Thanks to With Locals, I went off to a Thai cooking class this week. I'm not usually one for cooking classes, mostly because I don't cook. Well I do, but nothing too complicated.
One of the great things about a cooking class when you are travelling is that you get to understand the local food and ingredients much better. Plus you get all the insider tips.
The class started with a visit to a local market to check out the various vegetables and other ingredients used in cooking.
Then it was off to class. The teacher, Vannee, holds the classes in an outdoor kitchen at her house with work stations set up. It was just me for the class but it looked like she had the capacity for a bunch of people.
So, what was on the menu?
First up, green curry including making the curry paste from scratch using a mortar and pestle. After that, we did a stir fry with chicken and cashews, then Pad Thai. They were all pretty simple dishes and easy to make at home. I always figured I'd need to buy a bunch of ingredients I don't normally have on hand to make Thai food but once you have a few basics, that's it really.
To finish up, we made Mango Sticky Rice. I wish I'd kept that secret because now everyone wants me to make that for them.
Of course, one of the best things about cooking class is that you get to do all the fun bits without having to bother about the clean up. You just to go straight to eating.
The downside, for me, was that having a private lesson was a little awkward. i'd have much preferred to have other people around. I felt kind of weird that, in between instructions, the teacher was off doing things on her phone, leaving me to stir or watch for the pot to boil. I'd recommend rounding up a few people to do the class with you -- friends, people from your hotel/hostel, random strangers off the street...
I did leave with a nice cook book full of recipes and a bag of leftovers to take home.
If you are interested in cooking classes or other adventures in Chiang Mai, check out With Locals.