Monday, August 9, 2010

Curry Dishes

Have you ever wondered the differences between the curries that I teach in my Curry Class? The class I teach includes three different types of curries. Thai curries are more soup like than your typical Indian curry, and can be used in a variety of ways.

Gang Kiaw Won is a green curry. Green curry is often considered to be the most popular of Thai curries, and is the only curry that uses fresh green chiles. Each of the other curries only use dried chiles in their creation. Green curry can be extremely hot in flavor and can add a lot of kick to a dish!

Red curry, or in my class Gang Dang, is considered to be the most versatile of the curries, and is created with dried red chiles. Due to its versatility, red curry is able to be used in a wide variety of dishes.

Gang Panang or panang curry, which is very close to yellow curry, is a Thai version of Indian curry. This is a mild curry, but can also be very rich depending on the spicy herb blend, and pastes that are used in its preparation process.

If you are interested, I can also teach you how to grind your own curry powders during class, so don’t delay and sign up for my Curry Class today!

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thai Town

I just returned home from Thai Town where I go a few times a year to pick up special ingredients and spices that I’m unable to find at home in the Bay Area. For those of you who haven’t been, Thai Town is an amazing neighborhood in Los Angeles, and also the first and only Thai Town in the country. Thai Town is centered along Hollywood Boulevard.

Los Angeles is home to the largest Thai population outside of Thailand, and with an estimated 120,000 Thai people living in California, 80,000 are living in Los Angeles. Is it a coincidence that Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is also known as the “City of Angels”?

Thai Town contains wonderful and authentic Thai restaurants, and markets where I find my hard to locate spices, just to name a few. I had a great time shopping for ingredients, stopping by the Thai bookstore, visiting the Thai Bakery, and eating lunch with my family at the Palms restaurant, the largest Thai restaurant in Thai Town. I encourage you to pay a visit next time you are in Southern California!

I’m happy to be home, and ready to teach! Call or email us to sign up for a class today!

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Grilling

When temperatures outside reach the triple digits, no one wants to be in the kitchen using their oven! Keep the heat out of your house and join me outside for a Thai Summer Grilling class. Enjoy a break from the heat while enjoying the view from my picturesque deck and my backyard all while breathing in the fresh scent of herbs from my organic garden.

Are you looking for something fun to grill besides the typical hot dogs and hamburgers? Wow your friends and family with specially grilled Thai fruits, veggies and meats. No bun required.

This special summer class is being held for four hours on Sunday mornings. Sign up with a friend, and you will both enjoy 25% off the price of the class. Give us a call or email us today for specific time and date information.

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thai Veggies!

Did you know that there are over two hundred different types of vegetables in Thailand? That’s quite a lot of variety to choose from when picking your healthy greens! There are a lot of options for using these delicious veggies from soups to wraps to stir fries and more. Be creative!

You may have heard reports about the health benefits obtained from eating less meat. Meat can be high in fat, and it’s also expensive, which isn’t a health benefit but a big plus for your wallet! Forgoing meat at least one day a week is also better for the environment, and let’s face it, green is in.

If you are tired of the same old veggie steaming routine and are looking for some new recipes, perhaps you should try out my veggies class! Yum Makeur Yao is grilled eggplant, which is a perfect thing to try this summer season on the grill. Yum Head is a delicious mushroom salad and Tao Hu Tod is deep fried tofu, breaded with mushroom and cilantro. Tofu is an excellent meat swap substitute as it is high in protein and vitamins but also low in sodium, fat and calories.

Give these veggies a try and ditch meat one night a week. You’ll be glad you did!

Give us a call or email us today to sign up for a class!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Tooth?

Do you have a taste for dessert? Have you taken a few of my classes and are now looking for the perfect way to top off that authentic Thai meal? Consider taking my appetizer and dessert class! You’ll learn the perfect way to kick off and the best way to end a true Thai meal!

Traditionally most Thai desserts are made with three primary ingredients. Flour, sugar and coconut dominate most Thai desserts and have for centuries. Eggs were later introduced to the Thai people by Portuguese traders. In addition to the three main ingredients, desserts can also include fresh fruit, rice flour and palm sugar. Thai chefs embrace the use of fresh herbs and plants and utilize this in coloring their desserts. Most coloring comes from edible flowers. It is also popular to soak jasmine and other flowers in water to create a sort of scented syrup to use in desserts. Imagine the sweet smell of fresh herbs and flowers infused into your after dinner treat.

Three desserts are taught in my appetizer and dessert class including, Miang Come, translated as roasted coconut in a leaf, which can be considered both dessert and an appetizer, Mango on Sticky Rice, and Kluai Buat Chi which is translated as banana in coconut milk.

Come and join us in making desserts! Trust me, it will turn an amazing meal into a spectacular feast.

Call or email us today to sign up!

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cheers to Good Health!

Did you know that Thai food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines that you can eat?

Many Thai dishes contain an abundance of immunity boosting and disease fighting ingredients such as turmeric, galangal, coriander, lemongrass and fresh chilies. Even coconut milk is believed to lower bad cholesterol and help fight against aging.

The cancer pattern in Asians, particularly Southeast Asians is considerably low, especially when compared with other Western and European countries. In particular, Thais have a lower occurrence of digestive tract cancers than members of other countries.

Three universities in Japan and Thailand did a study with the results showering that Thai food is one hundred times more effective in inhibiting cancerous tumor growth than other foods, and several other Thai dishes are being studied to evaluate their health benefits. One food that particularly appears to stand out from a health point is Thai soup…namely from an ingredient standpoint, Tom Yum soup.

Luckily for all of you who are watching your health out there, I regularly teach a soup course featuring Tom Kha Gai soup which is mildly spicy made with chicken, lime leaves, lemongrass and coconut milk; a Tom Yum Goong soup which is a hot and sour soup made with shrimp, galangal, lemongrass, kiffer lime leaves, lime juice and cilantro, and lastly Gang Jeud Woon Sen which is a non-spicy, clear broth with an abundance of vegetables. The lemongrass, kiffer lime leaves, lime juice and cilantro used in the recipes generally comes straight from my backyard…fresh, organic and natural.

Call or email us to sign up for a soup class today, it’s for your health!

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cooking Brings a Team Together

Have you ever experienced a memorable team building event? Team building is a valuable way to build a company filled with dynamic players. Working together for the common goal in a team building activity helps workers to build trust, gain energy, increase confidence and develop a better understanding for each other as they work together to achieve a common goal. Encouraging participation and creative ideas can develop a rapport within team members that will last for years to come.

If you are looking for a team building activity, but don’t feel that a ropes course is going to do it, come out to my kitchen for an experience that everyone will appreciate. I’ve hosted several prominent Bay Area companies in the past year including Bank of America, Verisign, Oracle, and Apple to name a few.

Your team will be able to work together to pick out the perfect mixture of Thai spices, compete to see who can create the tastiest batch of soup, and laugh together when the red curry sauce doesn’t turn out as red as you thought it would. We welcome groups of all sizes, whether it is a company team building outing, a birthday party celebration, or just a big group of friends looking to try something different than just sitting around at a restaurant. The cooking experience will be customized to what your particular group is looking for depending on the amount of people, price the group would like to spend, and the amount and type of food that your group would like to cook. After the meal preparation is done, your group would be more than welcome to enjoy their delicious, freshly prepared food out on my beautiful deck with a view.

Email us or call 650-492-5328 and start planning your group event today!

Chef Saithong
(650) 492-5EAT

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Have you picked out the perfect Mother’s Day gift for the special woman in your life?

I highly recommend buying a gift certificate from Yummy Thai Cooking for Mother’s Day. It’s not too late, we can scan the gift certificate over to you, and mom is sure to enjoy learning how to make a wide variety of Thai favorites and some new recipes too! And if mom learns how to create delicious Thai dishes, the whole family will benefit around the dinner table.

Another gift option is to purchase mom a gift certificate for the mother and child cooking class that I offer. Studies have shown that the best way to get a picky eater interested in food and eating is to involve them in the meal preparation process. If you are tired of cooking the same old macaroni and cheese from the blue box, this is the class for you. The class lasts about two hours in length and is reasonably priced at $45. Children learn about the safe and responsible use of kitchen tools while assisting mom in preparing a meal that you can take home and enjoy with your whole family after class. Recipes and kitchen skills are angled towards the age and maturity level of the children enrolled in the class.

Don’t buy mom a gift that requires a plug! Send her over to take a class with us at Yummy Thai Cooking, you’ll be happy you did.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Holiday Feasts, Celebrations and Dessert

Thailand is nicknamed “The Land of Smiles” because of the gentle and welcoming behavior exhibited by those who live there. With the incredible beauty of the beaches, amazing culture and historical landmarks, the people who live in Thailand have plenty to smile about.

This week marks a National holiday in Thailand and many other countries across the globe.

May 1 is National Labour Day, which honors the importance of workers in Thailand and honors the contributions they have made to their country. On this particular day, the government allows all employees the day off work to celebrate the holiday. When you are heading off to work on Friday, think of the people of Thailand enjoying their three day weekend giving them one more thing to smile about.

Holidays are celebrated in Thailand with feasts and banquets. Some of the food provided at the banquets may hold a symbolic meaning. Small pieces of food that have a thin layer of egg or noodles wrapped around them are commonly known as “golden threads.” Golden threads are believed to bring wealth and good luck. Generally in Thailand, fruit is served as dessert following a meal, a very healthy choice for the waistband, but during a special occasion, sweeter desserts are served, usually cakes or liquid desserts, such as bananas in coconut milk. Try Chef Saithong's appetizer and dessert class to learn how to make some delicious Thai desserts for your own celebrations.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yummy Black Bean Sauce

Does your mouth begin to water when you think about delicious food like Pad See Ew, Thai Stir Fry or Spring Rolls with dipping sauce? A key ingredient to create that perfect blend of spicy and sweet is black bean sauce. Knowing when and how to use it is an important part of Thai cooking.

If you are using fermented black beans, a popular technique is to mash them and combine with ginger and garlic. This can be added to the heated oil before you begin a stir fry, or you can create your own sauce to pour over a freshly cooked meal. It can also serve as a fantastic sweet-and-salty dipping sauce for spring rolls.

Using black bean sauce is also a great way to regulate the saltiness of your dish. If it needs more flavor, add a little more sauce. If its too salty, add some lime juice instead.

I will teach you all the best secrets of how to use black bean sauce in my Thai Noodles & Rice class-- come join us!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thai Breakfast of Champions

Khao Tom Moo (Rice Soup) is a delicious comfort food and a great way to kick off your morning. It is also a standard Thai breakfast, created as a way to use the previous evening's leftover rice. Because it lacks the usual "kick" of most other Thai foods, it is sometimes considered to be bland and therefore better suited for breakfast.

Although it is a soup, it should not be served as a side-- this dish is quite filling on its own. It consists of minced pork, shitake mushrooms, rice, fresh herbs, and a savory broth.

This traditional Thai Breakfast is a delicious and easy way to start your morning, and only takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Water guns for New Years?

Anywhere in Thailand you go during this time, you will see all the children squirting water guns at each other in celebration. Naturally, you ask yourself, “What is going on?” This is how Thai celebrate the New Year! The most celebrated and popular New Year’s festival is the Songkran Festival (Thailand celebrates three New Years). Songkran means New Solar Year in Sanskrit.

If you're not in thailand during this period, why not visit a Thai Temple in your area? There are several in the Bay Area, and you'll have to dash through the kids shooting off their water guns to make it to the actual festivities like Thai dancing and yummy Thai dishes being sold there. Good luck staying dry!