Chiang Mai Cooking Class at Asia Scenic
Cooking is one of my wife’s passions in life. She was taught to cook Filipino dishes by her mother when she was still in High School. Unfortunately, she didn’t pursue a degree or career that involves cooking but she continued learning, experimenting and enhancing different kinds of dishes and cuisine.
In our first trip to Thailand together, we both fell in love with Thai dishes. Being the food lovers that we are, we bookmarked Thailand as one of the countries to go for a repeat trip. Not only that we planned to do some major food tripping, but we planned to do some Thai cooking lessons as well! We heard the schools in Chiang Mai offers the best cooking lessons in Thailand so we didn’t hesitate to visit and learn there.
The cooking class is one of the highlights of our Thailand trip, heck, even in our whole South East Asia backpacking trip. Since we are on a budget and I preferred to eat than cook, I booked a class only for my wife and me as her companion. In this post, I will detail our experience with Asia Scenic Thai Cooking school in Chiang Mai.
Before continuing, please note that we didn’t include recipes here. It’s up to you to experience the class yourself. 🙂
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I booked a class for my wife and me as her companion. It cost us 1000 THB for student and 200 THB for the companion. My wife gets to learn, cook and eat the dishes she prepared while I ate the ones prepared by the instructor, plus my wife’s lol.
First, we went to the public market for a nice introduction of Thai ingredients. We wore a native hat to protect us from the sun and for a more authentic feeling to it. There they clearly explained each ingredient like what dish it is usually used and how to store it properly. Afterwards, they gave us a lil bit of free time to buy some goods.
We then went back to Asia Scenic’s HQ and visited their cute farm within the vicinity. They grow organic herbs and vegetables and explained their use in cooking Thai dishes.
After all those theories and introductions, it’s time to wear the apron and get cooking! We were instructed to choose our desired dish to cook from their menu.
Wifey chose Pad Thai, Chicken spicy salad, Tom Yum, Sticky rice with mango, Red curry paste, Red curry and spring rolls. I chose to eat it all.
But first, we were each given a plate of Miang Kham. A traditional welcome snack in Thailand that consists of shallots, chilli peppers, ginger, garlic, lime, roasted peanuts and palm sugar syrup. Put all the ingredients in the lettuce, wrap it, say cheers and eat it in one bite. Seriously, we said cheers.
They then proceeded with their first choice of dish with almost all of them choosing a foreign favourite, Pad Thai. Our lovely instructor (which I forgot her name) clearly explained the procedures and techniques always with a smile and jokes to keep the class lively. She also said that Thais prefer rice dishes than Pad Thai which is very popular to foreigners like us. I ate the instructor’s Pad Thai but also tasted some spoonfuls from my wife’s dish. The verdict? Not being biased at all, but I like my wife’s version. 😛
Next, they prepared the spring rolls and salad of choice. The spicy chicken salad is just average to our taste. Good but not great, but still nice to know how to cook it. It’s a healthy dish though with lots of fresh green herbs thrown in there.
Their spring rolls are similar to Vietnam’s spring rolls. You must carefully wrap it to avoid tearing the wrapper. One of the students there is vegetarian and allergic to gluten so she didn’t want to eat anything with oyster sauce. Well, guess who ate her rolls? None other than me.
Related: Top 10 Foods to eat in Vietnam
After eating some rolls, we took a little break before continuing to the next dish.
Next, we made curry paste from scratch! There are 5 curry pastes to choose from but wifey chose the most common one, the red curry. The red curry is already spicy but teacher said that the green one is spicier.
This one requires extra effort since you have to pound chillies (and other ingredients) using a mortar and pestle to make sure the texture is fine. I got to participate in this activity by helping my wife and her teammate on the “pounding”. It’s a nice arm workout after all.
500 reps after, the curry paste is now ready for use. They put coconut milk along with other ingredients into the bowl with the paste and tadah! You now have a Curry dish.
Next they prepared the sticky mango rice. They use a special kind of steamer for cooking the rice. Our instructor said that you must use only this steamer to perfectly cook it.
I love it that they use a blue flower to dye the rice and make it look more artsy and beautiful. Too beautiful to eat? Nahh… I’m hungry, give me some.
Last but not least, Tom Yum! Wifey’s quite surprised that it’s not that difficult to cook Tom Yum. Our instructor clearly explained the steps and made it look very simple for them to cook this amazing dish. I swear, my mouth was watering when they were cooking it. I can smell the freshness and goodness of the five basic flavours of Thai dishes from where I was seated. I really liked how Thais balances the five flavours in their dish and Tom Yum is one of the best examples.
Bloated and happy stomachs after, it’s time to bid goodbye to our instructor and fellow students in this amazing cooking experience in Chiang Mai. Besides the knowledge and skills we learned, it’s the joy and fun we shared with the people in the class is what we’ll treasure the most. It’s great to meet people with the same passion in food, cooking and travel. For 1000 baht, the class is truly worth it.
How to Book
To book a class, contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or book it here in Klook.
You can also check their website at: www.asiascenic.com