One of the things that really excited me as I took the three classes during my trip was how fast one was able to make various iconic dishes. I suppose it makes sense if you live in broiling hot climate, you want food you can prepare quickly so you don't spend too much time over a hot stove.
We are blessed in our little hamlet of Albuquerque (okay 32nd largest city in US Albuquerque) that we evidently have a robust East and Southeast Asian population and we have a number of Asian grocery stores in town. One in particular is very large, has a very large selection of items and is convenient to where we live.
The key ingredients to a lot of the dishes from Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia are a series of curry or chile pastes. A number of these, particularly the Thai ones, you can buy ready made. Others you need to make yourself. Each of these pastes is in turn a combination of a number of ingredients but almost all have some combination of shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, tumeric, lemongrass, and chiles. Then there are other components you add that create the differences.
So I set aside this last weekend to making up a bunch of the pastes and freezing them.