Thursday, May 4, 2023



My husband and I were quite excited when we were told there was a culinary related surprise awaiting us on April 29. We wondered what it could be. Perhaps a visit to a new restaurant -like our dining at Copra recently? Perhaps a visit to a winery? Of course, we had done that in our last visit and enjoyed the wine tasting experience. Different possibilities engaged our mind till we were told a few hours before the event that we had been signed on for a class in Thai Cooking!! 

This was a dining experience with a difference! We ate what we cooked ourselves!!

This was at BiteUnite at the corner of 17th Street and South Van Ness in San Francisco. The two hour culinary experience was held on the terrace of their building from where we got a nice view of downtown San Francisco.

I must say that something truly amazing happened that day! My husband cooked something on his own  for the first time in his life! Obviously making tea doesn't count as cooking. He jumped into the event with more enthusiasm than I imagined and we had great fun over the two hours that the class lasted.

Each of us were assigned a cooking station with a gas burner set up in front of us and different ingredients required for the first dish kept out in front of each station. Our instructor, Patta, told us something about the dish and then gave instructions for the first step. She would go around and look at how people were faring, then give the instruction for the next step and so on. For each step she mentioned a prescribed time as well.

We got to make three dishes. The first was Pad Kra Pao Gai - this is a popular Thai dish made with minced chicken, chillies, garlic, onions and Thai Basil, served with rice. Apart from the chicken which was minced and given to us, we had to slice, dice, the other ingredients like garlic, onions, chilli, and the like. After sauteeing the garlic, onions, chilli, we added the minced chicken and cooked it, and at the end added Thai Basil, different sauces and the cooked Jasmine Rice that was given to us. We loved the experience more than anything else. We were told the done thing was for me to taste- not the dish I cooked but the one cooked by my husband and vice versa!! This was accompanied by Thai tea of two types- one made with milk and the other without! 

Likewise we cooked the second dish- which was Pad See Eew. This is a stir fried soy sauce noodles also called Drunken Noodles. Here we used Sen Yai rice noodles, minced chicken, fried egg, shrimps, garlic and Chinese broccoli, amongst other ingredients. The best part of making this dish was covering the egg with the cooked noodles- chicken mixture and flipping  the contents of the griddle on to a plate and garnishing this with roasted nuts, sugar, and chilli flakes. The final dish tasted really delicious.

The session closed with a dessert- Khao Niaow Ma Muang or as we popularly know it- Mango Sticky Rice! Here we used a different kind of rice from the one used for the Pad Kra Pao Gai. This one had to be soaked for 4 hours then steamed and allowed to rest for 1 hour. Today it was given to us in a cooked state along with fresh ripe mangoes which we had to dice and garnish with coconut milk and sugar syrup. The dessert was quite yummy! 

Time flew past as we- and 16 others in our class- enjoyed the culinary experience. It was soon 1.00 pm amd time to close. 

Overall, it was a very interesting, fun-filled experience for us as we were trying this out for the first time! 

So when you are next in San Francisco and if you are keen on enjoying this culinary experience, please check out BiteUnite and book a seat in their next cooking class! 

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