- Posted January 23, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who taught you to love food?
Learning to cook favorite Thai dishes at organic Thai cooking school (outside of Chiang Mai)
Considering how ‘often’ we take cooking classes it may appear as though we’re naturals in the kitchen. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the only time we ever set foot in a kitchen these days is when we take a cooking course. In the past several months we’ve been privileged enough to try our hands at making Vietnamese cuisine, whipping up Israeli and Middle Eastern dishes and having a go at Khmer delicacies. However, even though Chiang Mai has been our home, we had been putting off (like many other things) taking a Thai cooking class together.
With scarce time left in Chiang Mai we quickly decided to sign up for a cooking school that was located in the countryside area just outside of Chiang Mai: ThaiFarmCooking.com
Many moons ago I had participated in a Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai located in the walled section of the Old City
We could have gone with a ‘cheaper’ city cooking school but we were drawn to the appeal of learning how to make Pad Thai and Thai Coconut Curries in a more scenic environment using fresh organic farm-picked ingredients.
Given that my parents recently just joined us, we invited them and an entourage of their retiree snowbird friends from Canada to come join along in the fun.
Wearing fire engine red aprons and Thai straw hats, we thumbed our way creating the following Thai dishes: Thai green and yellow curry paste; Thai cashew nut and vegetable stir fry; Thai spring rolls; Tom Yum soup with shrimp; Thai coconut curry, Pad Thai and Thai Mango Sticky Rice.
The highlight of the day for me was having the opportunity to freely roam in the Thai garden picking fresh ingredients and learning specific details about exotic plants and fruits including tamarind, jackfruit and bitter eggplant.
In the kitchen, I pounded away with a mortar and pestle giving me a sense of accomplishment having to earn every once of the Green curry paste I made on my own.
Being able to share the experience with Audrey, family and friends made it all that more special.
Overall, our Thai cooking course cost 1100 Baht per person. This included pick-up, transfer, market-time and roughly six hours spent on the Thai farm. It’s definitely something I’d recommend you consider trying yourself!
You know we love to eat, so today we’ve signed up for a cooking course where we’re going to learn how to make some of our favorite Thai dishes. Right now we’re at the local market, so we’re just going to be walking around picking out some of the ingredients we’ll need today for the class. Let’s have a look.
Judging from the amount of cooking videos we make you’d probably think that we’re constantly in the kitchen and that we always like to cook. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the time when we’re on the road we eat out, so this is actually kind of an excuse to get into the kitchen and cook and to actually try and make food because normally we don’t do that.
We have now arrived at the Thai Farm Cooking School. We drove about seventeen kilometers outside of Chiang Mai and it is a completely different world out here. We’re just surrounded by nature and an organic farm. We’re actually going to be picking a lot of vegetables from here.
We had a choice between doing the cooking course in the city or going out to the countryside and I think we’ve made the right decision.
Now clean rice already.
Please come inside. I would like you to pick by yourself the whole leaf basil.
I’m making my Yellow curry paste. Pound, pound, pound! Harder! Faster! Stronger!
So Sam is lagging a little behind right? Come on. Master Chef here – look at that. Perfection. No, I really am lagging behind, I better hustle up.
I’m making a yellow curry today. This is mine. This is what I created and Sam went for the green curry, so this is his. And I’d like to point out I don’t think he did a very good job. Oh, that just fell in there. What is this? Whatever. Total chunks. You get an F!
Alright, oh! It’s boiling! It is not supposed to boil.
We’re making the Tom Yum soup. Mine is going to have shrimp and I’ve got my coconut milk here, so I’m going to be adding some ingredients – mushrooms, onions.
I’m ready to try fine creation. This is my Tom Yum with shrimp. Let’s see. I made mine really sweet. I think maybe I put in to much sugar but it is kind of nice and creamy because I used coconut as a base. You need to add more salt or fish sauce then. Mine does need more salt. How is yours?
You look like a farmer drinking soup. I’m keeping this hat I swear. I’m quite happy with mine. I put quite a bit of salt in it and I also put fish sauce.
I’m making my Yellow curry now. I’m just stirring the coconut milk. I put in the curry paste I made earlier. There is also some pumpkin and potatoes and I accidentally added some leaves that I wasn’t supposed to but shhhh…..Cheater!
Not that we’ve chopped everything up we’re going to be throwing this into the Wok and making our stir fried rice.
I was wrong about this dish. It is not a stir fried rice. It is just a vegetable stir-fry. It’s really good. I made one with chicken and string beans and mushrooms and here is my yellow curry with potatoes and pumpkin. Is it good? Uh-huh.
At this point in the day I’m getting completely stuffed. I actually wouldn’t mind taking a siesta right now but we’re going to be making two more dishes. I’m going to be making a Pad Thai and then a Mango Sticky Rice. So I’m suffering from what my family calls bulbous plumptitude.
I’m making Pad Thai. Your favorite. Here is my Pad Thai which is probably one of the easier Thai dishes you can make.
We saved the very best for last. Here we have our favorite Thai dessert – Mango Sticky Rice – and it has some deep fried Mung Bean on top. It is crispy. This is going to be good. Alright, let’s check out that first bite. It is nice and coconut-y and it is amazing.
So overall that was a really cool experience learning how to cook Thai food. I made five different dishes. I’m beyond full. Like I feel like I’m ready to hibernate now.
So this was 1100 Baht. It was like lunch and dinner and the thing I really liked about this particular school was that it was out in the countryside where we were able to get outside of the city and away from the pollution and whatnot and just have a really cool organic cooking experience.
Is learning how to make Thai food something that is of interest to you? Have you taken cooking classes before?
Source: Nomadic Samuel, Culture in search of Food & Adventure
Thai Farm Cooking School, Chiang Mai
Address: 38 Moonmuang soi 9, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50100
Sawat ( for English and Thai ) +66 81 288 59 89
Nathalie ( for English, Dutch, French ) + 66 87 174 92 85
Baan Thai cooking School
11 Rachadamnern Rd. Soi 5 T.Sriphoom A.Muang Chiangmai 50200
Tel: (Domestic) 0-5335-7339
Tel: (Oversea) +6653357339
Pantawan Cooking, Chiang Mai
201 Moo. 2, Mae Hia,
Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Mobile: (+66) 85-032-2007
Phone: (+66) 53-111-274