Learn to Cook Your Favorite Thai Dishes Virtually

Learn to Cook Your Favorite Thai Dishes Virtually

Sign up for a virtual cooking class with Courageous Kitchen, and choose the Thai dish you would like to learn! With our in-person classes going fully virtual over the past year, we try to recreate the fun interaction you would have when you learn with us in Bangkok. To make this possible, we’re always looking for ways to improve the classes we teach over zoom. With the hope of getting our students engaged early on, we’re having them select the dishes they would most like to learn, and we’re now offering more recipes than ever!

Our multiple camera setup, helps students to have a closeup look at happenings in the wok.

Each class is roughly an hour long session. In that time guests are challenged to learn about Thai ingredients and cooking culture, cook dinner, and have fun getting to know each other. That’s a lot to do in an hour, but we’re up for the challenge and want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible before class starts. Since Thai ingredients can be unfamiliar to newcomers and hard to find, we have combined each session with complimentary access to our online learning platform. On the platform class participants can read a brief background on ingredients they’ll be shopping for before the zoom call, and everyone will retain access to the materials after the course. That way long after your tom yum or pad thai cooking session ends, you’ll have the info and confidence to try the other recipes we’ve included on your own.

Public Class ChoicesPrivate Class Choices
Noodles: Pad See Ew
Curries: Green Curry, Penang Curry
Soups: Tom Yum, Tom Kha
Stir Fries: Pad Krapow (Thai Basil),
Green Curry Fried Rice
All Public Class Options and also:
+ Massaman Curry
+ Pad Thai
+ Papaya Salad
+ Drunken Noodles
+ Homemade Curry Paste
+ Thai Cocktails
+ or the Dish of Your Choice
Be the first to book our public class sessions, or a private class to choose one of the dishes above.

For our most requested recipes, we’ve also included downloadable shopping cards. Simply load them on to your smart phone or other device before you head out for groceries. There are illustrated reminders of the core ingredients and utensils, to make sure you don’t miss anything crucial to the recipe. For example, what if you can’t find palm sugar or have never used it before? We want to make sure you know what it is, how to use this natural sugar, and what can be used as a substitution.

What’s the difference between public and private classes?

In pubic classes we host students who book separately. In this type of group class, the participants may not know each other, but after brief introductions we become rallied around the same tasty effort. While everyone can’t choose the recipes in public classes, typically we give this choice to the person who’s first to book the session. During holidays and popular times, the class size can grow larger ten students, and the recipes are typically easier than what we might attempt in a private class.

Private classes can only be accessed by the party first to book. While we host large private classes for corporate events, typically our private classes are made up of families cooking together. If booked in advance, guests in these classes can choose from a larger list of recipes than available to public class students, or can request a custom recipe.

We want to help you all the way from shopping for ingredients to polishing the finished product. Pictured are lemongrass, makrut lime leaf, and galangal (left), and tom kha soup and shrimp pad thai.

Can I book your class for a special occasion?

A custom cooking class can be especially fun when guests are booking for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions. If the birthday guest of honor has a favorite Thai dish, then we would love to teach them how to make it as part of your celebration. For example, we’ve hosted a dad who’s favorite dish was tom kha soup, and had fun teaching him how to make a version just like the one he enjoys at his local Thai restaurants. We’ve had calls with families dispersed all over the world, but who have come together to cook our version of pad see ew noodles, green curry, or pad thai. We’re happy to help celebrate a special occasion or learning session with you, and most recently have been included in fun activities for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

What if I’m unsure which Thai recipe is best for me?

We believe giving you some say in what you would like to cook makes the class more fun, while increasing the chances you’ll put the cooking skills you learn to good use. We love to hear back from families who’ve added Thai noodles, soups, and stir fries to their regular dinner rotation. However, we know that there are times when you can have too many choices. Usually your cooking ability and the ingredients you have access to are the best guides for helping you choose. For example, if you’re a kitchen novice that will be cooking rice noodles for the first time, then attempting pad thai may be too much of a challenge. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your love of noodles, but a recipe like pad see ew noodles, would be a better starting point.

An example of a beginner recipe is pad see ew which can be made vegetarian, or with the protein of your choice.

We hope to offer intermediate and advanced cooks plenty of choice too. This is most often guests who’ve spent time in Thailand and can’t shake a craving they have from the experience. We can help you relive a magic street food experience or help you journey here with your tastebuds even while most flights are still grounded. Haven’t been able to recreate the amazing massaman curry, cashew chicken, or other dish that made your trip to Thailand special? Let us know and we’ll arrange a custom class for you.

Finally, like our in person classes did previously, our virtual cooking classes are also necessary to help us continue to provide food relief to hundreds of families struggling as a result of the pandemic. We’re proud our class is recognized as an official social impact experience on Airbnb, and believe we can keep making a difference by sharing our love of Thai food with more people. Please sign up to join us, share our class with someone who loves Thai food, or visit our food relief donation page to make a contribution.

Covid Food Relief Efforts

Covid Food Relief Efforts

When the year started it seemed we were rounding the corner on outlasting covid. Wow, we were all wrong. Now as we enter the second year, we know that even last year’s most pessimistic predictions about how long this pandemic would last were too conservative. Renewed lockdowns, slow vaccine rollout, and rapidly spreading new variants of the disease have rolled back much of the success Thailand had last year. As the death toll continues to rise, the threat of the disease is still very real, and the economic implications make people already teetering on survival extremely vulnerable right now.

Click here for our Food Relief Donation Page

For anyone interested to give, we’ll be combining proceeds from our business efforts and your donations to help as many families as possible with rice, cooking oil, and other supplies.

During this time Courageous Kitchen has been offering virtual cooking classes and selling food locally. This has been an unsteady pivot as we’ve struggled to replace the income earned through classes we previously offered to tourists visiting Thailand. For these reasons we’re updating our donation appeals to reflect our need for more support with donations for covid food relief. For anyone interested to give, we’ll be combining proceeds from our business efforts and your donations to help as many families as possible with rice, cooking oil, and other supplies. The cost of these donations each month is $10 per family, and we hope to reach 200 families or more each month.

Our goal is to help people on the border of Thailand and Burma with food supplies. Many of the people there are ineligible for support from the government because they are ethnic minorities without Thai citizenship. With the border closed due to conflict and covid concerns, parents in these families are also without work for the foreseeable future. This month (May 2021) we provided rice, noodles, cooking oil, salt, and other supplies to about 200 families. Of those families, there were about 35 identified as especially vulnerable and they received eggs and fresh produce as well.

Click here for our Food Relief Donation Page

Please find and share our new Food Relief donation page with anyone interested to help in our efforts. If you decide to give through Facebook, local banks, or another campaign be sure to let us know or indicate ‘covid relief’ in the notes portion. This will be an ongoing campaign so we’re especially grateful to those assisting by setting up monthly donations. We’ll be talking about these efforts more in our upcoming cooking classes, so we look forward to engage with you there and on Instagram and social media as well. Thank you!

5 Tempeh Storage Tips to Extend Shelf Life

5 Tempeh Storage Tips to Extend Shelf Life

Tempeh, a meat alternative made from soybeans, is a valuable product originating from Indonesia for people on a plant-based diet, or striving to eat healthier.

To make it, producers allow soybeans to ferment before adding a specific healthy bacteria to them. This bacteria grows and after a few days begins to connect together the individual pieces of soybean with a visible white fuzz. The entire 2-3 day process of creating tempeh results in more nutrients that are good for your gut and overall health.

Since this fuzzy-looking brick of beans is still a novel food product to many people around the world, we would like to share some tips on how to store your tempeh so that you can enjoy it safely and extend the shelf life.

1) Source Quality Tempeh

Whenever possible, find tempeh made from non-GMO soybeans and that are sustainably packaged. Most commonly found on the market is tempeh wrapped in plastic. While suppliers may use plastic as an easy way to extend the life of the tempeh, it also prevents us from accurately gauging the age of the tempeh and whether or not it has been frozen or refrozen multiple times. The means you could possibly buy tempeh that looks fine from the outside, but upon opening find it has a strong smell or brightly colored bacteria which should not be consumed.

To substitute for meat in your cooking, add about 100g of tempeh per person.

2) Keep Tempeh Chilled

In supermarkets, we often only have the choice of plastic-wrapped tempeh. If this is the case, choose tempeh that looks the healthiest from the outside, and that’s stored in the coolest place. Doorless refrigeration or even freezers that are opened too frequently can result in lower quality tempeh. Keep in mind that even when refrigerating or freezing tempeh, the bacteria is still active. This is the reason you tempeh may continue to age and yellow when stored at cold temperatures. For safe storage, be sure to reference food safety guidelines and check the temperature of your refrigerator occasionally.

Your food safety temperatures are guidelines to help prevent the growth of bacteria, and should also be used for reference on storing tempeh.

3) Make A Plan to Cook Your Tempeh

No schematics or schedules needed, but do give some thought about when you will cook your tempeh. If you plan to use your tempeh within the week, refrigerate it. If stored properly, your tempeh should last 2-3 weeks in your refrigerator. If you won’t use your tempeh for several days, or you’re unsure yet, we recommend putting your tempeh in the freezer. Once stored in the freezer the tempeh can safely last for at least a month, often longer.

4) Store Tempeh Dry & Air Tight

Your tempeh is very much alive. When fermenting the tempeh, it is usually warm to the touch as the mold mycelium grows around the bean, connecting them. This process is amazing because it helps to break down the soybeans, meaning there’s less work for our bodies to do during digestion and the nutrients in the beans are more accessible. 

However, if we neglect to store our tempeh thoughtfully it will continue to ferment. This is the reason that your refrigerator-stored tempeh continues to yellow. To slow the fermentation process, use a resealable bag or air-tight container to store your tempeh. Making sure the tempeh is dry, air-tight, and cool. These steps will help extend the shelf life of this important vegan protein.

5) Know the Signs of Spoilage 

Finally, you should know the warning signs of tempeh that has begun to spoil. If your tempeh begins to get slimy or has a strong smell, this is a signal to your nose that it should not be eaten.  While tempeh that has yellowed is still edible, you can also cut into the tempeh to be sure there is no mold inside. While some dark spots of mold are normal and edible, brightly colored or strong smelling mold means you should discard your tempeh.

See also: 5 Qualities of Outstanding Tempeh

Thanks for reading. You can visit our donation page to make a contribution to our nonprofit, and our tempeh can be ordered locally through suppliers like Farmtastic and Happy Grocers.

BBQ Jackfruit, Vegan Burgers, and Other Songkran Menu Upgrades

BBQ Jackfruit, Vegan Burgers, and Other Songkran Menu Upgrades

The Thai new year is a holiday is one where we’re enjoying not being in the kitchen! This doesn’t mean that we’re not thinking about food, in particular new additions and upgrades to our vegan menu.

When the pandemic began last year, it was during the holiday that we decided to try our hand at selling vegan food. We didn’t know what to do, but tourism had come to a screeshing halt. What was clear, was that if possible we wanted to continue to employ our staff and help communities in need.

Vegan sloppy joe sandwich from our plant based vegan menu.

Today we do this by offering virtual cooking classes to people around the world, and a plant based delivery service to Bangkok locals. We started with selling meat alternatives like tofu and tempeh, kitchen staples for vegans and vegetarians. However, not long after we introduced food menu that people could pre-order from, that started with about 7 dishes and has no expanded to 20+ items.

The menu is plant based, vegan, and strives to be clean. That means there’s no meat products, no white sugar, and lots of oil-free options. Need an example? Try cooking the chickpea salad from our menu with using the recipe we recently shared.

One of our best sellers is the BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwich. The texture imitates pulled pork and the sauce is plenty sweet, spicy, and flavorful to convince you to try more, whether you’re eating vegetarian or not!

BBQ “Pulled Jackfruit” Sandwich

This vegan pulled pork sandwich is one of the recent additions to the menu. To create it we source organic, juvenile jackfruit, which is in season right now, and stew it until tender. We originally served this on a burger bun, but the sweet and spicy bbq sauce that coats the pulled jackfruit demanded bread that holds up better.

Going forward, you’ll find that when you order this sandwich, it’s now served on a baguette that is plenty crispy when toasted. This is seemingly a small change, but adds so much texture and portability to this beloved menu item.

Nam prik ong is a Northern Thai chili dip, and one of the few in the country that uses a fresh tomato base.

Nam Prik Ong, the Northern Thai Chili Dip

Northern Thai food isn’t a cuisine that makes cooking plant based easy. Many of the dishes derive their delicious flavor from the inclusion of meat, especially pork. This includes foods like nam prik ong, a sweet-salty chili dip with a spicy kick.

Like the rest of the genre of chili dips in Thailand, you typically enjoy nam prik ong with a platter of vegetables. The amount of blanched and raw vegetables included is usually so large that it dwarfs the size of dip with generous bunches of local leaves, crispy vegetables and fresh herbs. However as these dips drift away from their humble beginnings and into mainstream view, the amount of accompanying vegetables shrinks, with some even being replaced by fried meats.

We’d encourage you to enjoy this dish traditionally with a flurry of healthy local veg. Our version is made with plant meat so you can enjoy it regularly, and don’t have the worry that the vegan version has any less flavor or spice than what meat eater’s enjoy.

Homemade vegan burger patties that you can use to craft your own delicious burger!

Vegan Burger Patties

An addition to our staples menu, we introduced vegan burger patties to offer a meat alternative that was more familiar than tofu and tempeh. The patties combined chickpeas and soy pulp (okara) with a mix of herbs and spices to make them flavorful and filling. However they were a lot of work to create and from our original vegan sliders, to the substantially larger final patty prototype there was a complete transformation.

We’re proud of what we created last year, but we’ve now simplified the recipe and given the burgers an upgrade that improves the texture. To do this, we’ve combined them with the product of a local plant based meat company called More Meat. The product is locally produced, uses few additives, and the resulting patty is easier to cook.

That’s not all, these better tasting burgers hold up to more pressure when eating. They don’t go crumbly and retain some moisture inside so they’re juicy too. In fact, the firmness that the plant meat adds has allowed us to ditch their plastic packaging, and send them to customers wrapped in banana leaf.

Thank for reading. For more information on our plant based, vegan delivery service in Bangkok, find the full menu here.

Welcome the Hot Season with 6 of Thailand’s Spiciest Dishes

Welcome the Hot Season with 6 of Thailand’s Spiciest Dishes

The hottest time of the year has arrived in Thailand! What better way to celebrate the sweatiest time of the year, than with Thailand’s hottest foods?

This was exactly the thinking the US Embassy had when enlisting diplomats to taste test six of the spiciest Thai dishes they could find. The fun video starts with the least spicy and slowly builds up the heat with each progressive dish. The result is a quick video that helps introduce a few new Thai dishes to people around the world and wishes everyone a Happy Thai Year, which the Songkran Festival celebrates each year around this time.

Watch the video below and read on to learn more about the dishes that appear in the video. Have you tried them all? Join one of our cooking classes when you’re ready to spice things up!

Americans trying spicy Thai food as a fun way to wish everyone Happy Songkran!

6) Nam Prik Noom น้ำพริกหนุ่ม

Roasted and Pounded Thai Pepper Dip

Warm up the palate with a dish that is often served as an appetizer in Northern Thailand, nam prik noom. The chili dip is made up of medium-sized and juicy light green peppers that most closely resemble banana peppers. Keep in mind though, the flavor and spice level can vary depending on the vendor. The best versions are charcoal roasted before being pound in a mortar and pestle to make a soft, stringy dip.

Nam prik noom is often accompanied by large platters of vegetables, grilled meats like sai oua, and crispy pork cracklings for dipping.

Spicy Bonus Facts:

Nam prik noom is most often enjoyed with a variety of ingredients to dip into the paste. While most of them are raw and blanched vegetables, the most infamous is pork crackling. The curly pork rind is tough and crunchy making it easy to scoop up the dip, and the combination of textures makes it super addictive!

5) Pad Grapow ผัดกะเพราหมู

Garlic and Chili Stir Fried with Minced Pork and Holy Basil

The most famous of the dishes on this list is pad krapow. For Thais this is the repeat go to dish when you’re unsure what exactly you’re craving. If the spicy, umami combination is right it hits all those hard to reach cravings while giving you plenty of fresh chili — and fish sauce soaked chili as a condiment to increase the heat.

This tongue tormentingly spicy dish is often topped with a fried egg and even more chilies in a fish sauce relish.

Spicy Bonus Facts:

If you noticed one diplomat asking about an egg, the spiciest versions are usually served with a crispy fried egg, or kai dao. Crispy on the outside and slightly runny inside, the yolk helps to tame the spice and add texture.

4) Mama Pad Kee Mow มาม่าผัดขี้เมา

Drunken Instant Noodles Stir Fried Chili and Green Peppercorn

Among Thailand’s spiciest noodle dishes you’ll always find pad kee mow ranked near the top. The dish combines your favorite noodles, in this case instant noodles, with fiery fresh chili and green peppercorn. When flash stir fried in the wok, the smoky noodles and overpoweringly heaty flavors can really separate who can and who can’t handle the heat!

The fresh chili and young green peppercorn always rank Thailand’s drunken noodles among the spiciest noodle dishes!

Spicy Bonus Facts:

The term kee mow is an adjective to refer to someone who is regularly drunk. Since this spicy dish is a favorite hangover cure, it’s not incorrect to translate it literally as, “A Drunk’s Noodles” as the fresh chili and numbing peppercorn forcefully shock you back to life.

3) Gaeng Hed แกงเห็ด

Northeastern Mushroom and Pumpkin Soup

This list is suspiciously missing papaya salad from Northeastern Thailand. However, there’s another dish more people should know about from this region called gaeng hed. This soup uses local ingredients making it hard to find outside of Thailand, but often has plenty of spice from fresh chili and funk from fermented fish paste.

The soupy curry contains lots of mushrooms, pumpkin, bamboo, and lemon basil to tame the heat, it also means chefs making it can add even more fresh chili. This is definitely a dish that you taste and think you’re eating something mild, only to have the gradual, lingering spice build up to a long lasting burn inside and outside of your mouth!

The little known soup can be both spicy and cooling at the same time!

Spicy Bonus Facts:

The dark color of the broth can be attributed to the yanang leaf (tiliacora triandra) which is blended to make the base of the soup. If you can survive all the heat and the funk, you may also benefit from the healthy properties of this leaf which is known to help regulate body temperature, a much-needed benefit this time of year!

2) Gaeng Tai Bla แกงไตปลา

Spicy and Pungent Fish Intestines Curry

If the name hasn’t already scared you away, the fragrant and appearance just might. This murky curry often tops most spicy lists with its spicy and powerfully pungent nature. One sip is enough to give you a dizzying dose of seaside fish market vibes, just before the visions of hell takeover. If fish intestines aren’t funky enough, the most popular way to enjoy this painful curry is over fermented rice noodles. Don’t even bother troubling the restaurant staff because true to the nature of southern Thai food, there is no mild version of this soup!

Spicy Bonus Facts:

Not familiar with why anyone would want to eat fish intestines? The process for sun drying the stomach and intestines of the fish with salt is ancient and similar to the centuries-old process of making fish sauce. While these funky and fishy flavors have been mostly omitted from western diets, they’re still a rich source of umami goodness cherished by coastal communities in Thailand.

1) Gaeng Leung or Gaeng Som แกงเหลืองมะละกอปลา

Sour Yellow Curry with Fish and Pickled Papaya

Thailand’s hottest dish, according to US Embassy staff, is another famous curry from southern Thailand called gaeng leung or gaeng som. While not as funky as the previous curry, this means the chili in the curry has the full attention of your taste buds. Meaty chunks of fish and pickled papaya can provide a brief reprieve from the heat. However, let’s be honest there’s no real escape from this heat.

Unlike the more common versions of Thai curries, this dish has no coconut milk as a creamy backdrop to soothe your tongue. Instead, the curry paste is added directly to water or seafood stock. This gives the curry a more soupy consistency but also makes it more dangerous. With a close look, you may even be able to spot some of the speckles of the ridiculous amount of pulverized chili, turmeric, and other herbs used to make the intense paste.

Gaeng leung is from Southern Thailand where it is more commonly called gaeng som, meaning sour curry. Don’t confuse it with a milder central Thai dish by the same name.

Spicy Bonus Facts:

If you’ve never had the opportunity to try this dish, the closest combination of flavors would be from tom yum soup. The sour tartness of the curry comes from the addition of tamarind, pineapple, or lime, and can make the dish a pleasantly addictive way to burst into flames. While tom yum may be more well known outside of Thailand, there are few meals in Southern Thailand that aren’t accompanied by this spicy cornerstone of regional cuisine.