Meet Khun Mina, a charming hostess, cook, and grandmother, and friend to every visitor who arrives at her modest home on the small island of Koh Yao Noi in southern Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay. Her home, surrounded by rice paddies and roaming water buffalos, is also a wonderful Thai cooking school. Khun Mina loves to entice her customers with the secrets of her family recipes that unlock the smells and tastes of true southern Thai delicacies. This wise lady also imparts life lessons by sharing her passion for growing and preparing fresh, healthy, organic Thai food.
Mina’s latest venture for growing her cooking school and her self-sufficient lifestyle is planting riceberry. She hired three workers to help her grow this new hybrid rice grain, a cross pollination of Hom Nin and Thai Hom Mali (jasmine rice). Riceberry was developed by Thailand’s Kasetsart University and is a great source of iron and high levels of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E and folic acid. When cooked, the attractive dark violet grains become soft and fragrant.
When asked why she started giving cooking workshops, Mina replied that she likes to make foreigners and travelers aware of how local people on her island live and eat and tell stories about her life. She is very proud to show off some vegetables growing in her garden such as sweet basil, galangal and lemongrass. Her goal for the future is to open a restaurant, and of course, serve riceberry and all of her amazing secret recipes!
Ask us how you can include a visit to Mina's kitchen in your Thailand itinerary!