My Terrible Terrible Fiasco

Standard

2Let’s just say that I was way out of my league when embarked on making Thai yellow curry. I think from this point on I am going to leave Thai cooking to the professionals. Before this whole process I thought I was pretty proficient in the kitchen. I know how to follow directions, difference between baking and grilling, how tell what tsp (teaspoon) and tbs (tablespoon) mean. But when it came to making Thai yellow curry something just didn’t add up. Still I am trying to figure out what I did wrong in the first recipe, I used the right ingredients and the right measurements but in the end it was not edible.

When I was doing to the first recipe I had the privilege of having my boyfriend in the kitchen with me helping me out as much as he could and as much as he trusted himself doing, which was basically reading the directions and stirring for me. We kind of made a date out of it, we were going to make a Thai yellow curry and then go see the Great Gatsby. Maybe we were rushing the process of making this dish in order to not miss the showing we wanted to go see, or neither of us should be in the kitchen and continue on doing take out.1

From this experience of making this yellow curry I learned that I should probably stick to things I know, like grilling chicken, potato and pasta salad, or even my infamous grilled cheese sandwich, all of which are delicious and super easy to make, and you don’t really need a recipe to make.

What is upsetting is that I thought that I was going to knock this out of the park. I thought that my yellow curry was going to turn out perfectly and delicious looking just like the picture from the recipe. I thought that I was going to show my boyfriend that I was a great chef and that I can make him his most favorite dishes and we would live happily ever after, all of which didn’t happen.

My dish came out soupy, and the noodles were soggy and had a terrible texture, the flavors were there, maybe more garlic or a little more spice would have done the trick, but again when I went on to do the second recipe, this time with chicken and no noodles, it was still soupy and the chicken was overcooked and tough.3

Maybe someday down the line I will build up enough courage to try this again, maybe one a day when I have nothing to do, or possibly find another recipe. But for now my ego has been scratched a bit that I will wait a bit longer before enduring another yellow curry fiasco.

In the end we had a few bites, and I could tell my boyfriend was trying to be nice, but I could tell behind every bite he was not enjoying any of it, so we ended up deciding that movie theater food would probably be better and more appetizing then my yellow goop, which is saying a lot about the food that I had made.

4So again what I learned from this process of cooking a new and ethnic dish is; let’s leave it to the professionals, and pay $7.95 for a plate of yellow curry.9

My Little Thai Restaurenat at the Mall

Standard

The first time I ever had Thai was at the mall, I know what odd place to try something so ethnic, but that is where I fell in love. I went to the mall with a friend of mine who suggested that we get some food in between our shopping, and we decided on a Thai restaurant that was right between Hot Dog on a Stick and Fresh Choice. When we sat down I asked my friend what was good and she told me, “get the pad Thai, everyone likes that.” So I decided to try that and a coke just to play it safe. My friend on the other hand went all out, and got a yellow curry with rice, some kind of chicken dish, and on top of all that asked for a Thai ice tea. When all of the food came out, and her steaming plate of curry and sweet rice smelled so spicy but mild at the same time, and my pad Thai had an amazing sweet aroma served with soft flat and skinny crunchy noodles and vegetables with a peanut sauce that was to die for. And don’t even get me started on her Thai ice tea, my god one sip of that and game over, I had to order one for myself, the sweetness of the cream and the bitterness of the tea was like a southern ice tea but with cream.

Since then I have expanded outside of the mall to more traditional looking restaurants and definitely expanded outside of the pad Thai with a coke. I love trying all of the different curries: red, green, and yellow, each one with a different type of flavor, spiciness and vegetables.

What I think I enjoy the most is that whenever I have a friend come into town or a new friend that I made, I always suggest going to a Thai restaurant, and like what my friend did for me I suggest the pad Thai,

and every time they are just as amazed by the steaming plate of food in front of them like I was when I had my first bite.

Now that I am a starving student living on a budget and literally starving half the time I have decided that I want to learn how to cook Thai food  specifically a Thai yellow curry and save money on the take out, and if this works out, maybe instead of buying my friends lunch from a Thai restaurant possibly instead make them dinner at my house and show them just how awesome I am at making an ethnic dish.

All I have to do is find the ingredients, which seems like it is going to be harder to find then I thought, but thank God I live in San Francisco where hopefully will be an advantage knowing that there are Asian food markets all around me. Let’s just hope that I am not out of my league and can pull this off successfully.

-wish me luck I am definitely going to need it.

Let’s talk about Thai food

Standard

As a starving student living off of over salted cup of noodles, can foods, bland oatmeal, and excess amounts of take out, I want to start cooking, also I’m terrified to get fat by the amount of takeout I actually eat (which is A LOT). I want to start off by making something simple, yet complex in theory dishes for myself, but still on a student’s budget (which let me tell you isn’t much to begin with). Let’s start off with a Thai yellow curry, and take a crack at making a Thai ice tea, which is one of my favorite go to dishes, if I am doing take out (obviously after pizza).

When I think of Thai food I think of a couple key dishes, Pad Thai (of course), yellow curry, and Thai ice tea. Of course there are several other types of dishes out there that make up this cuisine, these are just a few of my favorites. Although let’s take Pad Thai, which is found in almost every American Thai restaurant, as an example, it’s actually not an authentic Thai dish, it is the noodles in the dish that actually makes it Chinese. Pad Thai didn’t come around until the 1940’s by a revolutionary figure Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram (shown below), who thought that Thailand needed more noodles, he figured that it would help the country’s economy, while exporting more rice.

Many Thai dishes are curries, not like an Indian curry which is mostly with dried spices and is usually looked to as a gravy or stew. Curries from Thailand are usually light and made up with fresh herbs and vegetables. What makes Thai food different from other Asian cuisines is the use of different flavors together, which has a crazy combination of sweet, sour, salty, and a lot of heat. In most dishes you are going to find: chilies, coconut milk, galangal (mostly resembles ginger), herbs (cilantro, mint, and basil), lemon grass, lime leaves, nam pla (fish sauce), rice noodles. Like a traditional Asian dish, most are served with rice, but what is mostly popular in Thai cuisine is sticky rice or sweet rice, which is even served with desert.

Now obviously I am not going to find galangal very easily, or even at all, but most of these flavors and ingredients can be substituted, when you are making it at home, and of course made to the flavor the way you want. But if we are going to try and make a Thai dish let’s try and make it as authentic as possible, with lots of sweet, sour, salty and of course bring on the heat.