Last night some of the first year students cooked a Thai meal at Betsy’s house. It was a lot of fun to spend time with the students and see how some of my favorite Thai dishes are made!
We started off by shopping for groceries at an outdoor market. The market was stinky and dirty, and made me want to become a vegetarian. After seeing how the meat sits out in the heat for hours like that, I think it’s amazing that I don’t get sick more often than I do! We bought a very fresh fish at the market. It was alive until the woman at the stall clubbed it with her cleaver. She then scraped the scales off and cut off the fins. The Palah was definately the most disgusting thing I saw. Palah is fermented fish. It is an important ingredient in som tam lao, a dish that I avoid at all costs. I didn’t know what palah looked like until yesterday. I assumed that it was pieces of old, rotten fish. It’s actually more of a brownish/blackish paste.
We all got busy cooking when we got to Betsy’s house. Mas did most of the work. She did the planning, picked out the ingredients, and instructed everyone on how to chop the vegetables and cook everything. She did a really fabulous job. We had dom yam gung (a sour shrimp soup), steamed fish, vegetables in oyster sauce, and a salad of sorts with sausage and glass noodles.
To see pictures of our evening, click here.