Thai Cooking Class
Taking a cooking class has always been in the back of my mind as something I’d like to try one day to hopefully further my fairly weak cooking skills. Grilled chicken and veggies are good for a couple years but after that trying something new is a welcome relief and I’m sure Marina has gotten quite bored with my cooking style.
So why not try some Thai cooking classes to spice things up! We met a lovely couple from New York on the train from Bangkok to Chiangmai on their honeymoon and after getting to know each other we decided to try our hand at cooking up some local dishes.
We chose the Baan Thai Cooking School located down a quiet small side street in the heart of the city. They will gladly pick you up and drop you back to any of the hotels in the city center. For only 700B (about 23US) you get a 4 hour cooking course, walking tour of the local market, all the ingredients and the chance to cook four different dishes of your choosing.
We chose to cook Spring Rolls, Pad Thai, Hot and Sour Prawn Soup, Chiangmai Noodles, Green Papaya Salad, Seafood Coconut Milk Soup, Chicken with Cashews and Green Curry, among a couple others. The cooking school is set up wonderfully in an old large home with 3 different kitchens and cooking stations so everyone is spread out and has plenty of room. The different instructors are extremely knowledgeable, smart, funny and boy do they know how to cook.
For each dish we divided into smaller groups and would sit together again to eat each course. I was shocked at how easy many of the dishes were and how complex others ended up being. The Spring Rolls and Pad Thai were relatively simple while the Chiangmai Noodles and some of the soups were a bit complicated.
We were watched over step by step and felt free to make mistakes and learn from them. Each of us were given our own set of ingredients to cook each dish to our taste. Gay, the liveliest cook instructed us that the more spice and peppers we added the “sexier” the dish would be. We even made red curry paste from scratch, a combination of endless chopping and tons of red chili peppers… it tasted unbelievable.
By the end of the night we were stuffed beyond belief and most could not finish their food, as the staff was kind enough to box up any leftovers for anyone who wanted to bring them home.
All in all it was a fantastic experience and if you ever get the chance to learn some Thai cooking, home or abroad, I would jump on the chance. Just knowing some of the simple ingredients to bring home is well worth it. And if you don’t remember it all from the class, they send you home with complete cookbook full of dozens of classic Thai dishes. I’ve even tried cooking some of them back home in Phuket with great results!
**Additional photos provided curtesy of Baan Thai Cooking School (they take tons of photos during each class and post them all about 1 week later)