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Archive for September, 2013

Intermediate Thai Cooking Class Overview

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

The 4-session Intermediate Thai Cooking Series that used to be offered by Kasma Loha-unchit was taken after the Beginning series. First up here is a slide show of all of the dishes taught in the class. It’s followed by the Intermediate Class menu and at the bottom are links to 4 blogs, 1 on each of the classes followed by links to photo albums about the classes. Please enjoy!


Note: Kasma retired from teaching in 2020 and these classes are no longer offered. This blog will serve as a historical record and way for students lucky enough to have taken the classes to revive their memories.


In the Beginning series, which was a pre-requisite for the Intermediate Series, students were introduced to most of the main Thai ingredients and cooking techniques: they learned the basics of Thai cuisine. The Intermediate Series introduced more ingredients and new techniques, such as how to fry a whole fish; students learned how to use the mortar and pestle to make basic pastes and more complex curry pastes. Many of the dishes were spicier in the Intermediate series and, as tasty as the food was in the Beginning Series, it was even tastier in the Intermediate.

The slideshow below will show you some of what delicious dishes were taught in this class.

(You may need to wait a bit for the slide show to load.)


Slideshow
Kasma’s Intermediate Class Dishes

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

Soup
Noodles
Fish Close-up
Mussel Salad
Chicken Salad
Shrimp Cakes
Fish Curry
Stir-Fried Eggplant
Miang Kam
Panaeng Beef Curry
Seafood Dish
Tapioca Pudding
Grilled Chicken
Green Papaya Salad
Chicken Satay
Satay plus Salad
Peanut Sauce
Fried Bananas

Chicken Coconut Soup with Galanga (Tom Ka Gai)

Glazed Crispy Noodles (Mee Krob)

Close-up of Crispy Fried Whole Fish Topped with Chilli-Tamarind Sauce (Pla Rad Prik)

Spicy Mussel Salad with Aromatic Herbs and Crisped Shallots and Garlic (Yum Hoi Malaeng Poo)

Northeastern-Style Spicy Minced Chicken Salad with Mint and Toasted Rice (Larb Gai or Laab Kai)

Spicy Thai-Style Shrimp Cakes with Kaffir Lime Leaves and Green Beans (Tod Mon Goong)

Sour Tamarind Curry with Fish and Vegetable (Kaeng Som Pla)

Stir-fried Eggplant with Chillies and Thai Basil (Makeua Yao Pad Prik Horapa)

Miang Kam (Tasty Leaf-wrapped Tidbits)

Panaeng Beef Curry (Kaeng Panaeng Neua)

Spicy Southern-style Stir-fried Shrimp and Squid (Pad Ped Goong/Pla Meuk)

Tapioca Pudding with Water Chestnuts and Coconut Cream (Ta-koh Sakoo)

Thai-Style Marinated Grilled Chicken Served with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (Gai Yang Song Kreuang)

Hot-and Sour Thai-Style Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam Thai)

Chicken Satay (Sateh Kai), ready to eat

Pork and Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce & Green Papaya Salad

Spicy Satay Peanut Sauce Nam Jim Tua - goes on the Satay

Fried Bananas Kluay Tod - a delightfully crunchy outside

Soup thumbnail
Noodles thumbnail
Fish Close-up thumbnail
Mussel Salad thumbnail
Chicken Salad thumbnail
Shrimp Cakes thumbnail
Fish Curry thumbnail
Stir-Fried Eggplant thumbnail
Miang Kam thumbnail
Panaeng Beef Curry thumbnail
Seafood Dish thumbnail
Tapioca Pudding thumbnail
Grilled Chicken thumbnail
Green Papaya Salad thumbnail
Chicken Satay thumbnail
Satay plus Salad thumbnail
Peanut Sauce thumbnail
Fried Bananas thumbnail

Intermediate Class Menus

Intermediate Class #1

  • Chicken Coconut Soup with Galanga (Dtom Kah Gkai)
  • Mee Krob (Glazed Crispy Noodles)
  • Crispy Fried Whole Fish Topped with Chilli-Tamarind Sauce (Bplah Rad Prik)
  • Spicy Mussel Salad with Aromatic Herbs and Crisped Shallots and Garlic (Yum Hoi Malaeng Poo)

Intermediate Class #2

  • Northeastern-Style Spicy Minced Chicken Salad with Mint and Toasted Rice (Lahb Gkai)
  • Fried Shrimp Cakes served with Sweet-and-Sour Cucumber Relish (Tawd Man Gkoong)
  • Sour Tamarind Curry with Fish and Vegetables (Gkaeng Som Bplah)
  • Stir-fried Eggplant with Chillies and Thai Basil (Makeua Yao Pad Prik Horapa)

Intermediate Class #3

  • Miang Kam (Tasty Leaf-wrapped Tidbits)
  • Panaeng Beef Curry (Gkaeng Panaeng Neua)
  • Spicy Southern-Style Stir-fried Shrimps and Squid (Pad Ped Gkoong Bplah Meuk)
  • Tapioca Pudding with Water Chestnuts and Coconut Cream (Dta-gkoh Sakoo)

Intermediate Class #4

  • Thai-Style Marinated Grilled Chicken Served with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (Gkai Yahng Sohng Kreuang)
  • Hot-and Sour Thai-Style Green Papaya Salad (Som Dtam Thai)
  • Chicken Satay (Sateh Gkai)
  • Spicy Satay Peanut Saucew
  • Fried Bananas (Gkluey Tawd)

Note: You may have noticed that the Thai transliteration of the dishes is slightly different for the photos in the slideshow and the menu. Please see A Note on Thai Spelling and Pronunciation


Intermediate Class Blogs

Intermediate Class Photos

  • Intermediate Photos, Class 1, June, 2009, by Kasma, opens in new window.
  • Intermediate Photos, Class 3, June, 2009, by Kasma, opens in new window.
  • Intermediate Photos, Class 4, June, 2009, by Kasma, opens in new window.

  • Written by Michael Babcock, September 2013 & June 2020

    Yok Yor Marina Restaurant in Bangkok

    Michael Babcock, Sunday, September 15th, 2013
    Yok Yor Sign

    Yok Yor Marina Restaurant sign

    Yok Yor Marina Restaurant – ห้องอาหารยกยอมารีน่า – in Bangkok was one of the restaurants where Kasma took her small-group tours to Thailand before she retired in 2020. It specializes in fresh seafood and we always had an excellent, tasty meal there. Yok Yor Marina is situated right on the Chao Phraya river. As you sit and eat you can watch the boats go by on the river. Although the restaurant isn’t fancy, the food was always tasty and good and there was usually a very nice cooling breeze coming in off the river. (See below for address.) There’s a second restaurant – Yok Yor Klongsan – nearby.

    Click on the images to see a larger version.

    We also have a slide show of the food pictures at the bottom of the page.

    Yok Yor Interior

    Inside Yok Yor Marina

    Yok Yor View

    View from Yok Yor Marina

    The above left picture shows one of the tables at Yok Yor Marina; the interior is nothing fancy but comfortable. The other picture shows one of the many barges going past on the Chao Phraya river.

    I’m going to mostly let the pictures of the dishes Kasma ordered speak for themselves. In a typical meal here she would order 6 dishes and rice to be eaten family style.

    Duck Curry

    Roast Duck Curry

    Garlic Pepper Squid

    Garlic Pepper Squid

    Kasma almost always ordered the dish to the upper left – Roast Duck Curry. It’s a red curry with succulent duck as the meat. Quite nice. On the right we see Garlic-Peppered Squid with a dipping sauce. The squid was nicely cooked, meaning it’s tender and not too chewy. (It’s quite easy to overcook squid and turn it rubbery.)

    Seafood Laab

    Seafood Laab

    Crab Dish

    Crab Dish

    Above left  we see a Seafood Laab (also transliterated as Larb), fresh, spicy (as a laab usually is) and crunchy from the toasted rice. Kasma always ordered one of a couple of crab dishes here, such as the one to the upper right.

    Steamed Fish

    Steamed Fish

    Crab in Yellow Curry

    Crab in Yellow Curry

    Yok Yor Marina does a very good Steamed Fish, upper left. To be good, the fish must be very, very fresh indeed: this one was. The above right Crab in Yellow Curry was quite good. Lots of liberated (from the shell) crab meat in a yellow curry sauce; succulent and tasty.

    Fried Fish with Green Mango

    Fried Fish with Green Mango

    Sour Pork Ribs

    Sour Pork Ribs

    Kasma sometimes ordered the Fried Fish with Green Mango that is above left. Another frequent item on the table for our groups was the Northern Sour Pork Ribs on right; the tasty, fermented meat is served with a variety of accoutrements (the shallots, greens, peanuts, garlic, often chillies), which are popped in the mouth with a piece of the rib. Yummy.

    The last meal we had there was in 2016 at which time it was still very tasty food. This past year (December 2019) we went past it while on a canal trip so it was still operating then.


    Slideshow – Some Dishes at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

    Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

    Duck Curry
    Garlic Pepper Squid
    Seafood Laab
    Crab Dish
    Steamed Fish
    Crab in Yellow Curry
    Fried Fish with Green Mango
    Sour Pork Ribs

    Duck Curry at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Garlic Pepper Squid at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Seafood Laab at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Crab dish at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Steamed Fish at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Crab in Yellow Curry at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Fried Fish with Green Mango at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Sour Pork Ribs at Yok Yor Marina Restaurant

    Duck Curry thumbnail
    Garlic Pepper Squid thumbnail
    Seafood Laab thumbnail
    Crab Dish thumbnail
    Steamed Fish thumbnail
    Crab in Yellow Curry thumbnail
    Fried Fish with Green Mango thumbnail
    Sour Pork Ribs thumbnail


    Yok Yor Marina Restaurant
    885 Somdet Chaophraya 17 Rd
    Klong San Bangkok 10600
    Yok Yor Marin Facebook Page (offsite, opens in new window)
    Tel. 02-863-0565-6, 02-863-1708


    Written by Michael Babcock, September 2013 & June 2020

    Grilling Seafood in Thai Cooking

    Kasma Loha-unchit, Sunday, September 1st, 2013

    The hot tropical climate of Thailand lends itself to outdoor cooking. Grilling (in Thai – yang or pow) is one of the methods used in Thai cuisine. This blog talks a bit about how it is used in cooking seafood (taken from Kasma’s book, Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood).

    Grilling Fish

    Grilling fish in Nong Kai

    Fish on Grill

    Fish on the Grill in Nong Kai

    (Click images to see larger version.)

    With charcoal a main source of cooking fuel until recent times, grilling has emerged as one of the most popular ways of cooking. No restaurant is complete without a fired-up grill and no marketplace can exist without a vendor grilling something or another – whether this be catfish on a stick, or skewered meat balls.

    Seafood to Grill

    Seafood to grill

    Restaurant Grilling

    Grilling at a restaurant

    Along the coast near the capital city, strings of open-air talay pow (“grilled seafood”) restaurants line the beaches, serving up delectable, super-fresh seafood caught the same day. Just about every kind of seafood is tossed on the charcoal grill; some are served simply with a spicy dipping sauce while others find their way into salads, curries and nameless other dishes. The two pictures above were taken at the night market in the coastal city of Hua Hin.

    Fish on Grill

    Fish grilling on a kettle BBQ

    Grilling is always done over real wood coals; sometimes coconut husks and dried palm fronds are thrown in to produce extra smoke, giving the grilled foods a marvelous smoky aroma. To re-create the delectable flavors of Thai-style grilled foods, a charcoal grill or barbecue kettle is essential, along with long-handled spatulas, tongs and basting brushes as cooking aids. Grilling on a gas grill basically produces similar results as broiling, with a subsequent loss of flavor, unless pieces of charcoal or wood chips are also used.

    Grilling Basket

    Catfish in a grilling basket

    Basket on Grill

    Using the grilling basket

    Seafood may be grilled directly on the charcoal grill, or in a wire cage with handle – also called grilling basket or hinged grill. This device comes round, square, rectangular or fish-shaped and comprises of two wire racks hinged together on one side to hold food between them. The grilling basket is especially useful for grilling tender whole fish with skin still attached; not only does it make turning easy, it keeps the fragile fish from breaking apart should the skin stick to the charcoal grill.

    Grilling Bass

    Bass grilled in banana leaves

    Seafood is also wrapped in banana leaves before placing on the grill. Although the smoky dimension is reduced, the leaves enhance with their own special fragrance, especially if they are lightly charred. The seafood is usually marinated with spices before being wrapped and essentially gets steamed in its own juices. For a smokier flavor, partially unwrap, or cut an opening on the top of the leaf packet, towards the last few minutes of cooking.


    Slideshow – A Few Finished Grilled Seafood Dishes from Kasma’s Classes

    Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

    Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

    Salt-Encrusted Fish
    Catfish with Sadao
    Shrimp Satay
    Grilled Striped Bass 1
    Grilled Striped Bass 2

    Charcoal-Grilled Salt-Encrusted Fish Stuffed with Crushed Herbs, Served with Hot Thai Chilli-Lime Sauce (Bplah Yad Sai Samunplai Pao)

    Charcoal-Grilled Catfish, "Sweet Fish Sauce" and Sadao or Neem Leaves (Sadao Nahm Bplah Wahn Bplah Doog Yahng)

    Shrimp Satay (Sateh Goong)

    Charcoal-Roasted Striped Bass in Banana Leaf (Bplah Gkapong Pow)

    Charcoal-Roasted Striped Bass in Banana Leaf (Bplah Gkapong Pow)

    Salt-Encrusted Fish thumbnail
    Catfish with Sadao thumbnail
    Shrimp Satay thumbnail
    Grilled Striped Bass 1 thumbnail
    Grilled Striped Bass 2 thumbnail

    Here are some other articles on different methods used in Thai cooking.


    Note: This blog originally appeared on page 79 of Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood, published in 2000 by Simon & Schuster. All text is Copyright © 2000 Kasma Loha-unchit.

    All photographs are Copyright © 2011, 2012 & 2013 Kasma Loha-unchit

    Written by Kasma Loha-unchit, 2000