Taste From Heaven Vegetarian Cooking Course & Recipes

Panang, Khao Soy, Green curry
Panang curry, Khao Soy, Tofu on Herbs, and Green curry in a coconut.

For my 23rd birthday, my boyfriend spoiled me to a cooking course at one of my favourite restaurants in Chiang Mai. Taste from Heaven is another vegetarian place that does all the classic Thai dishes without meat, and bulks up their dishes with delicious soy protein, soft and hard tofu, and unusual mushrooms.

The cooking course consisted of 9 dishes for two people (6 for one person) and you can choose whatever dish from the menu you would like to learn to cook. My boyfriend chose the following dishes (which were all fantastic choices):

1. Somtam (Papaya Salad)
2. Fresh Spring Rolls
3. Tom Yum Soup
4. Tofu on Herbs (Recipe below)
5. Panang Curry (Recipe below)
6. Green Curry in a Whole Coconut (Recipe below)
7. Stir-fried Aubergine and Tofu
8. Khao Soy 
9. Deep-fried Ice Cream

In this post I'll show you the food we made, in order, and throw in a few of the recipes (they are all for single dishes, but the portions are huge). I would 100% recommend doing the course yourself, as the cooks are a pleasure to hang out with for a day (9am - 3pm) and it's much more affordable than many others in the city (900 per person).

PLEASE NOTE: Taste From Heaven has a new location! They haven't updated on their website yet, but here it is on my map below, and here's their Facebook page.


View Market of Eden Vegetarian Restaurant Map in a larger map


Taste from Heaven Restaurant
Can we start eating yet?
Taste from Heaven cooking course
Our initial assortment of food when we first arrived at 9am.
Taste from Heaven Restaurant
The unusual view of the outdoor area of the restaurant below - someone likes roofs!
Coconut
Our first task - get the boyfriend to chop the coconut.
Fresh coconut
Mmm, fresh coconut water!
Cooking course ingredients
Some of the ingredients on our work station.
One of the restaurant's cooks, who was our awesome instructor.
Vegetarian green curry
Preparing to cook the ingredients for the Green Curry.

The finished Green Curry inside the fresh coconut.

Green Curry Recipe (Gaeng Kiew Wan/แกงเขียวหวาน):



Measurement
Ingredient
Notes
¾ tablespoon Green curry paste Cheaply available from any fresh market, more expensive in supermarkets.
1 whole Purple aubergine The bigger the better!
2 whole Thai aubergines These are the long green ones that come in bunches.
3 strands Long beans The very long strands of bean that also come in bunches.
1 block Baby coconut tree These are the white blocks at fresh markets soaking in water. For this curry you should have a block about the same size as a hand.
½ block Tofu You can use either the white or yellow block of medium tofu, which are cheap at the markets.
¼ piece Red or yellow capsicum Use more if you like! Also known as red or yellow peppers.
1 whole Bird's Eye chilli These are the big, long Thai chilli peppers that aren't so hot. You could use whatever colour you like.
1 – 3 whole Small regular chilli Choose how many you'd like based on your tolerance. One is negligibly spicy, but three or more is hot!
10 leaves Thai basil Available in bunches from markets and supermarkets.
5 leaves Kaffir lime Make sure to remove the stem from the middle of the leaves, as it's not very nice to chew.
100 ml Coconut milk

200 ml Water

½ tablespoon Mushroom powder This is a vegetarian powder available at markets or supermarkets. In Thai it's known as Pŏng Hèt or ผงเห็ด.
¼ tablespoon Palm sugar Available from markets and supermarkets.
2 tablespoons Cooking oil

¼ piece Mushroom stock Vegetarian stock available at markets and supermarkets, next to the pork and chicken ones (you just have to spot the little mushroom pictures).

Method:


1. Chop your all your aubergines into bite-sized chunks.
2. Slice all your long beans into 3cm strips.
3. Cut your baby coconut tree into square bite-size pieces.
4. Cut your tofu block into 4 pieces.
5. Cut your capsicum into bite-sized slices.
6. Cut your Bird's Eye Chilli into half the size of your bite-sized chunks.
7. Cut your small regular chilli and Kaffir lime leaves into small, thin slices.
8. Now, turn on the heat up high on your wok or frying pan. Add your cooking oil and curry paste.
9. When it's sizzling, add your mushroom stock and let it melt.
10. Add coconut milk, and mix.
11. Add water, and let it start boiling.
12. Once it's boiling, add all the ingredients except the Thai basil leaves.
13. Let it boil for 3 – 4 minutes. If it's too dry, add more coconut milk. If it's too thick, add more water.
14. Mix in your mushroom powder and sugar, and then taste it. If you want more of either, add it. If it tastes good, add the small regular chilli pieces.
15. When you serve it, sprinkle all the Thai sweet basil leaves over the curry and gently mix.

NOTE: You can add or take away whatever vegetables you want. I've made this curry with cauliflower and soy protein chunks, and without long beans, for instance, and it was still delicious!

Crushing up some peanuts for the Panang Curry.
Concocting a delicious curry!

Yum. Panang Curry finished!


Panang Curry Recipe (Gaeng Panaeng/แกงพะแนง):



Measurement
Ingredient
Notes
½ tablespoon Panang curry paste Cheaply available from any fresh market, more expensive in supermarkets.
½ block Tofu You can use either the white or yellow block of medium tofu, which are cheap at the markets.
10 pieces Soy protein chunks Cheaply available from any fresh market, more expensive in supermarkets.
½ whole Red or yellow capsicum Also known as red or yellow peppers.
1 whole Bird's Eye chilli These are the big, long Thai chilli peppers that aren't so hot. You could use whatever colour you like.
1 – 3 whole Small regular chilli Choose how many you'd like based on your tolerance. One is negligibly spicy, but three or more is hot!
5 leaves Kaffir lime Make sure to remove the stem from the middle of the leaves, as it's not very nice to chew.
2 tablespoons Roasted peanuts Also cheaply available at markets.
50 ml Coconut milk

25 ml Water

½ tablespoon Mushroom powder This is a vegetarian powder available at markets or supermarkets. In Thai it's known as Pong Hed or ผงเห็ด.
½ tablespoon Mushroom sauce This is a vegetarian replacement for oyster sauce and it can usually be found with the oyster and soy sauces in supermarkets or markets. In Thai it's Sot Hed or ซอสเห็ด.
½ tablespoon Palm sugar Available from markets and supermarkets.
1 tablespoon Cooking oil

¼ piece Mushroom stock Vegetarian stock available at markets and supermarkets, next to the pork and chicken ones (you just have to spot the little mushroom pictures).

Method:

1. Soak the soy protein chunks in warm water. Usually I soak mine for close to half an hour. When you are ready to start cooking, squeeze the water out of them and dry them in some paper towels.
2. Crush up your roasted peanuts in a mortar and pestle, if you have one. If you don't, you could break them up by rubbing the bottom of a bowl over them, or something similar.
3. Cut your capsicum into bite-sized slices.
4. Cut your Bird's Eye Chilli into half the size of your bite-sized chunks.
5. Cut your small regular chilli and Kaffir lime leaves into small, thin slices.
6. Now, turn on the heat on your wok or frying pan. Add the cooking oil and curry paste.
7. When it's sizzling, add mushroom stock and let it melt.
8. Add coconut milk, and mix.
9. Add tofu, soy protein chunks, capsicum.
10. Add water, and let it start boiling. The sauce should be quite thick.
11. Immediately, add roasted peanuts, mushroom powder, mushroom sauce, and palm sugar.
12. Taste it, and then add the small regular chilli and Kaffir lime leaves.
13. When you serve it, you can add a few drops of coconut milk on top of the curry for presentation.


The chunks of tofu and mushroom balls for the Khao Soy.
Cooking the Khao Soy.
Khao soy
The finished Khao Soy!
Taste from Heaven food
So far we had completed the Green Curry, Panang Curry and Khao Soy.
My boyfriend Erick crushing some lemongrass for our Tofu on Herbs dish.
Cutting up some fresh black pepper for Tofu on Herbs.
Deep-frying the soft tofu.

Soft tofu with deep-fried lemongrass, herbs and black pepper sauce.

Tofu on Herbs Recipe (Unfortunately no longer available on their new menu!)


NOTE: I am not sure what this particular dish is in Thai, as I've only ever seen this at Taste from Heaven. You could describe something similar at a restaurant but it might be difficult to get this exact dish. Here is some vocabulary you could try:

Tofu Tawhu เต้าหู้
Soft tofu Tawhu orn เต้าหู้อ่อน
Herbs Samun phrai สมุนไพร
Deep-fried/fried Tord ทอด
Black pepper Prik thai daem พริกไทยดำ

Recipe:

Measurement
Ingredient
Notes
1 tablespoon Black pepper sauce Available at supermarkets.
2 tablespoons Flour

1 whole Soft tofu You can use any variety you like, as long as it's soft. These are the ones packaged in plastic and squishy to touch.
½ whole Green capsicum Also known as a green pepper.
1 – 2 whole Small regular chilli Choose how many you'd like based on your tolerance.
1 stalk Lemongrass Available at fresh markets in bundles.
3 cloves Garlic

10 leaves Kaffir lime Make sure to remove the stem from the middle of the leaves, as it's not very nice to chew.
10 leaves Thai basil Available in bunches from markets and supermarkets.
50 ml Water

½ teaspoon Black pepper Try and use fresh, raw black pepper if you can!
½ teaspoon Palm sugar Available from markets and supermarkets.
Enough to deep-fry Cooking oil

1 tablespoon Butter


Method:

1. Cut your soft tofu into big chunks (you can see the size in the photos above). Coat them in the flour.
2. Deep-fry the flour-coated soft tofu in the cooking oil. They should cook quite quickly, but you want them to remain soft. As soon as they are done, set them aside on a paper towel and let them rest.
3. Crush your lemongrass stalk with a mortar and pestle, so that you are left with thin, long slivers. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, maybe try slicing it with a knife lengthways, and then extracting the long hairs from inside the stalk.
4. Now deep-fry the lemongrass slivers, Kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil leaves. Do not let them burn or overcook, but they should shrivel and curl slightly. Once they are done, immediately place them on top of the soft tofu.
5. Cut your green capsicum into long, thin slices.
6. Cut your small regular chilli into small, tiny slices.
7. Cut your garlic cloves as large or as little as you'd like.
8. Turn on the heat on a new wok or pan. Add the butter, the garlic and the green capsicum, and fry until the butter turns a darker yellow.
9. Add the black pepper sauce, water, palm sugar and black pepper. Stir constantly to make a thick sauce. At the end, add the deep-fried lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil leaves, and the small regular green chilli, to melt the flavours together.
10. When it tastes good, pour the sauce on top of the soft tofu and serve.


Food time! Finally!
Back to our work stations to make Fresh Spring Rolls.
Fresh Spring Rolls with their accompanying peanut sauce and some salad.
Frying up the basics for the Tom Yum soup.
A quick sneak-peek of a beer bottle collection behind me (I am strange).
Shredding green papaya - I've always wanted to do that!
Papaya Salad in a mortar.
Mixing it all up.
Deep frying some coconut ice cream! I was very excited about this.
The deep-fried ice cream and fresh banana. Simple but delicious!

13 comments:

  1. I will be sure to do this class when I visit it looks as slick as Master Chef and quite a lot of fun for someone who cooks as well as I do. thanks for sharing

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  2. Haha, it was very professional if that's what you mean =) And yes, please do it! It was so much fun!

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  3. So amazing!! I've always wanted to learn how to cook real thai food...it's just so incredibly tasty!

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  4. Hi Joanne. Yes, it is! And all these dishes are some of my favourites. I look forward to seeing some Thai dishes on your blog one day =)

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  5. Such a cool post! Thank you so much for taking the time to break down the recipes. Your posts are always very informative, have great pics and a little South African sass...good work!

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  6. There are so many wonderful things about this post! First of all, I love the photographs! They are clean and crisp. Secondly, this is very informational and looks like a lot of fun. You made me want to go here when I come visit Thailand!

    Keep up the great work!

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  7. Thanks =) It was a ton of fun, and it is still fun trying to recreate the recipes at home. Those are all some of my favourite dishes in Thailand, so they are well worth a try when you visit!

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  8. Reading and viewing this makes my mouth drool like Homer Simpson just before he bites a doughnut!! (Such an American comparison...) Ask Erick how this food stacks up to the restaurant he and I went to in Orlando, because that's as close as I'll get to joining y'all unless I win the Lottery!! I'm really enjoying your blog, Adrian, and have shared it with my friends, too! XOX Momma Patty

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  9. Thanks so much for the informative post! I was considering booking the class for me and my bf when we are in Chiang Mai on Oct 21st, but now will definitely book! Do you have any recs on how to reserve? I tried to email but with no response. I see from your post that they've moved, are they still offering classes? Sorry for all the questions just want to make sure I can book this for when we are there! Thanks so much for your response :)

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  10. Hello Avani! At the moment they seem to be out of action =( I will take a drive past there in the next day or two and see if they've got a sign revealing their new location, or a new number. But it looks to me like they don't do much online as their website hasn't been updated in ages, like most places over here! My bf booked the course by walking in. Your best bet would be doing that but I don't know how long you've got here. I hope you do it with them though, it was amazing!

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  11. Thanks for the quick response. We'll only be there the 20th-22nd so the 21st is the only day we can do a cooking class. If you do happen to drive past and see it open, please let me know, otherwise i will just try and do a walk in. Thanks for your advice and help!

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  12. Hi again. Well I drove past it and a sign on their window says they're moving to Kotchasarn Road (look it up on Google maps, very easy to find on the moat of the old city) but it didn't say where or when. Useless I know! So hopefully when you are here they would have opened and you'll spot it by strolling past. Let me know how it goes. And I hope you have an amazing time in Chiang Mai!

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  13. Thanks for such a comprehensive post with amazing pictures and such detailed recipe instructions. We did a class last year and had the best time! This is definitely a must do in Thailand, particularly Chiang Mai. Might have to bust out the skills and try my luck at cooking up a curry. The last one didn't turn out so good haha.

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