3 Ways to Support Courageous Kitchen This Holiday!

3 Ways to Support Courageous Kitchen This Holiday!

special pre-sale

courageous Aprons

Our supporters can finally sport the Courageous Kitchen logo in their own kitchen!

3 ways to give back!

01

Pre-Order Aprons

Be the first to get your hands on a Courageous Kitchen apron!

02

Download Recipes

Download 5 of our most popular recipes and help us fund our first cookbook. 

03

Take A Cooking Class

Book an authentic cooking class for you and your friends!

our top food experiences

Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok

Try Sri Lankan Cooking in Trincomalee

Thai Cooking Demo and Dinner in San Diego

Bangkok Street Food Tour

Courageous recipes 2019

Download 5 of our most popular recipes, including pad thai and mango and sticky rice! When you make a donation with your download, it will help us fund a larger cookbook of 20+ Thai recipes!

☆☆☆☆☆

5 star Reviews

“This was a really fun experience for our whole family. Also wonderful to know our tourism dollars we’re helping local people. Highly recommended."

Elijah

Guest, October 2018

"Amazing cooking class. Lily, Nisha and Dwight were wonderful. I enjoyed the class immensely, and what a great organization!"

Liting

Guest, November 2019

"If you are in Bangkok you MUST visit Courageous Kitchen! Dwight and everyone gave us a top notch cooking experience. The food is SO good and you feel like you’re at home with family and friends while you’re there. I will return every chance that I get."

James

Guest, October 2018

Micro-Giving This Holiday with Amazon Smile

Don’t forget if you’re shopping with Amazon, this holiday you can select Courageous Kitchen as your charity of choice with Amazon Smile.

As your designated charity Amazon donates a small fraction of the proceeds of each sale back to our charity!

recent updates

Our Recipe for Vegan Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pow Jay)

Our Recipe for Vegan Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pow Jay)

Last month we featured the powerfully spicy, but often misunderstood drunken noodle recipe to assist you with letting the heat linger on beyond the end of summer. This month the vibrant red chili residue on our fingers may be reminiscent of a scene from Halloween, but we promise it won’t burn you nearly as bad as last month’s devilishly tasty noodles. In Thailand October’s biggest holiday isn’t Halloween. Instead of spooky decorations, the country is anxiously preparing to cover food stalls in little yellow flags for the celebration of the Vegetarian Festival.

For the occasion we’re making Thai nam prik pow jay (น้ำพริกเผาเจ), often referred to in recipes as Thai chili jam. For example, you can find it used in classic renditions of tom yum soup recipes, but most methods of making this chunky roasted paste include meat byproducts such as fish sauce, fermented shrimp paste, and dried shrimp.

Here’s a vegan version you can follow to make the paste by soaking, blending, roasting, seasoning, and finally reducing fresh Thai chilies. We hope knowledge of how to make this mainstay ingredient will inspire you to make your own at home, for use in vegetarian, vegan, and non-veg soups, salads, or various Thai concoctions. 

As with the previous recipes, look below for a frequently asked questions section, and an opportunity to give toward helping us feed and train more marginalized youth in need

Thai Chili Jam Ingredients

This recipe yields 480 – 500 grams of roasted sweet chili jam. 

  • 2 cups Vegetable oil 
  • 150g Garlic
  • 150g Shallots
  • 120g Sun-dried chilies
  • 2 tbsp Palm sugar 
  • 3 tbsp Tamarind juice 
  • 1 tbsp Salt 
  • 1 tbsp Black soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Roasted ground peanuts (unsalted)

Thai Chili Paste Instructions

  1. Soak the sun-dried chilies for 30 mins in water until they turn soft. Cut them open to remove seeds, then cut them into small pieces and rest them aside.
  2. Peel garlic and shallots, rinse well, and slice them small. 
  3. Toast the sliced garlic and shallots until they turn golden brown
  4. Pound the chili skins into a fine texture. This will take about 30 mins with a traditional mortar and pestle. Alternatively, you can use a blender or food processor to speed up blending the ingredients.
  5. Add the toasted garlic and shallots, pounding or blending them together until all the ingredients turn into a fine paste texture.
  6. Heat your wok or nonstick pan, adding 2 cups of oil. Next, add the paste into the wok then stir and mix well, allowing the oil to blend, and shallots to cook down. 
  7. Now you’re ready to season your paste. Add palm sugar, salt, black soy sauce, tamarind juice, and ground peanut. Stir for 20 mins until the color of the paste turns darker and you can smell a smoky aroma. The oil should now appear a deep red color. 
  8. Turn off the heat, and put the paste into the jar or airtight container. To avoid risk of illness and increase shelf life, we recommend sterilizing your container by boiling it in advance. You can also leave some space near the top of your container empty, filling the empty space with the extra oil from your pan. 

When I finish making my own Thai chili paste, what recipes should I use it in?

Thais love their roasted chili jam. In Thai it’s called nam prik pow. When you have mastered a recipe for this paste you can use it in a variety of recipes such as:

  • Tom Yum Soup (as well as some versions of Tom Kha)
  • Chicken and Cashew Nut Stir Fry
  • Seafood and sweet basil stir frys
  • Any creamy Thai salads (pomelo salad, roasted eggplant salad, wing bean salad, etc)
  • Thai sauces, marinades, and dressings

When does Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival take place?

The Thai Vegetarian Festival happens each year in October for 10 days. The dates vary depending on the lunar calendar, but you can usually expect it to happen within the first two weeks of the month. In 2018, we will celebrate the Vegetarian Festival from Monday, October 8th, until Wednesday, October 17th.

During this period, many people will give up eating meat, visiting temples to make alms. To support them, many of the street food and restaurants around town go completely vegan, or jay. Following this tradition goes beyond just vegetarianism, and includes refraining from eating eggs, dairy, garlic, onion, honey, and other ingredients. 

Is vegan Thai chili paste used in street food in Bangkok?

Heck no. Ahem— let us rephrase— absolutely not EVAH.

Although Bangkok has seen a resurgence of vegetarian (and to a lesser degree vegan) cuisine, don’t expect to experience this on the street. You can trust we’d know, because we’re always scanning Bangkok street food options in our weekly street food tours. Even during the Vegetarian Festival, many of the recipes where you would find the paste are forsaken, for less indulgent choices like soup noodles.

What are your favorite vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Bangkok?

Since there aren’t too many to choose from, this isn’t too difficult to answer. When our team is craving vegan Thai food that we can’t make at home, we visit May’s Veggie Home. The name sounds like a Thai vegetarian spot, but the restaurant is actually vegan. There’s lot to choose from on their menu, it’s not too pricey, and it’s located a short walk from the Asoke skytrain station. 

When we’re craving non-Thai vegetarian food, it’s usually hands down North and South Indian eats from Dhana Bhavan. Much harder to find, but always worth the hunt. Not far from this backside of Silom, is also Bonita Social Club, a place which has one of Bangkok’s best veggie burgers. 

Would it be hard to be vegetarian or vegan in Bangkok?

Yes, it can be depending on how restrictive your daily diet has become.

Do you love to eat fruit? Are you ok with mushrooms or tofu in everything? Not eating meat is one problem to adjust to, but tacking on a soy allergy, or disdain for fruit and mushrooms, could make your time in Thailand disastrous.

Here are a few tips to help you survive vegetarian or vegan life in Bangkok:

  • Be prepared to cook for yourself.
  • Be able to explain your dietary restrictions in Thai.
  • Explore the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, which has a stronger green-eating food scene.  
  • Beware of sneaky meats (aka meat sauces and broths) that may be a small component of Thai dish you love.
  • Tip your veg hawking street food vendors and restaurant staff, tell friends, and help them promote their restaurants on social media. 

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider supporting Courageous Kitchen with a donation of a plate or cooking class below. 

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!
$
 
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $30.00

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

Drunken Noodles, A  Pad Kee Mow Recipe and Crash Course

Drunken Noodles, A Pad Kee Mow Recipe and Crash Course

Courageous Kitchen’s special of the month is pad kee mow drunken noodles! This is a personal favorite of our team and popular with many of our guests. Today we take a deep dive into many of the questions you ask about this dish, providing you with our tried and true recipe below!

If you find any of this information helpful and tasty, please consider making a donation to help us feed and educate more marginalized youth in Bangkok

Why do they call them drunken noodles?

Pad kee mow noodles are the quintessential Thai hangover food. The words ‘kee mow’ are a reference to someone who is regularly drunk. This dish is literally, a drunk’s stir fry, and if you’d ever had the full face numbing heat of the Thai version, you know exactly why.

You only need to decide if the drunkenness the dish’s name refers to is because of it’s hangover killing properties, or the magical stir fry sauce that coats and colors the noodles and meat so well. 

What’s the difference between pad kee mow and pad see ew?

While they are cooked similarly, the main difference between these two dishes is the spiciness from the added herbal ingredients. You can find our pad see ew recipe included in our Courageous Recipe Magazine.

In fact, the two dishes are so similar, that we refer to them as brother or sister dishes. Many of their commonalities are likely because both share Chinese origins, developed in woks of Chinese migrants to Thailand. Compared to the milder see ew, the version of kee mow that Thais know and love was born in a Chinese wok, but has all the fiery heat required to make the dish distinctly Thai.

In western Thai restaurants these dishes are adapted for local tastes and may be sweeter, and less spicy than what you find in Thailand. So when guests in our Bangkok cooking class request pad see ew, but mention loving spicy food— we usually try to catch it in time to upgrade their order to pad kee mow. We love teaching people to make an authentic version, because it seems to take guest’s existing romance with the dish to a whole new level. 

While the same stir fry sauce can be used for both dishes, pad see ew‘s signature egg is swapped out and the chinese kale (aka gai lan, a sturdier and less leafy bok choy) is down played. Instead, you find yourself in a love hate relationship with the intensity of young peppercorn, kaffir lime leaves, and the little known ‘krachai‘ root (aka fingerroot, more on this below). Those ingredients are enough to numb your face, while the chili included in the recipe serves to burn down the rest of the house. Contrarily, no fresh chili is usually included in pad see ew.

thai cooking class bkk-1

I tried making this and ordering it in restaurants, why isn’t it nearly as good as the version I’ve enjoyed in Bangkok?

First off, it’s tough to compete with the aunties and uncles slinging this dish in the streets of Bangkok. While you can grab a plate out of any made to order stall, the best shops making it are the ones who specialize in only a few dishes. Secondly, the mix of somewhat obscure ingredients can make this dish difficult to replicate abroad. Finally, there are a few small details about the dish vendors here you may have overlooked including:

  • The use of freshly made sen yai or wide rice noodles
  • Marinating the meats overnight
  • MSG
  • Flash frying the noodles over high pressure gas burners or charcoal for a smoky flavor

While we hope the recipe below can help cure your craving, we should all just admit that short of importing a Thai chef and a fireman, there will always be someway to improve the homemade version of pad kee mow.

What is the gnarly brown root used in authentic pad kee mow recipes? Can I use ginger as a substitute?

Foodies more familiar with Thai food, won’t be surprised that the use of a strange looking and little-known root is crucial. The krachai root, was previously known as Chinese ginger, but today is better known by English speakers as fingerroot. 

The skinny finger-like structure of the root from which the name originates, can make it difficult to peel. This is why we’re always impressed to see the love for this dish on display in the form of pre-made kee mow kits in our local market. This special little package significantly reduces your prep time, and while you can’t find it in the west, in Thailand’s markets the kit usually sells for less than a dollar.

Do I have to add sweet basil to the dish?

We strongly recommend you adding a Thai sweet basil (called horapa in Thai) if you can find it. We are encouraged to see more varieties of basil available in the US each year as demand grows. Unlike the more peppery Thai holy basil, this basil is fragrant, gently countering the intensity of the other ingredients. In Thailand many of your favorite curries are similarly complimented with a healthy handful of these delicious leaves.

Pad Kee Mow Ingredients

Portion: 3-4 people

  • 600g Fresh or Pre-Soaked Rice Noodles 
  • 150g of Chicken
  • 4-5 Chopped Chinese Kale Leaves
  • 2-3 Fresh Peppercorn Stems
  • 40g Fingerroot
  • 1 Large and Mild Red Chili (Serrano or similar)
  • 50g or 1 Handful of Thai Sweet Basil
  • 2 Sliced Jinda Chilies (Thai bird’s eye chilies can substitute)

Pad Kee Mow Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tsp of Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp of Fish Sauce
  • 3 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Palm Sugar

Pad Kee Mow Instructions

  1. Drizzle dark soy sauce on your noodles and mix evenly.
  2. Blanch kale and rest aside. 
  3. Mix stir fry seasoning in a small bowl, mince your garlic, and rest both near your stir fry station.
  4. On medium heat add your cooking oil, and when it’s hot, follow it with your garlic. 
  5. Add chicken to the wok and stir until cooked.
  6. Add kale, dark soy sauce coated noodles, and stir vigorously to prevent noodles from clumping.
  7. Add your fresh peppercorn, fingerroot, and chili.  
  8. To finish add your Thai sweet basil just before removing from heat. 
  9. Plate your noodles and garnish with a few large slices of chili, fresh sweet basil on top, and a lime for your guests to squeeze nearby.

Happy Cooking and if you enjoyed this recipe, make a donation to help us create our own cook book in 2019!

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!

$
 
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $30.00

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

From Scallion Pancakes to World Travel, An Interview with Chef Josh Venne

From Scallion Pancakes to World Travel, An Interview with Chef Josh Venne

We first met Chef Josh Venne a few years ago when he was touring the world. He made a stopover in Bangkok (one of his favorite cities) and reached out to us. His passion for service, culture, and food deeply aligned with our mission, and naturally he dove right in the kitchen and instantly became part of our Courageous Kitchen family.

We wanted you to get to know him, and asked him to share his story with us. In the interview below he gets candid, reminding us why it’s so important for us to share stories of overcoming struggle with our young leaders. Journeys from tragedy into triumph like Josh’s, inspire us, and give much needed hope to our students. 

https://courageous.smugmug.com/Cooking-with-Chef-Josh-Venne/i-ZpMBJ4N/A

Read below to learn more about Chef Josh and see why he exemplifies courage in every way!

Q: I love how you’re making a name for yourself in an unconventional way. How long did it take you to get to this point?

So glad to hear it! I started cooking around the age of five for my siblings, and used it as a great stress reliever. I was interested in food very early and essentially wanted to be able to cook and eat every thing possible. When I was 15 I realized I wanted to pursue a career in food which was actually quite lucky. Some people take a lot longer so I was able to focus early and get lots of experience. Since then I have worked in some 25+ kitchens in five states in the USA. I have also traveled to 40+ countries for food research, and that’s really given me a huge base of experience and probably given me a good deal of an edge on my competition in the USA.

Many people are becoming more and more familiar with obscure cuisines. Take Thai food for example, there is so much more to it than just curries and papaya salad. Although I love the mainstays such as those, the more people learn about different cuisines and culture, the more I can cook things out of their normal comfort zone.

Q: What got you interested in food and sharing it with others, and when did you realize you had a knack for it?

I am heavily self-taught but I also graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, highly regarded as the best culinary school in the USA and one of the best in the world. However class learning is no replacement for experience, so I believe I have a good collection of both.

https://courageous.smugmug.com/Cooking-with-Chef-Josh-Venne/i-zCtcS34/A

“It gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction that not much else did.”

When I was younger, often times I would be forced to cook for myself and sometimes my siblings out of necessity. I would let friends try my items and got a great sense of pleasure from that. I also starting working at a pizza place in my young teenage years so that was a great source of pleasure as well. We wouldn’t cook much from scratch, but sometimes when we would run out of things made not in house, for example alfredo sauce, I remember making it from scratch, and completely baffling co-workers. After an especially stressful day at home, I would make large batches of things like Shepard’s pie and Bolognese. It was always way too much so I would gift it to friends. I realized I had a special gift to be able to not only taste items and make them my own, but that I also needed to share my gift with as many people as I could. It gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction that not much else did. 

Q: As a first-gen Lao American, I never wanted to embrace my Asian identity until I was much older. Have you always been a proud Asian American, or has it been a slow realization?

My mother was born in Korea, and had a pretty horrific childhood that plagued her entire life, and ultimately led to her death when I was 17, of a heroin overdose. She just couldn’t escape the darkness that followed her. She was adopted around age 8 I believe, to a single Irish woman who taught English in Massachusetts. My father was born in the USA to a German immigrant. Some of his siblings were born in the USA, and some in Germany.

I wouldn’t say I proudly identify as either German or Korean, but as an amalgamation of the both. Culturally I grew up in German influenced Massachusetts, with a little Irish culture peppered in. Korean culture wasn’t present because as my mom left when she was so young. We would occasionally go to the Korean market and get lots of panchan kimchee, and spicy marinated shiso leaves (my favorite), but that’s about it. Traveling around the world, and especially Asia, was certainly influenced by that.

But mostly I grew up eating American food with Massachusetts and German influence. Pasta, potatoes with kielbasa, schnitzel, German potato salad, sauerbraten, etc. The biggest influence is probably coastal Massachusetts. So I often cook seafood, lobster boils, and Portuguese influenced stews. Korean and German food make their way into my cuisine but not super often.

Q: Courageous Kitchen works with several refugee youth providing food education and teaching basic nutrition skills. What advice can you give to some of our students who may be in a situation similar to what your family experienced?

“Positivity breeds opportunity.”

Just keep pushing forward. Focus on the positive and try to ignore the negative. Positivity breeds opportunity. No one wants to take a chance on someone being negative and sad. Try to do things that advance your life, career, and display the positive parts of your day and feelings. It will help if you surround yourself with other positive people and never look back.

Q: Can you tell me what being courageous means to you?

Being courageous means to be brave in the face of danger and opposition. Life will only get harder, so I like to face the hardships head on to conquer them. Being courageous means getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that can be frightening. It also means going against the grain even if people don’t like it or approve. It also means being somewhat selfish at times.

For example, some people may not appreciate being served fish or other meat with the head still on. I will do whatever is needed to keep a dish enjoyable and authentic. It may not be well received by the majority, but if it is true to what makes the dish memorable for me, I do it. This keeps me innovating and pushing to educate and help people explore culture through cuisine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbvk5Hwl15k

Q: What have been the highlight moments of your culinary career? Alternatively, what have been the most challenging?

Catering my first solo wedding when I was 21, I was faced with every possible obstacle. The presents got stolen, the power went out, we were missing tons of ingredients, guests stole someone else’s plate while they were in the restroom, etc. but I still made it happen.

Taking my first solo trip to Taiwan was eye-opening. I realized I didn’t need a friend to travel with, and since then I’ve been to over 40 countries. So my highlight would be the opportunity to taste awesome food I would have never been able to try in the USA. And, of course, the weird stuff, like dog, eggs fermented in horse urine, bats, tarantulas, etc.

https://courageous.smugmug.com/Cooking-with-Chef-Josh-Venne/i-9HJVpVX/A

Q: I know you’ve got a lot going on —  i.e. private events, catering, traveling and cooking classes in the mix. What’s next for you?

Right now I am trying to secure a job in the private chef sector. Restaurant work in amazing and fun but not financially rewarding. I’m ready to stay somewhat permanent for a bit and chip away at my student loan debt. In five years I’d love to be debt free, and starting to save to open my own restaurant. I’d like to focus on fast casual so more people can enjoy my food rather than fine dining. I’d also liked to be married or almost married with kids in the near future.

Q: Can you share your favorite recipe with our readers?

This is tricky, but I will share my scallion pancake recipe that really carried The Beacon Bite, the food trailer I previously co-owned in Beacon, NY. It is a yeast risen pancake that acted as a vehicle for our Korean marinated pork wrap.

https://courageous.smugmug.com/Cooking-with-Chef-Josh-Venne/i-SLXqcVL/A

  • All purpose flour, one part
  • Bread flour, three parts
  • Water, warm 1 part (by weight)
  • Salt, 1 pinch
  • Yeast, 1 tsp per cup of flour
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Sauce made of soy, sesame oil, mirin, rice wine

Mix the yeast in the warm water. Mix the flour with salt in a mixer or by hand. Pour in the water and mix gradually. If it needs a little water or flour to adjust consistency, add it. The dough should be homogenous and slightly sticky. Work the dough until the gluten is well developed and the dough bounces back almost fully when you stick your finger in.

Portion the dough into dough balls 3-6 ounces as desired. Roll nicely and rest on sheet tray while you cut the scallions and make the sauce.

https://courageous.smugmug.com/Cooking-with-Chef-Josh-Venne/i-pMtMF74/A

Roll the dough ball into a kind-of flat circle, using a rolling pin and as little flour as possible. Brush the sauce on the entire surface facing you, and sprinkle lightly with scallions. Roll the dough up tight, into a long snake. Then coil the dough onto itself and squish it together. The last tip may need a pinky finger full of sauce to stick. Flatten the dough out with your hand and roll again into a perfect circle again using as little flour as possible. They may need to rest a bit before to let the gluten relax.

Cook the pancake on a flattop or pan with a little cooking oil. Enjoy with the sauce you made for dipping, or stuff as a wrap with meat, vegetables, mayo, etc. At the Beacon Bite we did a spicy gochujang marinated pork shoulder with sesame carrot slaw and toasted chili mayo.


We are grateful to call Chef Josh Venne a good friend, and thankful to him for sharing, and serving our community with his whole heart. His love of adventure shines through in his cooking, his infectious smile, and his zest for life.

To connect with Chef Josh, find him on instagram as @jawshey

Interview by Christy Innouvong

5 Stunning Thai Dishes to Request in Our Bangkok Cooking Class!

5 Stunning Thai Dishes to Request in Our Bangkok Cooking Class!

The hallmark of our cooking class is that when you attend one of our small morning classes in Bangkok (with usually no more than 6 people), you will have an opportunity to request dishes you love. After you book your class, we’ll email you with a few options to help narrow down the style of Thai cooking you would most prefer. Then we meet you in Bangkok, take you to the local market for a fun wander around, and finally back to our home to teach you the dishes you’ve requested.

thai cooking class bangkok-2kids cooking class bangkok-1

We do often have guests who may be new to Thai food, or need some inspiration to help you decide what to request. Although we’re happy to pick for you (just let us know what allergies you have and your preferred spice level), we though we’d share photos from recent classes where guests have been really please with both the taste and presentation of our Thai dishes. So here’s a few dishes for you to feast your eyes on from our classes, enjoy and we hope to be cooking them with more of you in 2018!

  1. Pineapple Curry Fried Rice with Seafood

kids cooking class bangkok-3

A few months back we published a spicy red curry with pineapple recipe, after making it as a special request for guests! If you enjoy red curry, you’ll love the fried rice version which isn’t too difficult to make. Our version of red curry fried rice gains sourness and punchiness from the fresh pineapple, but in our cooking class in Bangkok, you will serve it in the pineapple you’ve carved out yourself. We can’t think of a better serving bowl to represent this tropical, full flavored, and hearty fried rice!

thai cooking class bangkok-3

2. Egg Wrapped Pad Thai Noodle with Homemade Tamarind Sauce

thai cooking class bkk-2

In the West, Thailand’s most famous dish is undoubtedly stir fried pad thai noodles. While it’s a starter Thai dish to many, often guests have more fun cooking a cuisine when they have a familiar dish like pad thai on the menu. So to keep this interesting for everyone, you’ll notice that in the Courageous Kitchen classes we put a local spin on the version of pad thai we make. While we can make the more typical presentation, where your egg is fried in the noodles, we love to teach guests to enshrine their pad thai in a fresh egg wrapper. This isn’t only super tasty, it’s more eye catching too! When you serve it, we’re sure your friends and family will wonder what deliciousness hides in this well garnished egg package.

pad thai class bangkok-1

3. Stir Fried and Drunken Pad Kee Mow Noodles

thai cooking class bkk-1

This dish isn’t for everyone, but has been popular with visiting spice lovers. While many people complain the food in Thailand is too spicy, there are still folks arriving who want all the chili filled food they can handle during their stay in Thailand. So if you’re a chili enthusiast, or love someone who is— then you’ve got to make them a smoking hot plate of pad kee mow. While the name of the dish sounds foreign, you may literally translate it as “a drunk’s noodles”, or more commonly, “drunken noodles.” Why is this dish well loved by Thailand’s hedonists? Because the mix of hot chilis with numbing spice from the handfuls of finger-root and fresh peppercorn are intense enough to bring you back to life after a big night out!

4. Shrimp Filled Tom Yum Goong Soup

thai cooking class bangkok-4

While pad thai reigns in the West, in Asia Thailand’s most famous culinary export is tom yum soup. The dish has headlined in famous movies domestically and internationally, and generous portions of seafood included in the soup make it hard to overlook! So seafood lovers get those spoons ready and prepare to tilt a bowl of easy to make tom yum soup up, to get all the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and galangal flavors from the broth. If you’re curious about how we teach this dish to students in our project, and visiting tourists, check out our recent video recipe for tom yum with chicken.

5. Sticky Rice Bua Loy Dumplings in Warm, Fragrant Coconut Milk

kids cooking class bangkok-2

Finally, here’s a dish for your sweet-tooth that is more than capable of cooling you off after eating too much spice. To make this traditional dessert, we spend some time together first squeezing and kneading the dough together. In seperate batches we’ll add an all natural food coloring such as pandan leaf (green), pumpkin (orange), or butterfly pea (blue), to give a vibrant color to the dough. Finally, before boiling the dumplings we do the painstaking work of rolling them in to pea sized balls, which is more difficult than it looks or sounds. Making this dish is especially popular in our new evening cooking class in Bangkok. This new class is aimed at families who prefer to make recipes that their kids can get involved with too!

kids cooking class bangkok-7

We hope these photos and descriptions give you an idea of what we’re up to in our cooking class in Bangkok! Our class is officially a year old and we’ve had so much fun teaching you these dishes and learning from your feedback. All of our students are provided a digital cook book after the class, so we hope you can make our most popular recipes at home. Every cooking class is unique though, so we’re also hoping to create a larger cook book to share with everyone later in the year.

Thank you for following and supporting Courageous Kitchen this past year, happy eating!

Note: Are you may know, we are a nonprofit project and not a cooking school. While we try to honor all requests made for our class, the guests who book in advance have the best chance of cooking dishes they want to make!

How to Make Tom Yum Soup with Chicken (Video)

How to Make Tom Yum Soup with Chicken (Video)

Today we’d like to share a simple and delicious recipe with all of our supporters. If you watch the video below you catch our students making a big pot of the spicy, satisfying tom yum soup with chicken. Then continue to read below for all the details on how to make this recipe at home. We’ve even included a few frequently asked questions at the bottom, to be sure you’re confident when cooking this homestyle soup for your friends and family.

Remember you can donate to support our efforts to educate and train more at risk youth.

Tom Yum Recipe Video:

Chicken Tom Yum Recipe (Tom Yum Gai)

This recipe serves 1-2 people, but if you have all your aromatics on hand, it’s easy to make a much larger pot like the one seen in recipe video above. Preparation time is typically 15-20 minutes, while your cooking time can be as quick as 10 minutes.

Primary Aromatics:
3-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
5-6 Galangal Large Slices
1 Lemongrass Stalk

Seasoning:
2-3 Tbsp of fish sauce
Juice from 1 lime
2-3 Tsp of palm sugar
1-2 Tbsp of Thai chili jam

Other Ingredients:
500ml of Water
4-6 Oyster Mushrooms
2-3 Bird’s eye chili
1/2 Beef tomato quartered
1/4 of a roughly chopped white onion
100g of sliced chicken breast
5-6 Cilantro leaves for garnish

tum yum class bangkok-2

Preparation:

1. Prepare your aromatics. Smack your kaffir lime and tear it, being carful not to remove the leaves from the stem. Pound your lemongrass stalk and tie it in a knot. Cut your galangal root into large slices. For the best final result you want to keep these aromatics large and easily visible (avoid chopping small), because although they are used for their aroma and flavor, they are not typically consumed with the rest of the soup.

2. Roughly chop 2-3 chilies for an average level of spicy. You can chop the chili more finely or add more if you prefer your soup extra spicy.

3. Cut your lime in sections by moving your knife around the core. This will help you remove the seeds more easily. You can also tilt your knife down into a bowl and use the blunt side of your knife for squeezing the lime without making it too messy.

group cooking class bangkok-2

Cooking Instructions:

1. Bring your water to a boil in small pot and immediately add your aromatics. Cook a few minutes until fragrant.
2. Add your chicken breast and after it cooks, your onion, tomato, chili, and mushrooms.
3. Let the soup lightly boil uncovered as the vegetables soften, while adding your fish sauce, chili jam, and palm sugar.
4. Taste your soup for saltiness and sweetness.
5. If you are satisfied, remove from heat and add lime juice (remember adding lime too soon can cause the juice to become bitter).
6. Serve in a bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves.
7. Remember you can remove the hard to eat aromatics (galangal slices, lemongrass, and kaffir leaves) before serving or remind guests not to eat them.

Frequently Asked Tom Yum Recipe Questions:

tum yum class bangkok-1
1. Why don’t you add coconut milk to your tom yum soup?

CK: Tom yum has a sibling soup called ‘tom kha’ which is made with coconut milk. The creamy coconut milk is a good match for the spice and a better menu option for people sensitive to the heat from Thai chilies. The confusion comes because some restaurants do a version of tom yum called ‘nam khon’ where they top the soup of with evaporated milk. This is especially common in Bangkok and at wester restaurants abroad. The milk adds a creaminess to the soup without changing the flavor like the coconut milk can, however, many people mistake this for coconut milk.

2. Can I use other mushrooms or forego the chicken altogether?

CK: If you would prefer to make a vegetarian version of this dish you can! The meaty, buttery mushrooms work best. For example, we often mix oyster mushroom with straw, shimeji, and even the small stringy enoki mushrooms. In general most mushrooms will work, however, you may want to limit your portion if you’re using really bulky mushrooms, such as portobello. To completely make this recipe vegetarian you should substitute white salt for fish sauce, and buy or make a vegetarian chili jam.

3. What is the Thai chili jam (nam prik pow) used in the recipe?

CK: An essential ingredient in tom yum, Thai chili jam is not an ingredient many people are familiar with using. The jam is typically made by reducing dried chili with fish sauce, palm sugar, and shallots. A litany of other ingredients are added in homemade recipes and they tend to be more intensely spicy, and less sweet than the ones commonly sold in Asian supermarkets. We often make our own veg and vegan versions for our cooking class guests with special dietary needs.