Win A Trip to Thailand and Food Tour with Mark Wiens at SouthEats Austin!

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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) 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) with questions or to sumbit your video submission by August 11th, 2017.

Quick and Painless Pad Thai Recipe

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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!

This pad thai recipe was written by Christy Innouvong and the video was filmed and edited by Dew Napattaloong. Remember your donations help us to keep sharing recipes and training more students for courageous cooking!

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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

For the tamarind paste:

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.

street food style pad thai


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!

Note: 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.

Celebrating the Thai Summer with BBQ and Real World Kitchen Skills!

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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.