While exploring the island Koh Panghan I was fortunate to come across Tum’s Restaurant. I was driving up the middle of the island on my way to check out some waterfalls when my stomach started growling and I knew it was time for lunch. On the right hand side of the road I spotted a little restaurant, not close to any village, so I figured I better stop and fuel up. Thank God I did because this restaurant served me the best Thai food I had eaten since arriving in Thailand. In fact the food was so good that I had to return a few days later for round two. I had been scoping out various Thai cooking schools around the island, but the food was so good here that I decided to ask the woman if she had time to teach me some of her tricks in the kitchen. She told me to come back the next day around 5 and she would show me how to prepare whatever I wanted for free (just having to pay for the food we would prepare). I was thrilled! I went out and bought my notebook arriving the next day prepared to be schooled in the art of Thai cooking. Tum took me into her little kitchen in the back equipped with two gas burners, a fridge, a small working area and various cutting utensils, pans and woks. In just 30 minutes she taught me how to make three Thai dishes: vegetable coconut soup, pad thai and chicken fried curry. I was very surprised by the simplicity and quickness of the dishes with every dish being prepared in under 10 minutes. It was a once in a lifetime learning experience and I must say that Tum was a wonderful teacher, not only teaching me the basic procedures of the dishes, but also informing me about substitutions for various ingredients and how to alter the dishes to create new ones. I’ve just prepared my first Thai meal upon returning to Italy and even in the comfort of my home I was able to reproduce the flavors and memories of Thailand. Even if it is just for an evening I now know that I can escape to Thailand whenever I please. All it takes is a few ingredients and a little bit of time to recreate the tastes and smells which take me back to that beautiful country with just a single bite.
Click on links for Tum’s Thai recipes!