It was our final night of at Saiphin’s hometown in Khao Kor, and we all knew it was going to be epic.
Nearly 20 people gathered up at Saiphin’s house as we started to prepare ingredients for our cook-up session. Prawns, squid, kaffir lime leaves, coriander root, lemongrass, garlic, chili, basil, galangal and so on–I predicted a Thai seafood feast and I was right.
Saiphin announced that we would be making three dishes that evening: stir-fry prawns with curry power, stir-fry squid with chili & basil, and the famous tom yum prawn. I can say that these three are common every-day dishes found anywhere in Thailand, whether you are at a fine dining restaurant in Bangkok or at a street vendor with sticky tables by the beach. Regardless of where you are, most likely these dishes would be a sensational explosion of flavours in your mouth. The obvious differences are the quality of ingredients, the amount of effort put into the preparation, and, of course, the presentation.
However, that evening, as the sun was setting, we were all sitting on the ground in front of Saiphin’s house, “equipped” with a few cooking utensils and two charcoal stoves. The pots and pans weren’t so big either. How did we make enough food–really scrumptious food–in time for dinner for nearly 20 people?
This was how we did it. Have a look at this video of us (well, mainly Saiphin!) cooking those three dishes plus one spontaneous dish at ninja speed!
Despite the fact that I am a Thai native myself and hence used to cooking Thai food, this evening was quite an experience for me. With help from Saiphin’s aunts and cousins, the preparation was fast, hectic, confusing, yet effective. Cooking with charcoal stoves wasn’t easy, as it was hard to control the level of heat. Nonetheless, as you all can see in the video above, we unexpectedly ended up making spontaneous “steamed squid with lime sauce”! That was a good example of turning an obstacle into an opportunity–a very yummy opportunity!
So voilà. Bon appétit! 🙂
For those who are a big fan of chili and basil stir-fries, have a quick look at Rosa’s Crispy Pork with Kaprow Sauce cooking trailer HERE. Recipe also available in Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Cookbook p. 121
WHY WERE WE THERE?
We were there to buy fresh ingredients which were used for our ultimate cooking sessions in Khao Kor District of Petchabun province. My very good friend Saiphin–also known as Superwoman Mrs. Saiphin Moore, co-founder of Rosa’s Thai Cafe–invited us to come along with her to her hometown, where she grew up in before moving to work in the restaurant industry in Hong Kong nearly 30 years ago. She intended to cook a feast (or two, or three) for her good friends and family as well as to document this trip for various purposes:
- an interview article for The Telegraph London Newspapers. Click HERE to view article.
- a featured column in Delicious Magazine UK
- Rosa’s Road Trip project
WHAT IS ROSA’S ROAD TRIP?
Rosa’s Road Trip is a blog project initiated in 2015 by the Rosa’s Thai Cafe team with the assistance of myself with the aims to introduce the audience to the culture and culinary world of East Asia, as well as to promote Saiphin’s best-selling recipe book “Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Cookbook“. Having opened 6 branches of Rosa’s Thai Cafe in London’s most recognised areas, Saiphin continues to strengthen her bond with her previous homes Thailand and Hong Kong by traveling there multiple times each year to reconnect with her family, friends and colleagues in the restaurant industry. Since each time she makes trips to Asia she ends up cooking too much delicious food for half the people she encounters, we reckon it would be a waste not to document the moments and share with everyone!
More Rosa’s Road Trip video blog entries are available for viewing HERE. Bon voyage and bon appétit!