Monday, March 26, 2012

Banyan Tree Double Pool Villa (III)

In my last entry about the perks of the Banyan Tree Double Pool Villa, I shared with you about the beautiful bicycles and a dedicated Coffee Man. For this entry, I will share with you about the Thai Cooking Class that they have arranged specially for us. If you ever visit Banyan Tree Phuket, do try to join the cooking class as you will take home wonderful recipes of your favourite Thai dishes.

There are many complimentary activities that Banyan Tree Phuket offer all guests, but there are some activities such as the cooking class that require a small fee. For Double Pool Villa guests, Banyan Tree Phuket will try to arrange your preferred activity to suit your schedule and it might even be complimentary.

Chef Ohm (what a Zen name) taught us the art of Thai cooking and introduced us to the key ingredients. Thai cuisine is one of my favourites and I was really excited to learn how to cook from a pro.

Our classroom is in the kitchen of Tre restaurant, located at the compound of the Double Pool Villas. Before we can become master chefs, we must first learn to prep the ingredients. We were also given recipe cards to take home.

Voila! All chopped and ready to go...

We were introduced to the key seasoning ingredients to Thai cooking. I always knew fish sauce is a key ingredient but I never knew that oyster sauce and palm sugar are important ones too!

Making Tom Yum soup ain't difficult if you are being taught some of the key secrets... such as the use of oyster sauce, as well as putting in the lime juice last so as not to create a bitter taste from overcooking it.

The degree of spiciness can be controlled by the amount of freshly cut chilli that you put in, along with the Tom Yum paste. You can choose to use king prawns, fish and/or squids as principal ingredients. Vegetarian option is possible too... just substitute with more mushrooms and carrots. Opt for vegetarian "oyster sauce" made with mushroom if you are a strict vegetarian.

Making our favourite Thai Green Curry. The trick is to use green egg plants as Chef told us purple egg plants will turn brown and mushy, while the green variety stay white and firm. For our cooking class, we cooked it with chicken but you can substitute with fish or pork.

Making the sweet and sour sauce for crispy sea bass. A healthy option is to drizzle this sauce over steamed fish slices or fish fillet if you prefer not to deep fried the fish.

Making the sauce for the sticky rice. It's really simple... just coconut milk, lots of sugar and a pinch of salt. If I make this at home, I will cut down on the sugar.

We were also taught the art of slicing mango. That's a useful skill to learn.

The trick to making the sticky rice is to soak it in water for an hour before you steam it. Here, the chef uses a traditional Thai rice steamer. I have to find an alternative at home.

Here's a look at our achievements.

Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup
Tom Yum Goong

Green Curry Chicken
Kaeng Kheow Waan Gai

Fried Fish with Sweet Chilli Sauce
Pla Raad Prik

Mango with Sticky Rice
Khao Nieow Ma-Muang

It's a satisfying experience to eat your own cooked meal.

For more information, please visit:

Email me at if you wish to have the recipes. :)

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