the session was Mai - she is a great very sweet sense of humour which will make you remember her tips. We started with an introduction - looking at Thai food and it's ingredients. 

If you find these ingredients in your Thai curry... On the right - DON'T EAT ME. On the left - EAT ME.  A great tip to know what to bite into within your curry, and what to leave on the plate.

We then sampled 'Thailand in one bite' - which is a selection of ingredients parcelled in wild pepper leaves. Once we'd learnt about the ingredients we headed  downstairs to get on with our cooking session, we each had our own preparation area & cooking station.

On the Menu for this night was
- Crispy spring rolls
- Seafood stir fry with roasted chilli paste 
- Fish or chicken fillet in Red Curry sauce
- Stir fry, mixed veggies in oyster sauce
Followed by a surprise dessert.

We all prepared a small amount of ingredients to be used in the Red Curry paste. It takes 30 minutes to pound in the motar and pestle - I have to admit we did have some help from a team member - but we all had a good go at it too.

We started by making the roasted chilli paste and preparing the stir fry and spring rolls. I couldn't take too many photos at this stage as I didn't want to miss the next technique. The spring rolls were actually surprisingly easy to make.. I was expecting them to be a lot trickier - however I think there was definitely a knack to cutting them, as mine seemed to disintegrate under the force of the 'killer knife'.  Each step is demonstrated to you, and then you have a go yourself.

Ingredients for the spring rolls, and the finished product ready to be fried.

 Once you have prepared the starter or should I say first course, you sit down with your fellow chefs and eat what you have cooked. It's a real social occasion, and for a little extra you can bring along a 'lazy partner' who comes along to sample the food.

Ready to eat - Tofu & vegetables in a chilli paste stir fry. 
(You wont go hungry)!

 After our first meal time it was time to return to the kitchen to make the red curry paste and stir fried mixed vegetables. We prepared the sauces first and then made the stir fry.

 Here's the final product. 
Chicken in Red curry sauce on the left and roasted red pepper with the same on the right. With stir fry mixed veggies in oyster sauce.

My thoughts on the course:

This is the first cookery course I have done and I loved it. I have to say the food was the tastiest Thai food I tasted whilst in Thailand (but you'll know why after you've spent over 30 minutes preparing the fresh red curry paste)! It really does make the world of difference. The course is very friendly and a great social evening as well. 
It's a very good cause - the profits of Time for Lime go to the 'Lanta Animal Welfare, so you are helping charity as well as learning the art of Thai Cookery.

The course costs 1800Baht (approximately £40)
with the addition of a lazy partner costing 480Baht (approximately £10). I think it's completely worth the money spent. You get picked up from your hotel, and they will also drop you, and your lazy partner back. You also get an apron to take home and a booklet of recipes. 

Now the only thing left to do is recreate this feast at home. I can only recommend this course. And Thailand - it's a place you'll never forget.

Thank you for reading.

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