The office of commercial affairs at the Royal Thai Embassy (Thai Trade Centre) put on a live cooking demonstration at the Thai restaurant Sabai Sabai this week, offering Egyptians an opportunity to try Thai food.
“Thai food is easy to cook,” said Sakda Sinsuksai, director of the Thai Trade Centre. “There are a lot of similarities between the Egyptian and the traditional Thai cuisine.”
Many of the ingredients used in Thai cooking, such as rice, coriander, and lime, are also commonly to Egyptian cuisine, he said. More exotic ingredients, including coconut milk, and fish sauce, are available in Egyptian supermarkets, Sinsuksai said.
Thai dishes are rich in healthy herbs, and popular cooking methods, like steaming and high-heat stir frying, preserve most of the vitamins and minerals that Thai food has.
Lime and coriander, for example, are rich in vitamins and fibre, while Thai ginger, called galangal, aids in digestion. Many dishes use palm and coconut sugars as sweetening agents, which have lower glycaemic indexes than refined sugar. Fish sauce, commonly used to add a salty flavour, has less sodium content than regular salt and is rich in protein.
The chef cooked six recipes including an appetiser and a dessert. He invited one of the guests to share the experience with him as he cooked each recipe.
One dish, the mouth-watering Massaman Gai, chicken with curry and potatoes, took just a few minutes to cook. For seafood fans, Pad Thai goong sod, fried noodles with shrimps, is a delicious option.
“There are four things that characterise Thai food,” said Abdurrahman Donman, who provided commentary during the cooking demonstration. “It’s clean, light, beautiful and sweet.”