Monday, November 18, 2013

Thai Cooking Class

We love to cook, and we love thai food. So we wanted to learn how to cook thai food. All the guide books said to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai, so that's what we did today. That and laundry. But you don't care about laundry. So let's cook!

We did a half day class through Asia Scenic. They picked us up from our hotel around 4pm in a songthaew they had hired. We picked up a few other couples and made our way into town to the school. They're located about a block in and a block up from Tha Phae Gate, so in a nice location that's really easy to get to.

We met our guide/chef named Proud and after figuring out what we wanted to make tonight (which we'll get into in a second), she led us over to an open market to show us various Thai ingredients. She explained the differences in rice and pointed out various herbs and spices used in different dishes.

When we came back to the cooking school, they showed us around their backyard garden and we got to smell and taste various herbs. We really liked the smell of the lemon basil. You should go find some and smell it. It's smells exactly like you'd want it to: lemons and basil. Mmmm.

When we came back inside, we were treated to an appetizer (we didn't make this one) called miang kham (เมี่ยงคำ). They had put out lettuce, peanuts, toasted coconut meat and some sort of sweet sauce that was delicious. You put it all together like this and nom, nom, nom.

That sauce was ridiculously good. So I ate as much as there was lettuce. And then on to the cooking.

The way they work it is we have a group of 8 people (9 if you include the husband that was just hanging out taking pictures). Everyone makes curry paste and a curry dish, and then you have to choose (as a group) two other categories between appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts. Of course everyone wanted to learn entrees, so it was the fourth category that we had to decide. Thai desserts aren't good, so no takers there. And honestly I think the soups are pretty bad too, although that's debatable. Isa and I really wanted to make spring rolls (appetizers), but one pair of friends hijacked the group and basically said the whole reason they came to Thailand was to learn how to make coconut milk soup (which is awful and if that's why they came to Thailand I feel sorry for them because Thailand has a lot better things to offer than that) so we conceded and agreed on entrees and soups.

Our stations were already set for us when we came back from the market.

Basically, we just had to put it all together in the right order. Proud started us off by showing us how to make pad thai.

Then we started on our dishes. I made pad thai, Isa made pad see ew, and the other couples made whatever dish they chose from the entrees (there were 5 or 6 different choices).

Oh my gosh my pad thai was soo good!
Once our entrees were done, we moved over to the table with all the knives and spices.

Depending on which curry we had chosen, there was a different plate of ingredients to make the paste. I chose panang curry (it's a non-spicy peanut curry because I'm a pansy and can't eat spicy food), Isa chose massaman curry (has a little more kick, but not much).

Isa, about to chop her garlic

Brian, mashing red curry paste

Once our pastes were finished, we went back to our stations to make the rest of the dish. Again, masterpieces.

Isa's Massaman Curry

Panang Curry - I put extra peanuts in the paste and it was sooo good!
Last things last, on to the soups. I was content with the curry and the pad thai, so I could have stopped there, but we made our coconut milk soup.

Finally, we got to feast on it all. And it was all delicious. Except for the soups.

And then they gave us a cookbook for all the dishes - including the spring rolls we didn't get to make. Yay! So we'll just have to make them at home.

Overall, it was a great class and a wonderfully fun and informative evening. After taking pictures, saying goodbyes, and waiting out the torrential downpour outside, we jumped in the minibus they had waiting to take us back to the hotel.

Thank you Proud and Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School for a great evening full of fun and food!

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1 comment:

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