Here is Trank from Hanoi, Vietnam. At the first sight, I thought she is from China or Thailand because she looks like one. But she said she is from Vietnam. “I’m Vietnamese!” She went to Thailand to travel alone. It was not her first time travelling alone. She has been to a lot of Southeast Asian countries to explore new food, culture, and meet new people. But this is the first time she has been to Bangkok, Thailand.
She chose Hom hostel and cooking club because she checked out in the internet and it got the best rating. So why not? She decided to stay for five days; the whole time she would be in Bangkok. She said Hom is like a home to her since there is a kitchen in every single home. And Hom is the only place that has a big comfortable kitchen provided to guests to cook anything, anytime.
The first time I met her, she was sitting in the lobby reading something about food in a book that Hom provided to guests. She asked me about one dessert called cendol. I could tell that she was really into it because her eyes were shining like the moon. She wanted to make cendol so much because she could not find the ingredients back there in Hanoi. Thus she would put all of the effort to make cendol this time.
After looking it up, it is an ice sweet dessert that contains droplets of worm-like green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup mixed together. It is originated in Indonesia. In fact, I have tried it before and loved it so much but it is extremely hard to make it. Even Thai people who can cook told me it was exceptionally hard and demanding to make cendol. The chef also said it is too hard, just tell her to do something else.
Still she did not give up despite everyone telling her not to make it or changing to something. She was very determined to make the cendol. The problem was that the worm-like green jelly is hard to find (again!) And she likes to do the jelly by herself. In fact, that was the hardest part since the jelly-maker is necessary and she had to find it on her own.
So she begged me to go to the market to find and buy the jelly maker with her. I firstly hesitated but finally agreed. So we went to the market and find the jelly maker and all the ingredients needed to make cendol, including rice flour, pandan leaves, palm sugar, red lime paste, and coconut milk. We found them all and got back to the kitchen. The next day she texted me that she successfully made it. She was actually on cloud nine. “Yes, I can finally made cendol!” And we all staff were all happy with her.
Staying in the hostel for five days, she got to attend the cooking demos for three times. The first one was Pad Mee Kati (Stir fried noodle with coconut). Its specific ingredient was the pink sauce made by pickled bean curd. The second menu was papaya salad which is normal for her.
Nevertheless, her favorite one that she said was so delicious was Thai Northern Style Pork with Chilli Radish. (Nam Phrink Aawng.) It is a popular food in the Northern part of Thailand. It is often paired with sticky rice, streaky pork, and fresh vegetable such as cucumbers, lettuce, etc.
She really loved it that she finished all the whole dish!
Your HOM Family