Learning to cook - Thai style!
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 390 of 424 › view all entries
Photos to follow very soon!!!!
We arrived in Chaing Mai, 8 years after first coming here. Stayed in the old centre like most people, just a few doors down from the Baan Thai cooking school. We enrolled on a day course and paid over our 900 baht each thinking this is a lot of money, hope its worth it. Well it was!!
We arrived at 930am and sat around a table to meet the rest of our group. We had the option of going to the market or learning to cut vegetables (!) so we opted for the latter. With our aprons and rather snazzy pink headscarves on, we attempted to slice and chop some vegetables into little patterns. It was so difficult! This was a task for someone with patience, of which I have none. We made tomatoes into roses, a slice of cucumber into a leaf and a carrot into a star.
When the others returned fromt he market, we snacked on some Thai treats and fruits they had bought and then it was time to cook our first dish. I cooked Pad Thai and Simon cooked stirfry chicken with cashew nuts. We had a work station and listened to the teacher explain the ingredients. We then each prepared our ingredients, chopping and crushing garlic, cubing tofu and so on. We then went outside to the cooking area and each had our own wok. We watched the teacher cook her pad thai from scratch and then all followed with our own creation, trying to remember in which order everything went in and how much oyster sauce to put in. The teachers are brilliant and are on-hand to help and remind you of the cooking techniques.
Next came spring rolls (Simon) and Thai fish cakes (me). Again, we followed the teacher in preparing the ingredients and getting the mixtures ready then it was to the woks for cooking. The fish cakes were a little weird as I didn't flatten them in time so the oil bloated them out to look like burgers! Simon's spring rolls were gorgeous though. We very wisely enjoyed a few of each and then kept the rest for later in the 'doggy bags' provided. '
Our third course was the soup; Simon cooked hot and sour soup and I tried the seafood in coconut milk.
We then prepared the desserts to enjoy later on. This was a bit of a class effort of watch and listen for the mango with sticky rice, as the rice had to be pre-prepared as it takes so long. Simon made water chestnuts in coconut milk though.
After a break, we then went on to make the main course of curry! I made a penang while Simon opted for the green Thai curry. We made the curry pastes from scratch, which was a rather tricky and fiddly process of cutting and chopping the ingredients into tiny tiny bits that we then took in turns to mash in a proper pestle and mortar. It was hard work! With the chillis chopped so much that they went to mush added to the pestle and mortar mix, we created the curry pastes and base for our curries.
The course was so good, and the day flew by as we enjoyed it so much! We left at about 4pm feeling incredibly full and ready for a nap!! Very much recommended for anyone heading to Chaing Mai.