Yesterday we had a great adventure! First, we rode our bikes down our quiet street, around the corner, across the sketchy bridge, and up the hill to a fried banana street food stall that we found the other day. Fried bananas are incredibly delicious. And they’re only sold in the morning- all the more reason to get two, right? Each of us gets a tiny plastic bag, and we use the little tongs to gingerly lift two smoking hot bananas into it. I would totally burn my mouth right then and there on those things but instead, we hooked the bags on our handle bars and rode on.
Next we went to the imperial palace to capture the morning light. However, all this exciting activity was just on the way to our adventure, a Lao cooking class at one of our favorite restaurants, Tamarind.
The big differences from past cooking classes started as soon as we got to the kitchen. There was a cooking station for each person, each one with a set of tools. We dutifully drank our welcome drink and heard about the first dish we would make.
It was really cool. The teacher would explain how to make each thing, point out the right ingredients from the library of herbs and veggies, and say go! He had a re-cap list of the different ingredients above the veggie library so we could mentally check of the list as we collected what we needed.
We made our own personalized chili sauce first. We picked whatever ingredients we wanted, with a few suggestions, and stuck them on skewers. Then we headed over to another area with pots of hot coals for everyone to roast their veggies. We took them back to the counters and peeled, chopped, mashed, and ground. Until we had a delicious chili sauce, and every person’s sauce was unique!
This method continued as we went through sticky rice, fish steamed in banana leaf, deep fried, chicken stuffed lemon grass baskets, and a special buffalo salad. Luckily we got to opt out of the tripe or buffalo bile in our salads.
After enjoying a delicious feast, we ended it by making purple sticky rice pudding cooked in fresh coconut milk, with bananas and tamarind sauce. I sprinkled some salt on top so it tasted coconut-y and salty and a little caramel-y and amazing. And that concluded our cooking class at Tamarind!