CSUMB hosts virtual cooking class with Chef Morando

The Otter Student Union (OSU) and Basic Needs Initiative of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) hosted a virtual cooking demonstration on Aug. 30. CSUMB alumni, Chef Christian Morando of Monterey County’s Pure Love Food Co., led viewers through a hands-on, descriptive tutorial to delectably recreate Shrimp Pad Thai in the convenience of their homes. 

Morando noted that traditional Pad Thai reflects sweet and sour notes and is flavored with brown sugar. Shrimp Pad Thai is not known for its spiciness, however Morando recommended viewers throw in some chili flakes or Sriracha to increase the heat of their dish when recreating it at home. 

Morando gave viewers detailed steps during the demonstration so they were able to follow along with his exact cooking instructions. He also used two strategically placed cameras to create a full visual of the kitchen, with one focused on the cutting board, while the other hovered over the stovetop. Before starting the lesson, Morando advised viewers to use a wok if possible, as the Pad Thai ingredients will blend more freely when cooking. 

The ingredients needed for the recipe include lime juice, rice noodles, fish sauce, garlic, vegetable oil, shallots and eggs. When cooking the Shrimp Pad Thai, Morando advises boiling the rice noodles for 20 minutes. “Leave the tails on the shrimp and pat dry,” reminded Morando, also warning viewers to, “watch carefully, as they cook fast.”

“Cook the shrimp in fish sauce, then garlic, shallots, mix with noodles, add more fish sauce,” Moranda said as he used his wok, “you want the sauce to evaporate some before mixing the eggs in altogether.”

Hungry appetites looking for meat alternatives for the Pad Thai recipe can substitute the shrimp with chicken, steak or tofu. Additionally, Morando noted white sugar can replace the traditionally used brown sugar. To help viewers decide what drink they should have with the meal, Morando said he,“ would pair this dish with a bottle of red wine or iced tea – for an alcohol free choice.”

Those counting calories can make the Shrimp Pad Thai healthier by using olive or avocado oil instead of vegetable oil. Morando noted both are perfect substitutes for this delicious entree. 

Pure Love Food Co. caters to Monterey County, posting online recipes, live cooking tutorials, and delivering doorstep cooking kits to members of their community. CSUMB students residing in the Monterey area can experience Pure Love Food Co.’s kits as they are available for purchase online. 

CSUMB Basic Needs and OSU will be hosting another virtual cooking class with Chef Morando on Nov. 30. 

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