Need help with kids Thai cooking class menu
- yamalam Jun 5, 2009 10:40 PM
I am volunteering to "teach" a beginner's Thai cooking class for high school girls next week and could use some help putting together a menu. There are 14 of us, and my experience is that most Thai noodle dishes work better when made in individual quanitites, so I'm shying away from pad thai, pad see u and drunken noodles, etc. Do you agree, or can you think of any way to adapt for larger portions? We don't have giant woks, just regular skillets and old electric stovetops that probably can't get super hot. We'll be splitting the kids into groups, but each group will still be preparing enough for all 14.
Other than noodles, I'm thinking of
-Green Papaya salad
-Green or red curry with chicken and tofu (not sure if this will be too exotic)
Thanks for your help hounds!
Definitely! I had already decided on mangos and sticky rice, should've mentioned that.
Maybe I'm being too finicky about the pad thai. It doesn't have to be perfect to get the flavors across... Reminds me again how this has been a good experience to get out of my kitchen, with all its toys and gadgets, and cook with old, basic donated equipment and utensils.
Tom ka gai (chicken coconut soup) is really easy to make if you have the ingredients.
Is the class meant to be partly a cultural exercise or more a practical culinary exercise?
You could teach the "sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot" balance through making the green papaya salad. If you have some large container that it could be pounded in, that would be great, to make it more authentic.
Likewise if you had a big stone mortar and pestle, it would be interesting for them to make their own curry paste, like with roasted bird chilies, and all the other ingredients.
I think there's some good advice at this site:
But almost of what I mentioned is more advanced than you might want... if you're just looking for something interesting and basic, you can avoid the making of the curry paste etc. (Maybe explain it, but use a shortcut or premade paste.)
Sounds like a fun class!
This is an easy recipe, very tasty, and adds some veggies to the menu:
Thai Cucumber Salad
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Thai Cucumber Salad
1/3 cup minced shallot
1/3 cup sliced green onions
4 medium cucumbers (about 2 1/2 pounds) -- peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 small hot red chiles -- halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) (2 to 4)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir well. Add to the cucumber mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in the cilantro.
chili-basil-garlic-fried rice could be good. maybe dont make it too spicy for high schoolers... but leftover cooked rice and a little prep work along with copious amounts of thai basil and you've got a good dish.
green and red curries arent too exotic, if someone's taking a cooking class on thai food then i would think they would have tried thai-style curries.
to me, green papaya salad is more of a gamble than the green/red curry, depending on how true you stay to the salad (i.e. dried shrimp, lots of fish sauce, lots of chilies)
Thanks for the suggestions, I think thai basil is amazing and definitely want to include it in the menu.
The kids are mostly Mexican American and really like spicy food. At the last class, they were eating lemons with salt on them instead juicing them for salad dressing as intended, so I think they'll love the sour flavors too.
I'm more worried about them balking at seafood, fish sauce, shrimp paste, etc, so I think I will skip the green papaya salad and go with a cucumber salad like sharhamm suggested, along with tom yum soup and pad see ew.
It's a mandatory class, so the kids are not necessarily into cooking, or thai food, but I hope to broaden some horizons, thanks again!
peel, seed, and cut into 1/2" slices...toss with toasted sesame oil and rice wine vinegar, salt to taste. simple & savory. nice side with asian-style fish and white rice. can add in some red bell pepper, cut into 1" squares.