My first impression of Thailand was the sight of rice fields from my airplane window. My second impression was the wall of humid air I walked into when leaving the airplane. From the metro I get my first impression of Bangkok itself: skyscrapers next to slums; a city in construction, a city in motion. People everywhere, and the traffic is amazing. Cars, buses, tuck-tucks and masses of motor cycles. The smog is mixed with the smell of food from the stalls left and right of the street.
The calmness of the canal comes almost like a shock. Gone is the bustling sound and the thick air. Spay hits my face as the boat speeds along the canal, which opens up a view into people’s lives: clothes in windows, wooden sheds, food prepared on open fire.
We browse the internet, read reviews and eventually decide to walk around our borough to look at the various cooking schools. We settle on Maliwan, a small cooking school hidden in a dark alley way near Khao San Road. We ring the door bell late at night, and Mae, our future instructor, opens the door. She listens carefully and assures us that my food allergies won't be a problem. They are happy to provide instructions so that I can prepare all dishes glutenfree, dairyfree and eggfree. We pick a day. On the menu:
- Green Curry Paste
- Chicken Green Curry
- Hot and Sour Prawn Soup
- Pad Thai
- Mango Sticky Rice
We prepared everything individually except for the Mango Sticky Rice, which we prepared as a group.
for 2 people
130g rice noodles
80g firm tofu
30g sweet pickled radish
2 small shallots
30g tamarind paste
2 pinches of palm sugar (or more if you like)
1 pinch of ground dried chillies
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
20g dried shrimps
Start by soaking the noodles in a bowl with water for up to 30mins. Wrap in a towel and set aside.
In the meantime, chop tofu, radish and shallots into fine pieces.
In a wok, blend tamarind paste, palm sugar and chillies into a thick sauce. Place on a plate for later.
Using medium heat, heat oil in the wok. Fry the prawns until the meat has turned white. Place them on the plate, before adding tofu, shallots, dried shrimps and radish into the wok. Stir fry until fragrant.
Add noodles and water. Cook the noodles until they are ready.
Finally, add the sauce you created earlier and mix well. Give bean sprouts and fried prawns to the dish and stir well.
Decorate with spring onion, and/or crushed peanuts. Serve with fresh lime.