When Cameron and I started planning our trip to Thailand, one of the things I knew I really wanted to do was take a cooking class. We ended up waiting until our last day over there, but it was honestly one of our favorite parts of the whole trip! (And so that's why it's getting it's own post!)
We took our cooking class in Bangkok; we spent a day and half there in the beginning of our trip and then spent another day and a half there at the end of our trip, and we took the cooking class on our last day there before flying home. (Which is why we are more tan in these photos than these photos since we had just come from the beaches - I'll be sharing those photos soon!) Taking a cooking class is apparently a pretty popular activity for tourists and we saw them being advertised all over in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, so if it's something you're interested in there are plenty of choices!
We ended up choosing Silom Thai Cooking School because it was mentioned in Lonely Planet and had good reviews on Trip Advisor and we were extremely happy with it! It's located in the Silom Rd. area, which is where we were staying. They offer a morning, afternoon, and evening class, which are all around four hours each. We ended up taking the afternoon class, and it was perfect timing because all the food we made served as our (very delicious) lunch! You make six different things in class, and there is a set menu each day. (This is the menu for the class we went to)
Our class started with a brief trip to the market, and that was really interesting and informative. Our instuctor explained to us which ingredients are crucial for Thai cooking, as there are a lot of things that we don't use here in the US. Definitely a good foundation before diving into cooking!
Our instructor (whose name I can't remember, gahhh) was super nice and spoke very good English - here she is showing us some finger ginger, one of the many types of ginger used in Thai cuisine!
Thai chilis - they are little but they are hot!
Learning about the various types of basil used in Thai cooking
Walking back to the cooking school from the market...and yes, Cam did roll his pants into man-pris...ha! Also, the instructor kept calling him Mr. America LOL :)
Getting ready to make our own coconut milk!
Also, it may seem like I took a lot of pictures, but (as evidenced by this photo) there were other people in the class from places like Singapore and Korea who were literally taking pictures of everything. It was quite amusing slash made me not feel bad about doing it myself :)
Team America :)
Our outdoor cooking stations - we learned that most dishes in Thai cuisine cook very fast because it's super hot most of the year and people don't want to be stuck in the kitchen!
Getting ready to prep the ingredients for Tom Yum Goong...
The instructor said that 1 chili would make our soup "tourist" spicy and 5 chilis would make it Thai spicy...I went with two...Cam went with four...ha.
Cooking our soup!
Adding the coconut milk we made to the soup - yum!
Please note the girl behind me taking a photo - ha!
My finished Tom Yum Goong, or Spicy Sour Shrimp Soup
Cam and I both loved this soup, it was so good!
Next, we prepped our ingredients to make this dish I was most excited about - pad thai!
Our instructor was really funny and she gave us a lot of good cooking tips, along with insights on life in Thailand. She said most Thai people don't actually know how to make pad thai because they always just buy it on the street because it's so cheap!
So proud of our finished dishes!
Not exaggerating, this was was probably the best thing we ate on the trip. Granted I love pad thai, but this was hands down the best version I've ever had...the fact I made it just made it that much better!
Getting ready to make fried fish cakes...
Our instructor making the sweet Thai chili sauce for the fish cakes
These were really tasty!
Prepping ingredients for our red curry with chicken...
I'm not a huge curry person, but this was pretty tasty!
Such a fun day!
Finally, we made mango with sticky rice for dessert. To me, fruit and rice doesn't exactly constitute a "dessert" however, this stuff was incredibly good!
Overall, the cooking class was a lot of fun! We got to know more about Thai food and cooking, which I think is a really large part of understanding a culture. The food we made was fresh and delicious, and definitely some of the best food we had the whole trip. We each got a cookbook to take home with instructions for the dishes we made during our class, along with recipes for some other classic Thai dishes that look awesome. And best of all, this cooking class was only 1000 baht (about $30) so I thought it was a really good deal for such a great experience!
I'd highly recommend taking a cooking class if you're visiting Thailand, and if you're in Bankok, I would recommend Silom Thai Cooking School!