The Forgotten

I didn’t know going into this lesson that I would get to revisit one of my childhood favorite egg dishes. And that’s steamed eggs (khai toon in Thai). It was such a delicious and comforting dish that I still can’t believe that I rarely thought about it. The last time I ate such a dish must have been in a Japanese restaurant. They usually come in a teensy-weensy bowl, as if there’s only half an egg in there, perfectly silky and light. 

Cooking and Waiting

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 15: Boil & Simmer Much has been said lately about the joy and benefits of cooking for others. I have hosted and cooked for a friend and written about the joy of it on this blog. And I have long loved cooking with others. But I still largely cook for myself…

Wonder Wok

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 14: Sauté The cooking technique of stir-frying has intrigued me for a while. In fact, when it comes to cooking Thai food at home, I very often resort to stir-frying. It’s quick, easy, and cheap. And you always get something flavorful The first time I stir-fried morning glory—a very popular…

Bright and Saucy

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 13: Sauces I would love to learn to make the mother sauces like the bechamel and the hollandaise, but the weather’s been so warm and humid that I haven’t been in the mood for something rich. I’ve made mayonnaise and currently have a store-bought jar in my fridge. I’ve made…

Proud Pasta Moment

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 12: Pasta & Noodles I was once convinced that if I had to choose between pasta and rice for the rest of my life, I would choose pasta. That wasn’t very loyal towards the staple of my homeland. I grew up eating both rice and pasta at home, but I…

One Week and Two Pots of Beans

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 11: Beans I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I have spent a few hours cooking something that I can eat or use as a base for other dishes for the rest of the week. Last week, it was red kidney beans. I really went back to the…

The Season of Mush

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 10: Rice and Grains It is cold now in Bangkok, at 23 degrees Celsius (74 degrees Fahrenheit). But I made risotto on Saturday when it was 10 degrees warmer. I already had a dirt-cheap bottle of white wine with a respectable-looking label design sitting on the table and the second…

(Herb) Butter It All Up!

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 9: Herbs and Spices I used to have an herb garden on my balcony. I actually didn’t grow them myself but bought those herbs in pots from a farmers market and a grocery shop. There were peppermint, saranae (Thai mint or some would call lemon balm), Italian parsley, and rosemary….

The Trouble with Tofu

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 8: Tofu and Tempeh I almost skipped the tofu and tempeh lesson. I’ve never had tempeh, but I was still curious about cooking tofu, despite it not being my favorite ingredient. I’ve had tofu plenty of times in my life. I even tried to cook tofu once in France because…

Follow Your Nose

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 7 I didn’t grow up liking shrimp. I thought it stank. I hated the texture and the flavor. I was even allergic to it at one point. If I remember correctly, I used to get rashes from eating it. As an adult, however, it became difficult to resist shrimp when…

Another Kind of Cook

I haven’t cooked anything complicated in my kitchen or for this blog. But I’ve definitely made recipes that require me to use a pot, a pan, and sometimes maybe the oven tray—recipes that take an hour or more to prep and execute. Sure, they are simple recipes, but not all of them are quick to…

Chop-Chop!

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 6 I’m really enjoying going back to basics with ingredients and dishes that I like to cook at home. I’m cooking better than ever. Last week was chicken breasts, a cut that I eat all the time but struggled for the longest time to find the right way to cook….

Perfection Found, Almost

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 5 Little by little, I’m getting back to my usual way. First work, then cooking, then exercising, then meditation, and now, finally, The Kitchn’s Cooking School. Where did we leave off? Ah, yes, the lesson on poultry. I’m just so glad that I’ve finally found the perfect way to cook…

Saturday Rambling

I probably should eat. It’s almost one in the afternoon here in Bangkok. Instead, I’ve fed myself with water and Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Rome” and “Hunger” episodes in The Mind of a Chef. My stomach was not rumbling, but my mouth watered at the sight of the Prune chef-and-owner putting sardines on slices of avocado and dressing…

From My Library: Vol. 4

My vacation in Germany is drawing to a close. Tomorrow, Monday, is my last full day here. All the free time on this trip means I have been able to focus on reading William Zinsser’s On Writing Well. And my love for the book is steadily deepening. I want to share a few passages from the…

How to Be Gentle and Firm

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 4 I had planned to move on to the poultry lesson this week on the blog. The only thing I had left to do was to write about it. But I am now in Germany for a vacation and realized two days ago that I had forgotten to bring the…

Mastering the Omelette

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 4 I’m veering off this lesson in the Cooking School a bit. The omelette is not part of the homework, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to master. It is the dish that French kitchens use to test a new cook after all. And many a successful chefs achieve their…

From My Library: Vol. 2

It’s been a great but busy and exhausting week. Where to begin? What to recommend? My head is full of information and things to say, but I don’t have that much time to say them well. I’ve been studying up on eggs quite a bit since it’s the next lesson in The Kitchn’s Cooking School….

Hot and Thorny Issues

The Kitchn’s Cooking Scool Lesson 3 Roasting vegetables has become a comfortable way to cook for me. I fell in love with it when I was in France and my mother came to visit. We usually went out to eat since the town I was living in—Aix-en-Provence—had so many wonderful little restaurants and cafes. When…

From My Library: Vol. 1

I don’t technically have a library. I live in a studio apartment after all. So my books can be found on the floor on both sides of my bed, a small bookshelf, and my desk/dining table. But “From My Library” is about sharing things I’ve read, listened to, or watched that are related to food….