Over the past year, my food-obsessed friends and I have started a new tradition where each month we get together at one person’s apartment and that person makes dinner for the group. It’s our own little supper club, where we focus on a different cuisine each month and get to spend a relaxing evening catching up over a home cooked meal. (Guests are responsible for providing drinks that go with the food, obviously.) While these dinners are always super fun because we get to try a bunch of interesting new foods and hang out with our closest friends, it can also be a bit nerve wracking because some of us are not great cooks (raises hand).
So when my turn to play chef came around last month and the group decided that they wanted our next dinner to be Thai, I had a mini panic attack. I love Thai food, but cooking it? That was way out of my culinary comfort zone. Could I pretend I was sick? Order takeout and try to pass it off as my own? Take a Thai cooking class to prepare? I was dreading this meal - until I came across Umamicart.
While doing a cursory search for Thai recipes and ingredients, I came across this online grocery store offering a carefully curated selection of hundreds of Asian products and ingredients delivered right to your door. As I scrolled through the categories, it became clear that I’d be able to find all the ingredients I needed for this dinner here - Umamicart offers fresh vegetables, tropical fruits, meats and seafood (including sashimi grade fish!), sweet and savory Asian snacks, and all the pantry essentials I needed from chili crisps, to fish sauce, to curry paste. Now if only I knew what I was going to cook…
And then I noticed a tab that said Recipes. “Aha!” I thought. Just what I needed. When I tell you that the Recipes page was better than I ever could have imagined, I’m not exaggerating. I immediately clicked on the Thai Curry Noodle Soup (because Thai food), and was brought to an interactive page with clickable photos of every ingredient and a photo of the finished dish. It looked absolutely mouthwatering and was described as “cozy, comforting and fragrant” - perfect for a chilly Fall evening. Best of all, there was a button that said “Add Kit To Cart,” and with a single click I added every ingredient I needed to my shopping cart. It literally could not have been easier.
I scheduled my delivery for the day before my dinner. It arrived right on time and was perfectly packaged with perishables separated in a cold storage bag to keep everything fresh. I don’t know how, but even the Thai Basil and Cilantro were so fresh - no brown leaves in sight! I was so happy to see Umamicart also included all the recipe cards for the recipes on their site so I had the step-by-step instructions right on hand. Now all that was left was to put it all together.
The next day, I began cooking about 20 minutes before everyone started to arrive. The recipe was incredibly simple and as people trickled in, everyone commented on how great it smelled in the apartment. To put it mildly, people were blown away by the Curry Noodle Soup - “This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted” and “There’s no way you made this!” may have been overheard at the dinner table. (I will admit this may have had more to do with the quality of the ingredients than my execution, but it still made me happy). It was tangy, creamy, spicy, and perfectly filling, just like how it was described. Paired with Mekhong cocktails, it was honestly one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.
Thanks to Umamicart, cooking Thai food (as well as Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese food) now seems way more approachable. I’ve already bookmarked their Recipe section and pinned their recipe cards to my fridge, and my fellow supper club participants are looking forward to my next meal. I’m thinking the Tingly Mapo Tofu will be another crowd pleaser.
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