One of the highlights from our trip to Chiang Mai was a Thai cooking class we decided to take at the last minute at Thai Secret Cooking School. It was a fabulous day spent outside of the city, and great alternative thing to do in Chiang Mai. We learned a lot of skills we can use to cook Thai food at home.
Our first stop after being picked up at our hotel was a market to grab our ingredients. Our instructor, May, was very informative and explained anything we had questions about.
The open air style market was a far cry from the western supermarket filled with prepackaged and barcoded items.
There was such a vast variety of food, from fruits and veggies…
…to giant bowls filled with fish…
…to a huge variety of rice!
The cooking class took place in the instructor’s home, in a beautiful outdoor setting.
We picked some of our ingredients straight from May’s beautiful garden. As a gardener myself, I loved this part! I will be ordering seeds to grow some of these at home – it’s not exactly easy to find Thai ingredients in Kentucky. We picked basil, chili peppers and apple eggplant.
For our first course we made pad thai.
I’m a pretty good cook, but I still can’t believe I made pad thai that looked, much less tasted, that good.
For our second course, we made green papaya salad (som tum).
And coconut soup (tom kha gai), on the right.
We also made a panang curry from scratch. It was spicy and amazing! I was enjoying the class so much I forgot to snap a photo of it.
For our final course, even though we were sufficiently stuffed, we had dessert. I chose mango sticky rice and didn’t take a picture of it since I had eaten it about a 1000 times at this point. May made fried bananas for everyone to try. Delish!
After we stuffed ourselves silly, we went on a walk through their property. They grow their own rice!
It was a deliciously fantastic day. We learned a lot, got fantastic food and the company was pretty stellar! We met people from Thailand, Germany, China and England. D says it was his second favorite thing we did in Thailand (next to diving, which I will have to post about soon). I highly recommend taking a class with May at Thai Secret Cooking School. It was fantastic and well worth the day!
Accommodations in Chiang Mai:
- Early Bird Guesthouse – fantastic location inside the old town, literally just off the main road from the Sunday Night Market. Loads of nice cafes and restaurants around, and the price is reasonable too. The breakfasts were huge and very good, and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.
- 3 Sis Vacation Lodge – Just up the side street from Early Bird, and on the main road. Basically same great location, but the rooms are larger (and the price inches up because of that).
- VC@SUANPAAK Hotel & Serviced Apartment – quiet and outside of the city, great for guests who want privacy and relaxation. It offers up to 2 bedroom apartments, so it’s great for families!
- Green Tiger Vegatarian House – The rooftop terrace has me drooling (you all know I’m a total sucker for them!), plus it’s easy on the wallet, having dorm style and single rooms.
- The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai – this place oozes luxury, and doesn’t even look like a hotel from the outside. It’s stunning, but it will cost you a pretty penny. Worth it? Maybe…
Looking for everything else we did in Thailand? Check out our Thailand Roundup!