Several months in the works, and our 2017 Courageous Kitchen Annual Report is now available for download. The annual report is a summary of all of our activities serving up nutrition to Bangkok’s neediest communities in 2017. This recap will help give you an idea of the type of work we do, the impact of our efforts, and the direction our organization is focused on growing in 2018 and beyond. If you’re unfamiliar with our work, this is a good place for you to start to learn about our organization in more depth.
In 2017 we saw our biggest year yet, raising nearly $35,000 in combined donations and our own fundraising efforts. This was our first year gainfully employing one full-time administrative staff, and two young adults from the marginalized community we serve. While this may seem like a small stride, the changes indicate a huge leap forward for our CK family, as we transition from a miniature grassroots organization to a fledgling social enterprise.
Our team has been cooking with children for 5 years, but only in 2017 did we launch our enterprise offering premium cooking classes to tourists visiting Bangkok. Now we have different classes to choose from in Bangkok, and have begun slowly expanding classes in the US. We are also proud to announce our non-profit was awarded a Silver rating for transparency on Guidestar —one of the United States largest charity search and rating platforms.
Midway through 2018 and we’re full steam ahead preparing strategic plans and applying for grants to help us continue to grow in the coming years. Our hope is that after reading the 2017 annual report, you have a better understanding of where your dollars are going and how much impact you’re actually making. We hope that with passionate individuals like you, we will continue to create positive change in the world by aiding vulnerable communities. With limited staff and a gaggle of volunteers, we have achieved amazing results, but we are now ready to grow our team so that we can sustain our momentum and increase future impact.
$400 – helps pay for free English classes, pre-school activities, and provides hot lunches for the younger students who are unable to attend formal schooling.
$850 – provides a full month of vocational training such as; English tutoring, one on one mentoring, and cooking lessons for our students.
$1,300 – supports an entire community with food distribution, medical aid and housing relief for one month
$5,000 – helps to pay one full time refugee staff salary for an entire year.
Again, we thank you for your continued efforts to support Courageous Kitchen. Engage with us as we grow in 2018, we appreciate having each of you along with us on this special journey.
How to Download Our Annual Report: On the page for the annual report proceed with checkout. The report is offered for free, but you do have the option to donate to help cover the costs of creating the report. If you don’t wish to donate, be sure to indicate “0” as your price, and proceed with the checkout process. However, all donations are appreciated, and each person downloading will receive a confirmation signup for our newsletter (also optional).
June marks the beginning of summer for many of us, but it also marks the start of another significant event for the Courageous Kitchen and many refugee communities across the globe. Every year in mid-June, several organizations host what has been declared as ‘Refugee Week’, with June 20th serving as the week’s capstone — this year will commemorate the 20th Annual World Refugee Day! As we join in the double-decade long celebration, we urge you to also join us by honoring the resilience and contributions of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide by taking action in the following ways:
1) Listen – All over the world events are happening for world refugee day. Be sure you find a local event and show your support by attending and listening to the stories of struggle and triumph. Events range from food tasting parties to discussion panels, join or start a conversation near you!
3) Cook/Eat – This may come as no surprise, but we believe the kitchen is one of the best places to learn about someone new, and connect with their culture. In diverse places in the west, we may take for granted how someone, or their ancestors, made harrowing journeys and sacrifices. World Refugee Day gives us an excuse to ask people about their heritage, culture, and an opportunity to celebrate these differences over something that binds us all, food!
4) Share – In today’s political climate it can be unpopular to show your support publicly for refugees. Refugees are used as a political tool in some countries to propel xenophobic campaigns and policies. Wherever we are in the world, we can show our support for refugees and insist people recognize their human rights. If you join in the celebrations, document them by using the hashtags #RefugeeWeek2018 and #WithRefugees.
5) Give Back – When you connect with your local refugee organizations find a way to donate, volunteer, or give back another way. These organizations are often underfunded and understaffed (speaking from experience), so if you can find a way to donate funds or time consistently for a few months, you can really make a difference for people in need and small organizations serving them. We’re asking people interested in supporting our mission to help by sponsoring a family.
Photo: Courageous Kitchen’s pre-teen students pose with Canadian chef Cameron Stauch.
Doing anything special this World Refugee Day? Please reach out and let us know!
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.
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.
2-3 Tbsp of fish sauce
Juice from 1 lime
2-3 Tsp of palm sugar
1-2 Tbsp of Thai chili jam
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
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.
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:
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.
Just a quick message to all of our customers stateside. Because of the impact of the recent wildfires, we have been forced to reschedule this month’s classes. Our team is safe, but located in an area not far from where people have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Thank you for your patience as we’ve had to reschedule our cooking classes for the month. We will return to our regular schedule in the new year and pray you all a swift recovery.
Note: If you missed the announcement that we had launched our cooking classes in San Diego, we’d gladly welcome you to try our classes in 2018. You can even book the class on airbnb!
Be Courageous Dinner in Atlanta | 4-8PM (RSVP ONLY)
In honor of the holiday season, Yellow Mat Yoga and The Courageous Kitchen are partnering for a special evening of food and service. We’re inviting the Atlanta community to join us for a memorable night of friendship and family, and we want you to join us in giving back as well. This means, when you buy a seat at the table, you’re also helping to sponsor a private restorative yoga session for our fellow refugee brothers and sisters who otherwise would not be able to attend. We believe in healing, giving, and nurturing a safe space for everyone in our local and global communities to come together regardless of who and where you are.
In addition to welcoming you to our new home, we will be featuring local artisans, a documentary screening, and a full Southeast Asian inspired culinary feast sponsored by Courageous Kitchen. Additionally, proceeds from this event will help sponsor asylum seekers and refugees living in Bangkok, Thailand.