Travel Journal {Thailand and food}

Hubby set up a Thai cooking class for me. I love that he knows one of the ways to my heart is through experiences. He took the boys off on their own biking and man’s breakfast excursion so I had the entire morning of uninterrupted time to explore, listen, and learn. Complete bliss. Our chef first took our small class to a local farmers market in Phuket where we learned about some of the food found in Thailand. These by the way are iPhone pictures. I didn’t take my big girl camera to the market. :)

The seafood had two prices showing. One for the morning and one for the afternoon as the fish starts looking less appealing. When buying fresh fish, you want to make sure the eyes are clear and there’s a spring to the fish when you touch it. It shouldn’t feel mushy or rubbery. Also, don’t go in the afternoon expecting fresh fish. Although the bottom pictures are of a catch they just brought in from the boat and haven’t yet tagged. Market meats should always be kept separate. You shouldn’t see for instance, fish next to poultry, which unfortunately we did see.

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The large beans are stink beans. It’s supposed to have a pungent taste and are common in stir-frys. I don’t think they are stinky though like we associate the word. More strongly flavored like garlic. We were told not to eat them on a date. :)

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All of the meats at the markets are not refrigerated and will sit out in the heat all day.

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These are the pink eggs of Thailand and our chef is showing us a picture of what they look like on the inside. The eggs are cured in a mixture of lime, clay, ash, salt and rice hulls. I missed the point of them though. I couldn’t get over how unappetizing they looked. :)

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This was a curry station. Curry, we were told, has a lot of ingredients so women come to the market to mix batches of curry instead of having each ingredient on hand in their home.

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This little boy followed us all over the market…barefoot and inquisitive.

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The edible lotus flower. I think you can use the petals like a lettuce wrap, or put them in a salad or adult beverage.

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A rice store…and pet store. :) You can tell high end rice from low end rice by reaching in and feeling it… which I also learned is perfectly okay and expected. Wash your rice well before cooking. A high end rice will feel soft and silky when compared to a lower grade of rice.

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There are birds in cages it seemed like everywhere we looked in Thailand and I’m honestly not sure why.

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Back at the restaurant we learned how to make grilled chicken curry satay, a spicy steamed fish, and a spicy coconut milk based prawn soup. I was fascinated with the basket they use to steam the fish in. Water goes in the pot, the basket sits in the water and the fish steams over a plate. Every Thai dish has a combination of 3 tastes: spicy, salty, and sweet. Balance those and you have a perfectly Thai dish. :)

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