This year for my uncle’s birthday, I decided to get him something a bit different! A Thai cooking class in our home town of South Shields, from Thai Home Cooking North East. They sell gift vouchers on their Facebook page and I think most would agree, they’re really reasonably priced for a 2.5-3 hour class.
He’s always talked about cooking, so I thought – why not? After chatting to the owner, Santana, she invited me to join the same class, free gratis, to see what it was all about. Obviously I jumped at the chance!
We met at Santana’s house on King George road at 11am. A nice soft start for the weekend. Her beautiful, open-plan kitchen was flooded with natural light and an insta-perfect setting for the class.
We kicked things off with personal introductions between our group of 5 and a nice cup of tea, then dove right in.
The structure of the class involved making a starter and two main dishes which we would sit down and enjoy at the end. Our class was based around the ‘meat menu’, but there are other menus (such as Pescatarian/Vegetarian ) depending on your preference. Our dishes included:
- Chicken satay skewers with peanut dipping sauce
- Chicken stir- fry with chilli and basils
- Beef masaman curry
Santana told us about the best places to source the ingredients from and why finding the right brand matters so much. She’s even convinced Ahmeds in South Shields to start stocking them. This is amazing for me because it’s right round the corner and means I can stock up anytime.
We all took turns preparing different elements to the dishes. From peeling potatoes, to slicing the beef for the masaman curry, everyone got involved.
There wasn’t much standing round, with everyone getting involved throughout the day.
All of the dishes took around 2 hours to prepare. Once we were finished, everyone had a glass of wine or beer and sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labours.
The dishes were so simple to prepare, but packed full of flavour.
We got more than enough each too, with a bowl of massaman curry, half a large bowl of chicken stir fry, four chicken satay skews and a bowl of rice EACH.
Needless to say, we were all stuffed after an incredibly enjoyable lesson, with everyone planning which dish they were going to make at home first.
Santana explained that she started Thai Home Cooking North East because there was a distinct lack of Thai food culture in the North East. Well, I for one learnt some incredibly useful tips and interesting insights into Thai food culture.
We were given the ingredient list from our lesson and I’ve already stocked up at Ahmeds and made a massaman curry at home, with plans to make much more. We’ll certainly be booking up another class in the summer time and can only pray Santana decides to release a recipe book at some point ? ?
The classes are so informative and relaxed; they’re a fantastic way to spend a weekend. I really would recommend them to anyone who likes cooking and exploring new flavours.