I love Thai food and, over the years, I’ve perfected the basics such as a passable Pad Thai and a decent green curry (even making my own curry paste!). While we were living in Chiang Mai for a month, I decided to improve my repertoire with a cookery class at the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre.
I chose the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre because not only are they a family-run business cooking their own recipes, but they do a good range of dishes beyond the basics I was used to cooking.
The day started with a trip to San Pa Koi market, where we were shown the ingredients we would be
cremating cooking later on. We also got ten minutes to walk around the market at leisure, which was a really nice opportunity. It’s a small, local market selling the usual Thai fruit and veg, along with meat and fish and mysterious vats of dried ingredients.
We set about the first of our six dishes of the day – a Thai soup. Within ten minutes I had a delicious, vegetable-filled broth. I was amazed how simple it was!
Next was communal curry paste making for our dishes. I was learning how to make Khao Soi and surprised to learn it actually uses red curry paste with a few added spices to change the flavour completely. While our curries got going we prepped our stir fry dish – sweet and sour vegetables.
Unfortunately, I suffered “hot wok panic” (self-diagnosed) and chucked all my ingredients into the pan, which had started to smoke, in fear I would burn something before the rest of the ingredients were added. The tutor wrestled the final dish of sauce from my grasp before it joined the pan too. “Oh, have I ruined it?” I asked, surveying the jumbled wok and her face, which was the perfect portrait of an inward sigh. “Yes” she smiled “but don’t worry”. She was right, incidentally. It tasted like crap.
Thankfully the Khao Soi was a much bigger success, and we took our dishes into the dining room for a lunch time feast.
In the afternoon we turned our attention to Spring Rolls, which I’d never made before but were easier than expected, and Craig’s favourite dessert – mango sticky rice. This is actually so easy it was more of a demo than a cookery attempt, but I’ll definitely be giving it a go when I next happen upon a kitchen!
We finished with a rice whiskey cocktail to celebrate our success, and even got a certificate for our efforts!
I was really impressed with my class at the Thai Kitchen Cookery School. The teachers were welcoming and friendly, the market trip was enjoyable and they kept a constant supply of iced water to hand – a thoughtful touch in the heat!
If you want to do a class with the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre
- The centre is 7 minutes walk from Tapae Gate; they offer local pick ups as well.
- A full day (9:30 to 3:30pm) costs 1,000 baht and you cook six dishes of your choosing. A half day (morning or afternoon) costs 800 baht and you cook four dishes. The full day is well worth the extra 200 baht in my opinion. Contact the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre here.
- The kitchen is outdoors and there are a few mosquitos; it’s worth wearing repellent.
- The day involves a lot of eating (hurrah!) but they don’t have takeaway containers for leftovers which is a travesty. Bring your own if you can (a street food stall may furnish you with a couple if you ask nicely).
- You get a (surprisingly comprehensive) cookbook at the end of the day. If you are a massive
losergeek like me, it’s worth taking a pen and a bit of paper to jot down any tips you pick up through the day.