Laos: The Cooking Class

The sign promised we could recreate an authentic Lao meal back home. How could we say no?

So Michael and I signed up and from 5-7pm made our own 4 course dinner!

Our instructor was soft-spoken and fast. He demonstrated each dish with speedy precision before handing us our cookbooks.

Nearly everything one needs to make chicken panang

What surprised me most, was what small quantities of each ingredient we needed to give it a substantial flavor impact. A quarter teaspoon of fish sauce for instance was enough to flavor the whole dish! I’ve never used a quarter teaspoon of anything!

Our Lao workstations

If you find yourself in Luang Prabang, I highly recommend the Tamnak Restaurant and Cooking School!

He demonstrated a fish soup, a chicken salad (laap gai), stir-fried chicken in coconut milk (panang gai), a spicy tomato dip, a fiery chili sauce and the ubiquitous sticky rice.

The fresh fish soup was quick, healthy and delicious!

We then went to our workstations and got to work.

There’s an economy to Lao cooking. Small yet bright flavor notes, multiple textures, fresh mixed with cooked, and a lot of local herbs.

My laap gai turned out quite nicely!
Jeowbong is a chili paste that I ate with everything! I’m so happy I learned to make it!

It was all business in the kitchen and within 30 minutes dinner was ready!

Very small quantities can yield big results in this cuisine!

Michael made panang gai and it was very authentic!

I look forward to making this food at home and especially to visiting the Asian grocery to get the ingredients. Finally I will understand what some of the items on the shelves are!



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