Happy Home Cooking School – Pattaya, Thailand (day 1, part 1)

Watching the clock tick. Sleeping, eating, then napping. Not a great way to waste time on a vacation, but I had the vacation doldrums. I was waiting for my wife to catch up to me and was bored. What to do? What to do?

Well, I’ve taken cooking classes in Thailand before, once at the well known Baipai cooking school in Bangkok, and a few times at the Marriott in Pattaya. Each time was different and quite fun. I searched the internet and a couple cooking schools came up for Pattaya. One seemed to rank higher. Looking at the website, it seemed a bit more down to earth and, I hoped willing to teach authentic flavors and heat levels, as I eschew “dumbed down” tourist food. There’s a tendency for the Thai to take it easy on foreigners especially with regard to strong flavors like Pla Ra and the level of spiciness, and I would be the first to agree that it is for good reason. Not everyone can take it, and many novices may not like it. Having decided to take a chance on the school, I sent off an e-mail and booked two days, both of their intermediate classes. The cooking of Lanna and the cooking of Issan foods.

I spent a couple very rewarding days there and this is my story. Following Soi Boukow from my hotel and crossing Central Pattaya Road led me to the quaint cooking school. Formerly a bar, now converted to cooking use, thinking about it, I can’t think of a better use for the location. Continue reading

Crispy Fried Frog – Issan Cooking

I am thrilled that I had the chance to attend Happy Home Cooking School for not only one, but two days. I selected the Issan and Lanna courses from their course outline and received expert instruction from Chef Sheri. More about the cooking school (with tons of pictures) later.

For now, I couldn’t wait to share with you this video that I made of a little surprise I had while cooking the frog.

Keep in mind that these frogs were already gutted and cut up. Yet, just like the classic high school science demonstration (one that isn’t done any more) the frog legs were still kicking. What was interesting is I didn’t notice any movement until after I put the salt on them.

After I got over my initial reaction, I got down to cooking them and I have to tell you that this was absolutely hands down the very best frog I’ve ever tasted. I’m not sure if it was because it was super fresh or due to the recipe, but there was no fishy taste to the frog at all. The meat was firm yet tender, and quite good.

 

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