I have been to Thailand more than 7 times to date. One of the main reason why I love visiting Thailand is for their food. Okay, probably cause Thailand is just two hours away from Penang, Malaysia. If you have been to Thailand, you would have come across some of the local food like the green curry, tom yum, som tum, pad thai, and coconut ice cream. They are flavorful, known for being sour and spicy. Not for everyone I would say. You will either love Thai food a lot or you would probably find it okay.
So during my last trip down to Thailand, I make it a must do thing to attend one session of Thai cooking class. There is no end goal in mind, just something new I want to explore on.
I was in Chiang Mai and things aren’t that expensive in comparison to places like Bangkok which is the perfect time to join a class. So, I found this cooking class by Asia Scenic which is pretty known I would say. They have ongoing classes and groups consecutively.
Pickup from your hostel
The cool part about Asia Scenic being established is most hostel knows about them. I enrolled in the class through the hostel reception I am staying at. I suppose you can do it yourself as they all speak English pretty well. Probably a better idea as going through an intermediary will result in agent fees. The half day course cost me 800 baht (RM80 or USD23).
All you need to do is inform them when you wish to join the class and they will pick you up from your hostel. Awesome service I would say.
Picking our dish and grocery shopping
There are a total of 7 of us in the batch I am in, a pretty decent number of people which I love. Not too big nor too small. Sexy A (teacher’s nickname), which is our teacher from Asia Scenic invited us to pick the dish we wish to learn. I chose to learn how to cook Pad Thai, Khao Soi (famous dish in Chiang Mai), spring roll as well as mango sticky rice.
Once we have selected the dish, Sexy A brought us to a local market to buy some ingredients needed for our cooking. It was more of sharing what you need and where to buy so we are able to actually cook when we are back home. Most of the ingredients have already been bought and stored in the cooking center.
Cooking the dish
We started out with the simplest which is a dish everyone chose, ‘pad thai’. To be honet, the dish is easy to cook but this is not something I would cook at home. I always find cooking a waste of time. Like we spend 20 to 30 minutes cooking a dish which will be consumed within 5 to 10 minutes.
The second dish we cook is the spring roll which is pretty easy to make. Basically just rolling the ingredient into a wrap then deep fry it. For the mango sticky rice, we did not exactly cook it but Sexy A just briefly show us how we can actually made it ourselves. You need some sort of steamer (not sure what is it called) to make the sticky rice. Other that that, it is pretty simple. We did however learn how to make the syrup in which we usually pour on the mango sticky rice.
The last and the dish I look forward to is Khao Soi. This is a popular dish over in Chiang Mai which is why I chose this. We learn to make the curry paste from scratch before proceeding with the cooking process. Hmm, pretty impressed with my own cooking.
Once we are done cooking, we sat down to mingle around while enjoying our meal.
Overall, it is an amazing experience I did not regret making. Though, I do not think I will actually cook what I learn at home, it is rather interesting to learn something new. The one thing I like about Asia Scenic is they actually gave each and everyone of us their recipe book. Cause obviously nobody remembers what are ingredients used during the session.
Here’s why I think this is worth going:
- The course included transportation from your hostel and back to your hostel which saves all the hassle of getting your way there.
- It comes free a recipe book.
- The place is well established with proper facility and teacher.
- You get to learn Thai Cooking.
- From the amount you pay, you can actually treat is as paying for your 5 course meal.
- The staffs are friendly and accommodating.
There is many other cooking course in Chiang Mai. I have researched and the price and most of it varies plus minus 100 baht from the one offered by Asia Scenic. The best way to find out more is through the local tour operators or check with your hostel. But I would recommend dealing directly with the course provider to avoid paying for the commission fees.
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