Family Smellie is very keen on its food and Thailand has not let us down once. So we thought it was time that we did a little hands on cooking. Rather than just stuffing our faces with the delicious food cooked by others, we would do some of the preliminary work ourselves.
Enter Toi, chef extraordinaire at Sea Dance. She was chosen to bravely steer Family Smellie through the cooking process. This is what awaited us when we arrived for our lesson.
Even if we didn’t cook it but just feasted with our eyes and noses that would have been a sensual journey in itself. But Family Smellie needed to fill its bellies so onwards and upwards.
First up, as in any good project of any kind, is the preparation. I was put on chopping duty and managed to impress Toi not only with my knowledge of nam pla but also my prowess with a mini machete!
We began with seafood salad and followed with chicken green curry and chicken and ginger stir fry. The Travellerwas not impressed by having to skin and scour the squid, but she did an excellent job.
The seafood was left to marinade in soy sauce, nampla, chopped chilli, chopped garlic and palm sugar. The Boss was in charge of chicken prep.
First up was the green curry. The curry paste was added to hot oil and the coconut cream added spoon by spoon. I am used to chucking the tin in all at once, but this way the sauce remained thick and cooked more slowly, it was thinned with water or chicken stock later.
Chicken first and finally vegetables.
The volunteer took notes.
Stir fry was down to the Traveller and she was not convinced she could do the flip so expertly demonstrated by Toi, convinced that instead she would cover the Boss with a selection of chicken and vegetables.
But she got the wrist action and managed a perfect stir fry flip with no stray veg at all.
And the finished products.
And time to eat.
A few days later I bumped into Toi in the gardens and she showed me around her kitchen garden. Many of the vegetables used in the kitchen are grown on site and Toi is an excellent gardener as well as chef. I also managed to impress her again with my knowledge of Holy Basil, there are hidden depths to me yet! She not only grows a huge range of vegetables, salad leaves and herbs for the kitchen but also a comprehensive range of herbs for the spa as well. And I can testify that the spa is as good as the kitchen!
Love Gillie x