Mitch and I spent a day at Thai Farm Cooking School just outside of Chiang Mai city, and we had so much fun! They picked us up from our guest house, took us to a market where our instructor, Ning, quickly showed us some of the ingredients we would be using for the day, then we headed off to the school grounds.
After a cup of lemongrass tea (so good!), Ning gave us a tour of the organic gardens and talked to us about some of the main ingredients used in Thai cooking. We learned about bitter melon, Thai eggplant, kaffir limes, pandan leaves, galangal root, and different types of chili among other things. Ning was so animated and knowledgeable, so we were having a great time despite how hot it was that day!
Our menu for the day was pretty big, and for each course, we were able to pick one of two items to make. Mitch and I planned to make different meals each course, so we’d have experience with all of them. We started off pounding our own curry paste using a mortar and pestle (I made green, Mitch made red). Fun fact: the Thai onomatopoeia for a pounding sound is “pok pok pok!”
We also made either tom yum (Mitch) or coconut soup (me), stir fry chicken and cashew (me) or minced chicken and basil (Mitch), and pad thai (me) or spring rolls (Mitch), and for dessert mango with sticky rice (me) or bananas in coconut milk (Mitch). I have to say I actually liked all of my dishes best, even though they were all delicious!
We should have not eaten anything that morning because by the end of the day, I don’t think we could have eaten another bite! Luckily, they planned for us to take home our last dishes! It was such a fun experience, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the Chiang Mai area.