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The best Cooking Class on Koh Lanta

Katarzyna PotockaKatarzyna Potocka

Time For LimeOn Monday we’ve been to a Cooking Class at Time for Lime — organised by David Dand Vu. If you haven’t heard about him you have to check out his Vlog about travelling through Thailand and all his adventures.

Time for Lime opened in 2003 and is located on Klong Dao beach — I have to say that I still don‘t have a total overview of all the beaches on Koh Lanta — have to get on it though. So Time for Lime started as a cookery school and is now a lot more than that. You have the possibility to stay at one of the 9 Bungalows or visit the bar for their great cocktails. But visiting Time for Lime for whatever reason is not only about enjoying the great Thai food and the great cocktails. The best thing about going to Time for Lime is that you will be supporting automatically a non-profit Animal Welfare charity — the Lanta Animal Welfare. There is no better way to enjoy a drink or have a great dinner, than by supporting people who are voluntarily helping animals.

Cooking Class — Transfer included?

When you book a Cooking Class at Time for Lime there are a lot of things included:

David organised the transfer from KoHub, but because the Escape-Cabins (our home for 2 months) is located on the way from KoHub to the Time for Lime Cookery School, we decided to work from home before going to the cooking class and not go to KoHub in the morning. So pick-up at KoHub was scheduled for 11 am — which meant that we would be waiting in front of the KoHub apartments at 11:05 am to get on time to the Cookery School. In the morning I once again checked the time with David before leaving, just to be sure and because we still hadn’t had ”portable” Wifi 😉

Sharp at 11 am we were standing in front of the KoHub apartments and hiding in the shadows — sooooo hot. 15 minutes later I got a little bit nervous and pinged David if everything was still on time — thanks to the KoHub apartments Wifi I wasn’t totally cut off 🙂

It seemed that the driver was a bit late but already on his way.

WaaaaiiiitingAfter another 15 min (11:30 am) a taxi stopped in front of the apartments and mentioned Time for Lime. A quick check at the passengers revealed that this seemed to be the wrong taxi, because David, Lilly, Ian and V weren’t there. After asking the driver if he already had been at KoHub to pick up the people and him nodding in response, I was pretty sure that he wasn’t the right guy for us. So we tried to explain to the driver that that didn’t seem to be our transport and that we would wait for the right one. Especially because in that very same moment I received a message from David that the taxi would pick them up during the next 2 minutes and we should stay cool — not that easy to do at these temperatures.

Finally we’ve got picked up

So after another 15 min — 11:45 am — another taxi stopped at the KoHub apartments. No wait. Not another one. Exactly the same car with the same driver but different passengers 😉 After seeing David, Lilly, Ian and V, we jumped on the car and were on our way to the Cooking Class.

Well, hopefully the driver gets paid by km and not Cooking Classes 🙂

After we arrived at Time for Lime we were welcomed with a free drink for the inconvenience — lets start then with a Singha beer 🙂

The 3 S’s + 1 extra S

Immediately I’ve noticed that Noi — our Chef for today — was a really funny and nice guy. He managed to keep us laughing through almost the entire 4 hours and explained everything amazingly good.

The 3+1 S‘s

After a short introduction to the Thai cuisine and the most important ingredients, he explained the 3+1 S’s:

The 3+1 S’s:

  • sweet
  • sour
  • salty
  • spicy — the extra S

Sweet

PalmSugarThe basic sweet thing you mostly will be adding to your dishes when cooking Thai is Palm Sugar. Palm sugar is produced by tapping the sap from the inflorescence of the tree and boiling it down to produce a syrup, which is then sold as is, or allowed to crystallize into various shapes and sizes. Sometimes there is a distinction made between Palm Sugar and Coconut Sugar, but it basically is made from the sucrose-rich sap of a palm species.

Sour

There are some typical ingredients for Thai cooking that give the dish some sour taste.

limeFirst of all there is the lime.
You should never ever cook lime juice because it is really sensitive and the taste will be altered in a way, that you for sure wouldn‘t like to screw up your dish. The second really important thing about lime juice is that you should always use it together with fish sauce. Never ever use lime juice in your Thai dish without adding the same amount of fish sauce.

The second ingredient that gives your Thai dish the perfect fresh taste is Tamarin Sauce. Other than lime juice, which you always add at the end of the cooking process, you add Tamarin Sauce always at the beginning of cooking.

Salty

There are probably rarely Thai dishes that don‘t include salt. So what shall you use for the salty taste? The best thing is Fish Sauce. As already mentioned, you use fish sauce always when cooking with lime juice. Fish sauce and Lime juice are the complementary spices that complement each other in a perfect way.
Remember that you should use your fish sauce during 3 months after you open the lit.

Of course there is also another spice that you can use for the salty taste of your Thai dishes — the Soy Sauce.

Spicy

Well, we don‘t have to mention that one way of spicing up your Thai dish is by using chilis.
The most important thing about Chilis is, the small ones are the spicy ones 😉 and they are called Birds Eye Chilis.

birdseyeChiliAnd another important thing is, that if you want to have it really spicy you can even use the little ones to make your dish even more spicy by ”Killing them”. YES, I‘m serious. That was the first thing we tried out standing in front of our own cooking stations.

What does that really mean?

By ”killing them” the cook in Thailand — or at least Noi — means to take your Thai knife with the flat side and slap the chili. The more the meerier — or at least the more spicy it gets.

But you don‘t do it only with chilis. You also kill lemon gras, garlic and other stuff to make it more aromatic. And because you are standing in the kitchen most of the time with other people, you should always warn them by screaming ”Kill it”. And yes, that was one of the most funny and entertaining part of the Cooking Class. Btw. Ian had to cook for himself and for V and he was really ”killing it” ;-).

Of course you can also use a roasted chili paste — the so called ”Michael Jackson Roasted Chili Paste”. But be careful — it’s spicier than it looks. Like almost everything in Thailand 😉

The nice thing was that you could buy your small survival package directly at Time for Lime with small bottles of all the sauces we‘ve used during the cooking class.

Sauces recommended by Time for Lime

Every one cooks for themselves

At least then you can‘t blame it on anybody else, right 😉

So everybody gets his own cooking station where he will be preparing his own food — which in my opinion is one of the biggest advantages comparing those classes to Cooking Classes in Vienna.

IMG_5020 IMG_5018

After a short presentation by Noi — what to do, how to slice and how to prepare our ingredients we had the task to do it for our own dish. Afterwards Noi would show us how to cook the dish, and we again had to follow these steps at our cooking station.

Poo Pia Tod — Crispy Spring Rolls — the perfect Appetizer

I love springrolls, especially when they are well done and are not dripping with fat. And I have to admit, they are really easy to do. Get the right ingredients, slice them up, kill the chili and the garlic, get your springroll paper, wrap it all up and fry it in oil — Voila your springrolls are done.

Tom Yam Goong — Spicy Shrimp Soup

Because spring rolls would obviously be not enough as Appetizer we also made a soup with shrimps to eat with the spring rolls. So easy, but so good.

Gaeng Massaman — Massaman Curry

And as main dish, how could it be any other way, we had Curry. The best curry ever. I mean it. And the main reason for that, was because two of my favourite dishes had been amazingly mixed to work as one: Curry and sweet potatoes 😉

Eat me & Don‘t eat me

One  of the most important lessons that I‘ve learned during this cooking class was that there definitely are ingredients that you just shouldn‘t eat. I mean I knew that you shouldn‘t eat lemongrass — especially not the big not nicely cut one. Everyone who ever tried to eat lemongrass probably learned it the hard way 😉

But there are a lot of other ingredients that are part of your dish, you shouldn‘t be eating.

The ”Don‘t eat me” list:

The best indication for something to be on the ”Don‘t eat me” list is the size of the ingredient. If it‘s too big, to fit easily in your mouth, you probably shouldn‘t be eating it 🙂

Do you have a lazy partner?

Lazy partnerSo if you are travelling with a person who prefers to eat than to cook — don‘t worry — Time for Lime has you covered. You can learn how to prepare delicious Thai Food while your partner is lazy and wakes up only to eat the food you‘ve prepared for him/her 😉

So you basically do the cooking for two people, while your partner enjoys the view 😉

Time for Lime — worth a visit, or two or three …

Not only because the food was delicious, the cookery Class was fabulous and the drinks were really great. But also because you are supporting the Lanta Animal Welfare charity, Time for Lime is worth more than only one visit.

The instructions during the Cooking Class have been easy to follow and you could ask any time you were insecure which ingredient should be added next. Yes, the order is extremely important.

The cook Noi was a blast and really funny.

The food was amazingly good, even though cooked by the participants 😉

 Costs for Time for Lime morning class: ฿ 1.500,00  per person 

Time For Lime

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