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Unforgettable Culinary Delights at Jaras: Exploring Thai Cuisine at Kamala Beach, Phuket

Nestled among enchanting pine trees, with the stunning panoramic views of Kamala Beach in Phuket, we found ourselves immersed in a truly unforgettable experience at Jaras. This Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant became more than just a place to dine; it became the backdrop of our cherished memories as a mother and daughter duo exploring the flavors of Thai cuisine and the art of creating exquisite meals together.


During our stay at the Intercontinental Phuket, we had the pleasure of experiencing the culinary delights of Jaras not just once, but twice for dinner and once for lunch. From the moment we took our first bite, it was evident that every dish was crafted with utmost care and skill, showcasing the culinary expertise of the talented chefs.


Spring Rolls

Our taste buds were tantalized by the THOD MAN POO, a delightful "Donut" of deep-fried crab meat, minced pork, and breadcrumbs served with house-made chili jam. The combination of flavors and textures was simply divine. We also savored the MOO HONG THOD, a crispy Phuket spring roll filled with braised pork in soy sauce and black pepper, delivering a burst of savory goodness in every bite.


Soft Shell Crab

One of the highlights of our dining experience was the PLA KRAPONG TOM SOM, a clear soup featuring snapper, shallot, lemongrass, turmeric, and spring onion. The delicate flavors and fresh ingredients made this dish a true delight for the senses. Another standout was the POO NIM KHAI KEM, where the succulent soft shell crab was perfectly complemented by the rich salted egg sauce, lemon jelly, cured yolk egg, and an array of delightful flavors.


Southern Yellow Curry

We couldn't resist trying the LOOK CHOK SOUTHERN YELLOW CURRY, a heavenly creation of seabass, lotus root, bitter leaf, potato, shallot, look chook, and chili oil. The complex blend of spices and ingredients transported us to the heart of Thai cuisine. The MASSAMAN PAE, a slow-cooked Southern goat dish with potato, onion, coconut milk, and flavored tamarind brew, was a true testament to the chef's mastery of flavors and cooking techniques.


Pad Thai

No visit to Jaras would be complete without savoring their rendition of the classic PHAD THAI. The stir-fried noodles with tamarind sauce, bean sprouts, tofu, peanut, and chives were expertly prepared, creating a harmonious medley of sweet, tangy, and savory notes. For dessert, we were treated to the heavenly combination of fresh mango with sweet sticky rice, coconut milk, and coconut ice cream. The flavors danced on our palates, leaving us with a sense of sheer satisfaction.


Coconut Ice Cream

To complete our dining experience, we indulged in the TABTIM KROB, a delightful treat of water chestnut infused with Sala syrup and apple syrup, accompanied by jackfruit and served with a scoop of luscious coconut ice cream. We also couldn't resist the refreshing Mango Passion Fruit Sorbet, made in-house with fresh mango and passion fruit, providing a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.


Our culinary journey at Jaras was a true testament to the expertise and passion of the chefs who skillfully crafted each dish. Every bite was a celebration of Thai flavors and culinary artistry, leaving an indelible mark on our taste buds and hearts. Whether it was the innovative combinations, the use of fresh local ingredients, or the attention to detail in presentation, Jaras exceeded our expectations in every way.


Our culinary adventure at Jaras didn't stop at indulging in their delectable dishes. We had the incredible opportunity to immerse ourselves in a cooking class taught by the talented Chef Mam. Under her guidance, we embarked on a hands-on journey to create three iconic Thai dishes that have forever left an impression on our culinary repertoire.


First, we learned to craft the exquisite THOD MAN POO, a mouthwatering "Donut" of deep-fried crab meat, minced pork, and breadcrumbs served with house-made chili jam. Chef Mam patiently guided us through the process, ensuring that each step was executed with precision. The result was a crispy and flavorful delight that perfectly balanced the sweetness of the crab with the subtle heat of the chili jam.


Next, we ventured into the realm of soup-making with the PLA KRAPONG TOM SOM, a clear soup featuring snapper, shallot, lemongrass, turmeric, and spring onion. Chef Mam skillfully demonstrated the art of extracting flavors from each ingredient, allowing us to create a broth that was both refreshing and fragrant. The tender snapper added a delicate richness to the soup, while the combination of herbs and spices brought forth a symphony of aromas.


One of the highlights of our cooking class was the preparation of the MASSAMAN PAE, a Southern slow-cooked goat dish with potato, onion, coconut milk, and a flavored tamarind brew. Chef Mam shared with us the secrets behind achieving the perfect balance of flavors in this iconic Thai curry. We marveled at the tenderness of the goat meat, which had absorbed the rich and aromatic spices, creating a dish that was both comforting and full of depth.


As a token of our unforgettable experience, Chef Mam generously shared the recipes for these three incredible dishes:


Donut Crab Cake

THOD MAN POO (Serves 4) Ingredients:

  • 100g crab meat

  • 150g minced pork

  • 50g minced pork fat

  • 50g breadcrumbs (panko)

  • 50g all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour

  • 2 tsp oyster sauce

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the crab meat, minced pork, tapioca flour, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Separate them into 4 balls and chill them in the fridge for 1 hour.

  2. Shape the mixture into small patties or donut shapes. Dip each donut into all-purpose flour, egg mixture, and panko breadcrumbs.

  3. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

  4. Fry the patties until golden brown and crispy on both sides (5 to 10 min).

  5. Serve hot with house-made chili jam (thai sweet chili sauce).


Snapper Fish Soup

PLA KRAPONG TOM SOM (Serves 4) Ingredients:

  • 300g snapper fillets (any white fish, salmon, etc)

  • 2 shallot, bruised

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly and sideway

  • 1 thumb-sized piece of turmeric, sliced sideway

  • 2 chili padi, sliced sideway

  • 1-liter water

  • 2 tbsp Tamarind juice

  • Kaffir lime leaves

  • 2 Spring onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 tbsp Fish sauce

  • 2 tbsp Lime juice, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Create the vegetable stock by adding shallot and lemongrass.

  2. Add tamarind juice, fish sauce, turmeric, and chili padi to the pot.

  3. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavors into the broth.

  4. Gently place the snapper fillets into the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.

  5. Season with lime juice and kaffir lime leaves according to your taste preferences.

  6. Serve the soup hot, garnished with spring onions.


Massama Pae

MASSAMAN PAE (Serves 4) Ingredients:

  • 350-500g goat meat, cut into chunks (can be pork, chicken or beef)

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (any kind), peeled and cut into cubes

  • 200-300ml coconut milk (not cream)

  • 2 tablespoons Massaman curry paste

  • 2 shallots, sliced

  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice

  • 2 tbsp palm sugar

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 cinnamon stick


Massama Curry paste

Instructions:

  1. Massama Curry Paste:

    1. Blend the 2-3 dried chili (after soaked in water)/2 chili padi for extra spicy, 2 sliced of kafir lime skin slice, 1 thumb galangal, 1 shallot, and 1 garlic clove.

    2. Pound the spices 1 tsp each (star anis, cloves, nutmeg, cumin, coriander seeds, candle nut) and 2 bay leaves

  2. Boiled the meat until soft (2 hrs) and then boiled the potatoes until soft (30 min)

  3. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the Massaman curry paste and stir-fry for a minute until fragrant.

  4. Add cinnamon stick and 1 tbsp coconut milk.

  5. Add the meat to the pot and 1 tbsp coconut milk. Then, add the potatoes and shallots, and 1 tbsp coconut milk.

  6. Pour in the last 3-5 tbsp of coconut milk, and add tamarind paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce to taste.

  7. Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a simmer.

  8. During the cooking process, check the seasoning and adjust with more fish sauce or palm sugar if needed.

  9. Serve the Massaman Paé hot with steamed rice, garnish with fried shallots and eatable flowers.

Note: the trick for Thai curry is to pour the coconut milk 1 tbsp at a time.


Our cooking class with Chef Mam not only allowed us to learn the intricate techniques behind these beloved Thai dishes but also deepened our appreciation for the art of Thai cuisine. We marveled at the vibrant flavors, the harmonious balance of spices, and the meticulous attention to detail that goes into every dish.


As we savored the fruits of our labor, we couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Cooking together became a beautiful bonding experience, creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. We left the cooking class with newfound skills, a collection of treasured recipes, and a deeper connection to the rich culinary heritage of Thailand.


As we reminisce about our time spent at Jaras, we are grateful for the memories created and the opportunity to indulge in exceptional cuisine. It is a dining experience we will forever cherish and eagerly anticipate returning to. Jaras at the Intercontinental Phuket is truly a culinary gem that should not be missed for any food enthusiast visiting this enchanting destination.

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