We’re Bringing South East Asian Street Food to Austin!

We’re Bringing South East Asian Street Food to Austin!

Get those tastebuds ready and put a glass of water on standby, the first Southeats Austin is coming!

authentic khao soi recipe-2

Southeats Austin will be a mini food festival on September 24th, 2017 summoning handpicked purveyors of South East Asian food from near and far. The event, which is a Courageous Kitchen fundraiser, will bring together food bloggers, restauranteurs, and beverage vendors to serve up spice laced plates in Austin’s Barr Mansion. Come hungry, come all!

“Keep Austin Spicy!”

  • SouthEATS Austin food fest + fundraiser on September 24th from 4-8pm at Barr Mansion
  • Early bird tickets are $20 which includes two drink tickets + food tastings

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  • Live food demos from Jen Phanomrat of Just Eat Life, and Chef Yia Vang of Union Kitchen in Minnesota
  • Hear about the amazing journey of one refugee turned activist and public speaker, Sedrick Ntwali
  • Kids 10 and under are free
  • Ma Der Food Co., Saap Lao Kitchen, and Khao Noodle shop will be serving up authentic Lao food, including beef jerky, sai oua, and handmade noodles
  • Live music and traditional Thai dancing

southeats austin food festival

Be sure to book your tickets on Eventbrite in advance. Early bird tickets are available on Eventbrite, but not for long!

Sponsors include: Barr Mansion, Austin Asian Amer. Film Fest, Deep Eddy Vodka, Big Bad Brewing Co. Austin Eastciders

We’re Bangkok’s First Social Impact Experience on Airbnb!

We’re Bangkok’s First Social Impact Experience on Airbnb!

The travel company Airbnb recently launched a new program called ‘Airbnb Experiences‘ which allows guests in cities around the world to find unique activities. We’re proud to announce that not only is Bangkok one of the initial launch cities, but Courageous Kitchen is now a featured experience on their website and travel app!

airbnb thai cooking class

We initially launched our cooking class about 8 months ago and since then we’ve hosted nearly 100 curious guests for market walks and Thai cooking tips. The feedback each of you has given has helped us develop the experience, and we hope the Airbnb platform will offer us a chance to give our classes more regularly.

All Smiles for Fried Noodles

Furthermore, Airbnb often highlights experiences offered by registered nonprofits. There will be a special ribbon icon to make each organization recognizable, and Airbnb will not take any commission fees. This means your entire booking will go directly toward helping us! The funds the classes generate are important for building a more sustainable charity, which we hope will be serving up fun and nutrition to people for many years to come.

Let your fellow travelers know to look for us on Airbnb and that taking a Thai cooking class will help us bolster our mission to feed and educate more people in need!

We Never Lose Our Dreams for Our Children

“I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

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On June 17th we celebrated World Refugee Day with 100 of our closest friends and neighbors. Our awesome volunteers joined forces and with their efforts, we were able to provide an entire afternoon of health and wellness for the community. We had an art and craft station, a gardening workshop, a make shift salon, and a fitness session led by a volunteer Crossfit Trainer.

Did you know nearly half of all refugees in 2017 are children?

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With the support of another Bangkok based organization, Jesuit Refugee Services, we were able to feed everyone some of our CK favorites: Green Curry, papaya salad, fish, fruit, and all the trimmings. The kids gobbled it up faster than we could plate!

This momentous occasion marked a special one for our families, as we’re typically caught up in the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. When we’re not cooking, we’re teaching English, or visiting a family in need. For Refugee Day we were able to rest our woks and enjoy celebrating the beauty and diversity that makes up Courageous Kitchen, while honoring those that make up this world.

Written by Christy Innouvong and Photos by Dew Napattaloong

Win A Trip to Thailand for SouthEats Austin!

Thank you for your interest in our first ever Courageous Cook-off!

Designed to unite food, philanthropy, culture, and community, SouthEATS Austin will highlight Southeast Asian culture to raise awareness for asylum seekers and refugees currently displaced in Bangkok, Thailand. Courageous Kitchen, a 501c(3) non-profit focusing on food education, nutrition, and housing, will be hosting a food festival in anticipation of 500 attendees in partnership with the acclaimed Barr Mansion, an award winning indoor/outdoor venue and The Knot best-of-weddings hall of famer.

In addition to the food festival, there will be a Thai-inspired street market and cooking competition judged by local and celebrity chefs. Contestants must submit videos of themselves cooking or sharing their food creations. Only 10 contestants will be chosen to participate, with the chance to win a grand prize of one round trip ticket to Bangkok, Thailand with a food tour guided by Mark Wiens of Migrationology.

#CourageousCookoff will take an active look into what it means for foodies to engage with their local and international communities through cooking. Whether you’re an avid home cook, or a seasoned chef, we want to see you bring the heat and share your spice for life. How has food transformed your life or that of others? How has it helped you overcome obstacles?

Email southeats.austin (at) gmail.com with questions or to submit your video submission by August 11th, 2017.

SouthEATS Austin Food Festival

Be Courageous!

Are you an amazing cook looking for your chance to shine? Create a 30-60 second video showing us how you share your passion through food . Include how you as a foodie are engaged in the industry, or how food, cooking, and community influence your life. Be creative in your submissions. Consider including visual content that is unique to your life and contains elements of the food culture. For example, a short recipe video showing your passion of cooking. The keys to creating a vibrant video shorts are: good lighting, clear sound, rich colors, and clear indications of how your food and community are impactful to you. Cell phone videos are welcomed!

Please start all videos with the following details:

  1. Your Name & Location
  2. Tell us why you’re interested in Southeast Asia
  3. Tell us about your passion for food and how it influences your life
  4. Tell us why you’d make the best contestant for the Courageous Cook-Off

Other Video Contest Requirements:

  • 30 – 60 seconds in length (files no larger than 4GB)
  • We recommend sending MP4 or MOV files with at least 720p resolution.
  • Be clear about how food is influencing your life.
  • Check your sound and lighting settings before filming.
  • Feel free to use camera phones and include food shots of something you’ve prepared before, or cook in the video if you would like (not required).
  • Don’t forget to post your video with #SouthEats, #CourageousCookoff, #CourageousKitchen hashtags!
  • Deadline to submit is Aug. 11th, 2017

Post, share, and submit your videos on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter using #SouthEATS and also #CourageousCookoff while also sharing links to your website or portfolio by August 11th, 2017.

Selected participants must pay their $150 entrance fee no later than August 25th, 2017 .

Once confirmation of payment is received, we will notify you with day of schedule and supplies needed. The most innovative and creative videos capturing the essence of food and community will be contacted to take part in the SouthEATS Austin Courageous Cook-off on September 24th, 2017 at Barr Mansion in Austin, Texas.

Eligibility Requirements:

Contestant must be 18 years or older at time of competition, with proof of valid government issued identification.
Must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a passport and at least six months validity for international travel.
Any actions or language deemed inappropriate for a family friendly event will be cause for immediate disqualification.

Upon selection, contestant will have (7) days to accept or reject invitation to compete. If accepted, parties must be physically present in Austin, Texas on September 24, 2017 for the competition. Contest fees are non-refundable, non-transferable, and non-negotiable. Courageous Kitchen Inc. and Barr Mansion accept no responsibility for any health or accident related injuries that take place on or prior to competition, rendering you unable to perform duties as outlined.

Winner of Courageous Cook-off will receive a Grand Prize of (1) round trip ticket from the US to Bangkok, Thailand (up to $1200 USD) along with a 1⁄2 day Food Tour.

Any additional costs, i.e. airport taxes, taxis, baggage, and in-city fees are solely covered by the individual. First place winner must notify Courageous Kitchen Inc. in writing at least (60) days before intended travel date.

Email southeats.austin (at) gmail.com with questions or to sumbit your video submission by August 11th, 2017.

Quick and Painless Pad Thai Recipe

Quick and Painless Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai is Thailand’s most recognizable dish and one of our most popular cooking requests! Below you can find a version adapted to allow you to recreate this delicious recipe at home. You can catch us cooking pad thai in our cooking class in Bangkok, but we mastered it teaching our Courageous Kitchen students. In the video you’ll see them in action, working in teams to prepare the dish after we’ve demonstrated it. Each week they learn a fun Thai recipe or international dish thanks to your support!

Watch the children we help learn to make this classic Thai dish:

Pad Thai Recipe สูตรผัดไท

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 5-10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 16 oz. dry or fresh rice noodles, at least ¼ inch in thickness
  • 4 Tbsp. peanut or rice bran oil for frying
  • 8 oz. pack of extra firm tofu cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 1 bundle fresh scallions or garlic chives chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic

Pad Thai Sauce Recipe:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup diced shallots
  • ¾  cup fresh tamarind pulp
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • pinch of white pepper and dried chili flakes to taste
  • pinch of paprika for color
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. protein of choice
  • ⅓ cup small dried shrimp
  • 3 limes cut into wedges
  • Crushed unsalted peanuts
  • Dried red chili flakes
  • Extra bean sprouts, garlic chives, banana blossom for garnish


Fully submerge and soak dry noodles in cold water for 20 minutes. If using fresh noodles, soak for 10 minutes. Once noodles are al dente, strain and set aside. If soaked too long, noodles will become gummy to the touch. Prep additional ingredients mise en place*.

Pad Thai is traditionally cooked very quickly over high heat, so laying out all ready ingredients is essential for a quality dish.

*Mise en place is a French phrase which means “putting in place”, as in set up, i.e. wash and chop all ingredients prior to cooking.


Heat large wok on high. Add 1 tbsp oil, shallots, meat, dried shrimp and 2 oz. tofu. Cook for approximately 3 minutes until browned and protein is cooked all the way through, remove meat and set aside. Add in ½ tbsp garlic, 4oz. noodles, 1 cup sauce stirring vigorously until noodles soften. You can add in a little bit of water to help soften. Throw in ½ cup bean sprouts, pinch of garlic chives, and mix thoroughly.

Push your noodles over to one side of the wok, leaving one side clear and crack 1 egg directly into opening, scramble and cook to 80% — do not fold in. Turn down heat to low. Fold noodles over and set directly on top of egg, about 30 seconds to finish cooking. Remove from heat. Plate noodles, add extra chives, peanuts, chili flakes and lime wedges on top for garnish.

Eat and enjoy! Remember your donations help us to keep sharing recipes and training more students for courageous cooking! Special thanks to Christy Innouvong for writing this recipe, and Dew Napattaloong for creating the recipe video. 

How much pad thai should I make at once?

Pad Thai is a one plate dish and meant to be made in single portions. This recipe includes enough ingredients for four servings. However, directions are written for single batch only. Use remaining ingredients to make additional batches if desired, sauce can be refrigerated up to one week.

Can I cook my pad thai in advance and eat it later?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the best idea because the noodles will become gummy. We recommend prepping all the pad thai ingredients and sauce in advance. This will make it easier when you begin to stir fry. After you stir fry your noodles, you should eat it immediately for the best result. If the noodles have a chance to cool, they will begin to clump together. 

How different is pad thai in Thailand versus elsewhere?

We find that many versions of pad thai (including some in Thailand) are overly sweet. This is likely due to varying ways to make the pad thai sauce. The sauce should balance the sourness and sweetness, and be tangy when you eat the noodles. If your noodles are too sweet, this flavor will dominate your experience of the dish, and the medley of flavors from ingredients such as the dried shrimp and radish will be muted. We’re aware some people may prefer this, but we want to give you a Thai perspective on how pad Thai should really taste!

Is pad thai Thailand’s national dish?

No. Pad Thai is Thailand’s most well known dish. You may argue that the dish is more popular in western countries than it is in Thailand. This makes finding a tasty, authentic version difficult to find in Bangkok. We recommend hunting down a restaurant that specializes in these noodles, or you can always learn to make this recipe in our Courageous Kitchen cooking class

Can I add meat to this recipe?

Yes, pad thai is most commonly made with chicken or shrimp. You can add 50-100 grams of meat per serving. However if you decide to add shrimp, we recommend you saute the shrimp first.

Unlike the chicken, the shrimp is easy to overcook and may begin to come apart as you vigorously stir your noodles together. Instead, we recommend you shallow fry them first in a few teaspoons of oil. When the shrimp is cooked, set aside. Then keep your now shrimp flavored oil for your batch of pad thai!

What other versions of pad thai should I try?

We love the egg wrapped version of pad thai. This is created by making a thin omelette style wrapper and adding your cooked noodles inside. This can be a lot of work when you’re hungry, but if you’ve got extra time and hands in the kitchen, it is delicious and looks beautiful as well. 

In addition to egg wrapped pad thai, there is a version of pad thai cooked in Thailand’s eastern coastal provinces that diverges away from the common versions most people know. In places like Pattaya, Chonburi, Chantaburi, and Rayong you can find pad thai cooked with chunks of crab meat! These coastal regions also prefer a very oily sweet sauce, made by using the oil from the head of the shrimp. They will also use ‘sen jan’ (ผัดไทเส้นจันท์), which are thinner rice noodles than typically used in better known versions. Although thinner, the noodles hold up better for stir frying and are used in other recipes in this region as well. 

Sponsor Lessons for Courageous Kitchen Students!

Each week Courageous Kitchen provides fun, education instruction to at risk students. This instruction includes English language learning, cooking classes, and special outings. You can donate any amount, but if you’re unsure here are some suggestions: $1 = sponsor one plate $30 = sponsor a meal for an entire class $100 = sponsor a full day of instruction $400+ = sponsor a month or more of Courageous learning Each gift given on the form below will help us reach our goal to fund classes for an entire year!
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Celebrating the Thai Summer with BBQ and Real World Kitchen Skills!

April in Bangkok is hot!

The hottest month of the year in Thailand is also an important one with schools out, people spending more time with family, and the celebration of the water festival Songkran. Before Bangkok sunk completely into the heat induced festivities, we gathered friends and volunteers for a celebration of our own. Since the launch of our cooking classes for visitors to Bangkok, we have been cooking and testing Thai recipes nonstop. We took the heat as our excuse to take a break and bring some American flavors to your plates, namely ribs, cornbread, and all the fixins’.

Courageous Cookout

Delicious food aside, the occasion was also a special opportunity for a small group of our students. You may remember a large group of our kids recently had their first chance to bake, now a few months later we grabbed a few a let them experience the heat, excitement, and stress of a small commercial kitchen. This is a big deal for students from poor families who often have never even eaten in a real restaurant. They made the jump from learning recipes in our classes each weekend to serving customers who aren’t their parents or younger siblings.

Courageous Cookout

You can bet there were hiccups and confusion, just like in a real restaurant! At Courageous Kitchen we don’t shy away from the madness of kitchen, and instead use things gone awry as an opportunity to give constructive feedback, and discuss ways to improve. We’re confident our guests made up of friends, volunteers, and interns were well fed and the evening gave our students a rare opportunity at real world application of the kitchen skills they’ve been working so hard to learn.

Smoker’s Squad.

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Ended the night with everyone asking for more of that @courageouskitchen cornbread!

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Thank you to everyone supporting us near and afar. We can’t believe the month is nearly up and we’ve got more exciting updates and challenges to come. See you in the kitchen!

PS – All photos are credited with thanks to wonderful volunteer photographer Alisa Suwanrumpha, find more of them on our Courageous Kitchen facebook page.