I love to cook.
It’s a love that developed only about 7 years or so ago that has turned into a passion.
You would think that I would make Thai food all the time, and that because I grew up in a household with cooks who had “Chao Wang”, “palace cooking” or essentially very traditional Thai cooking background, would be able to do all sorts of Thai food.
Shamefully, I must admit that I haven’t made any Thai dishes at home. And never actually wanted to learn.
This little princess might have had a humble start in home economics classes in Thailand, and a few hours in the kitchen with aforementioned palace cook as my mom wasn’t going to let her daughter loose on foreign soil without having a few Thai dishes under her belt. But I never did enjoy cooking anything let alone Thai food.
Something changed after I got married. Blame it on the unemployment period between visas that forced me onto the couch to watch copious amount of Food Network.
I emerged one day with a decent knife skill and aspiration to be an Italian chef.
Italian cuisine feels safe. Very simple to put together the fresh ingredients and LOTS of love. It leaves a lot of room for mistakes. Something I didn’t feel I have with Thai food.
Thai cuisine, outside of the basic stir-fries, seems to involve complicate prep and delicate balance of the ingredients and complex flavor profiles. I figure that if someone else can make it better than me already, I should probably let them. So Thai food has been strictly from restaurants for me.
Thai food always feels like a chore to me. That spoiled little rich girl just didn’t want to grow up.
That all changed last week.
I joined a group of friends and cooks to take on monthly cooking challenges. Every month we would be assigned a new theme to work on so we could expand our culinary horizon.
Last month brought us to corn fritters, a very Southern American dish. Americans usually do it up like donuts or pancakes with corn, served with maple syrup.
I have never had American corn fritters. There wasn’t a restaurant around that makes them. So what’s a Thai girl to do?
But then, I suddenly realized that Thai people have corn fritters too but we eat them as a savory snack: Tod Mun Kaopoad.
Another person in the challenge made the Indian counterpart with all sorts of spices.
Well, what do you know? It seems that every country has its own version of this after all! Like many other dishes, there is always a counterpart somewhere else.
So, off I went on the culinary journey you can read all about it here.
I finally cooked a non stir-fry Thai dish!
And now I want to do more.
I finally have enough confidence in myself as a cook to attack Thai cuisine.
Guess who’ll be in the kitchen with the maid all day when she gets home in November? 😉