After finishing my volunteer week at the Elephant Nature Park, I had a couple of extra days in Chiang Mai before heading to Indonesia. I booked a full day Thai cooking class at Baan Thai Cookery School and spent some more time discovering new corners of city, including some lovely quiet walkways, new food stalls, sipped on fresh fruit smoohies and ended with $4 Thai massage.
For 900 Baht, which is about $30, students make 5 separate dishes including an appetizer, soup, curry, noodle or rice dish and dessert and recieve a cookbook with all the yummy recipes! Under each category, students have the option of choosing from 3 different dishes. The class is very hands on and sizes are kept small at a maximum of 9 people. The day begins with a fun market tour where your instructor shows and explains all the different ingredients commonly used in Thai cuisine. The walk to the market is quite nice, it only takes about 5-10 minutes, but you have the chance to walk down some quiet alleyways. The market also has a couple of tasty fresh fruit smoothie stands (large smoothies are only about 20 Baht or $0.80 and are sooo refreshing!).
During the class, with instruction, students make a couple dishes entirely on their own and the others are a group effort, having you chop up ingredients like fresh lemon grass, make a homemade curry paste and knead fresh cocunut shavings to produce coconut cream.
The class is a lot of fun and the best part is, you get to eat everything you make! They are all full portions and most of us passed around our dishes so we can all get a taste of whatever you didn’t make. The coconut chicken soup, Khao Soi and mango sticky rice were my favourites! I think the Khao Soi was the best that I had while I stayed in Chiang Mai (but to be fair, I only tried it at 2 different places).
The class is conveniently located within the old city and offers a free hotel pick up and drop off if you’re within a certain radius. Make sure to only have a snack or a VERY small breakfast. You will eat soo much food once you’re there..trust me!