Our first thought when going to Thailand was that we needed to know more about their cuisine and ingredients so a cooking course was one of our objectives.
We were looking for a full day cooking course but outdoors, we didn't want to spend all day in a classroom. We found the Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai, is a farm 14km far from Chiang Mai city center that offers full day courses.
This was our cooking course day
At 8:30 the farm van came to pick us up at our B&B in Chiang Mai and we went to the market to buy the necessary ingredients to start the course. Very nice market, full of fruits, fish, meat and all ingredients to cook such as sauces, curry paste, coconut milk etc...
Our teacher explained us some basics in the thai cuisine:
-Curry paste, it is a mixed of spices that makes a paste and depending on the spices it turns out to be red, yellow or green curry.
-Coconut: they use coconut milk or coconut oil depending on the recipe.
-Rice: thai rice is jasmine rice the one they use for curries or side dishes, they also use glutinous rice, more for desserts and also for babies.
-Sauces: they use fish sauce, oyster sauce and mushroom sauce mainly in their dishes.
-Sugar: they use brown sugar and palm sugar as well.
The farm and ingredients
The farm was lovely, they showed us around and explained the fresh ingredients we were going to use grown in the same farm house.
I have seen lemon grass, different kinds of basil, cashew nuts, papayas and mangos, all kinds of herbs and also chilis. We learnt in our group that you cannot underestimate the power of the chili. A lady in my group decided to taste one from the garden and instead of have a little bite she ate the whole thing...She started crying and getting red in no time, poor her. But we learnt that you get over that with either salt in your tongue or lemon/lime juice. Good to know if this happens!!
Our course included a full day course from 8:30h until 17:00h. We could choose what dishes we wanted to make. There was a curry paste of your choice, soup, meat or fish, a noodle dish and a dessert. There was papaya salad for everyone, water and fresh lemongrass tea.
The course was lovely, we did the course inside the farm, a wooden room, each of us had their own station to cook. We were given the ingredients peeled and chosen taking into account the dishes each of us wanted to prepare, we had to chop them and start cooking following the teacher instructions.
It was very funny the course, our teacher was laugh, such a nice lady and our group was very nice as well so we had a great time. I liked the farm, it gave us a feeling of being free while cooking, I could not have done a full course indoors, I am glad we chose this experience.
The cooking station was great and so were the kitchen supplies. They had one lady that cleaned up the pans and tool we used, which was good.
We started with our curry paste and soup. We finished it up and ate the soup and then continue with some more dishes and had lunch afterwards.
After lunch we had some time to go around the farm and relax and after that we cooked the last dishes and dessert. There was plenty of food so we took some to our B&B and had our home made dinner.
I totally recommended, great experience and the best thing as that when you finish up they give you a recipe book with all dishes you have done. I already tried some of the dishes already at home, so I can tell you the recipe book is definitely a plus.
See my home made mango with sticky rice, I also tried at home the pad thai, soon on the blog.
Enjoy Thai Food!! If you know any recipes please let us know, I love Thai food don't you?