It’s been a bit over a year since I traveled solo to Thailand to explore their cuisine and finally decided to tell you a bit more about my experience.
As a huge fan of Thai cuisine, I have taken quite some time researching schools and restaurants to visit while on my solo food trip and decided to start learning some basic dishes at Blue Elephant cooking School, in Bangkok, where Master chef Nooror Somany Steppe shares some of her favorite recipes.
I spent an incredible week learning from amazing chefs’ tips and secrets of traditional Thai cuisine and trips to local and float markets were also a plus when hanging out with the chefs and trainers at the school for some extra hints.
Thai food’s secret is basically balancing the combination of 4 main flavors (sour, sweet, creamy and salty) + heat.
Following the Thai tradition there isn’t any measuring cups, you learn by watching and tasting until you get the balance right.
You don’t need to add exactly what the recipe calls for. Rather, the recipe is a guideline – once you develop your personal taste, do not be afraid to bend the rules. This is mainly due to the intensity of an ingredient’s flavour varying from one time to the next and everyone prefers a different point along the flavour spectrums, only your tongue can tell you how much more of something you need to add. Also, if you don’t like something, omit it. Simple as that!
From Bangkok I have decided to head North, Chiang Mai, where food gets some Indian influence. This place even without the food, was a kind of paradise: its filled with a thousand hidden treasures, urban and chic surrounded by hills and jungle.
And my god, the food! You can smell those glorious aromas from every corner. Food was everywhere. And that’s wasn’t everything, the fact that you can get from one side of the city to the other on a bike in 15 minutes means you can in fact pick any point on the map, go there, and eat something outstanding.
Following i will share one of favorite recipes from this trip. Hope you enjoy it 🙂
120 gr Thin Rice Noodles (soaked in cold water for 20 min)
60 grams Firm Tofu
2 Tbsp. Pickled or Preserved Turnip
3 Garlic cloves
8 large prawns, peeled and deveined
1 small shallot sliced
¼ cup Roasted and Unsalted Peanuts
1 cup Bean Sprouts
- Peanut Oil (or any cooking oil)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. tamarind juice
1 tbsp. chilli powder
Roasted and Unsalted Peanuts
Red Pepper Flakes
- Mix sauce ingredients and set aside.
- In a wok on low heat add oil and stir fry shallots and garlic. Add prawns and gently stir. Add turnip, tofu and break egg in.
- Add noodle and stir-fry until noodle is soft.
- Add sauce gently until all mixed through. Turn off the heat and add bean sprouts.
- Serve with side of peanuts, chilli powder, coriander leaves and chilli powder.
** Pad Thai is best made in small batches, so this recipe is just designed to serve 2 people. This will help prevent the noodles from overcooking and turning soft.