A Traditional Thai Cooking Class
A Traditional Thai Cooking Class with Basil Cookery School Chiangmai, Thailand
A Traditional Thai Cooking Class has always been on our bucket list because we love food and we especially love thai food. Planning trips is easy for me, I usually tend to base our trips around the cuisine. What can I say I’m a foodie! I love to try new cuisines, or learn more about a particular one. It just so happens to be that Thai food is my favourite food in the whole world! I just love the freshness of it. Here’s our day cooking up a storm in a traditional thai cooking class.
Long before our little blog was born, one of my favorite things to do when landing in a new destination was to source out a local cookery school and sign up straight away, whether it was Cambodia, Vietnam, China or India. I love having the opportunity to interact with the locals through food. I always find that after I take part in a cookery tour, I am more familiar with the country, the people, and their history. You even get to learn a few phrases in the local language which can come in handy for the rest of your trip.
Learning from the locals
Our morning at Basil Cookery School began with a warm welcome from Apple, who was our guide and chef for the day. She explained that we were off to the market to pick up our ingredients needed. The market tour was very informative and interesting. Apple highlighted some of the staples of thai cuisine from 3 different types of ginger, kaffir lime to fermented crab (which didn’t look too appetizing)! After collecting our ingredients we made our way back to the kitchen.
At the Market!
There was no waiting around and we got stuck in straight away. The menu consisted of a whopping 6 courses, and all the dishes on the menu were typically what you would find in any thai restaurant or market stall. There were 3 dishes to choose from for each course and you got to customize your own menu. This meant that even though you weren’t cooking a particular dish, you still got to see and hear how it was prepared. I tried to be a little adventurous, but made sure a red curry was in there somewhere!
At our Traditional Thai Cooking Class here’s the menu we chose:
1st Course: Drunken Noodles
2nd Course: Chicken in coconut milk soup
3rd Course: Papaya Salad
4th Course: Stir fried prawns in Tamarind sauce
5th Course: Red Curry with bamboo shoot
6th Course: Black Sticky rice pudding
Soup,Salad & Stir-fry
We began by making the Drunken Noodles, being Irish I was obviously drawn to this dish! I asked Apple the meaning behind the name of this dish and she explained that Thai people tend to eat these noodles when hungover as the spice helps to relieve their hangovers! Top Tip! After cooking this dish, there was no time to eat our masterpieces as we were straight back into the kitchen preparing the second dish. Apple was great at going through all the ingredients and even quizzing us on what we saw at the market! After making the 2nd course we were able to tuck in… drunken noodles and Chicken in coconut milk soup for breakfast! I was quite surprised at how authentic it tasted. I was on a role!
Janine decided to attempt the 3rd course. We had actually ordered a Papaya Salad on our first night in Chiangmai and couldn’t finish it, it was that spicy, so we decided to give it a second chance but hold back on adding the chillies. Mixing the papaya and the carrot in the pestle and mortar looked like more of a workout! When the dish was done we tucked in and luckily were able to finish this one as the spice was just right. This was one of the great things about the course, you prepare the dish depending on your own palate or preference.
After the 3rd course, Apple informed us that there would be a 1 hour break. This was perfect, siesta time! We decided to take a walk, grab a quick coffee, let our food digest and get geared up for round 2!
Basil Cookery School is located in Nimmanhemin which is a great area to explore. I would recommend exploring and getting lost in the back lanes for 1 hour. Otherwise you can relax at the school and avail of the free tea/coffee and wifi.
After our lunch break we kicked off with stir fried prawns in a tamarind sauce. Tamarind sauce is best described as sweet and sour, this was one of Janine’s favorite dishes, but I was saving myself for the red curry!
Red Curry for Life!
If I had to choose only one dish to eat for the rest of my life, it would be a vegetable thai red curry, so I was very excited at this point! We made the red curry paste from scratch. This involved a lot of pounding and working hard for what felt like a long time but it would all be worth it! Next up was making the coconut milk from scratch, how fresh can you get! This was definitely the highlight of the day for me! Then we got to taste our efforts and it was delicious! The curries were served with sticky rice, which is more common in Chaingmai than just regular thai jasmine rice. It’s cooked a lot longer and has a sticky like texture and this type of rice is only found in Southeast and East Asia.
Of course after all that food, there was always going to be room for dessert! This was the wild card of the menu as I had generally tried all the other dishes before but decided to be a little adventurous, the black sticky rice pudding definitely did not disappoint! The textures and flavors of it were delicious, especially the fried coconut flakes on top!
Throughout all the courses, we got to sample everyone else’s food that they had prepared, so in actual fact, we must have tried around 10 different thai dishes, and it wasn’t even 12pm yet! No complaints here!
The whole day made me realize how much I miss cooking, as I don’t get to do it when travelling and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Apple was a fantastic fun and witty host who was very insightful and took the time to sit down with us after. It was great hearing her stories of how Thailand has changed and developed these days compared with how it was when she was younger.
If you happen to find yourself in Chiangmai Thailand, Basil Cookery School is a fantastic, authentic experience that will equip you with the necessary skills to show off to your friends and family when you return home! Try out their traditional thai cooking class for yourself. You even get your own thai food cook book to take away! Check out their website here!
Basil Cookery School is located in Nimmanhemin. They offer a pick up service if you book online or call when making a booking.
Location: 22/4 Soi 5 Siri Mangkalajarn Rd. T.Suthep
A.Muang, Chiang Mai, 50200
Tel:+668 3320 7693
Have you ever tried a Traditional Thai Cooking Class before? Get chatting below!
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