Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 2 - Chiang Mai & Temples
Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 4 - Chiang Rai, White Temple & Golden Triangle

Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 3 - Chiang Mai & Thai Farm Cooking School

See Part 1, Part 2.

I had wanted to learn to cook Thai food. I had found the Thai Farm Cooking School on TripAdvisor.

I made this booking prior to leaving for Thailand. I booked direct with the school. I found the cooking school to be very responsive. I paid in advance through Paypal. We were collected from our hotel lobby promptly. We were then taken to the Ruamchok Market where our teacher, Wass showed us different types of rice, explained about coconut milk, and talked about how to use about the different sauces that are the foundations of Thai cooking - fish, oyster, and soy sauce. We then had a little bit of time to browse and take in the colorful sights of a food market. I was very impressed at how fresh everything looked.  I saw the biggest carrots I have ever seen!


Here is Wass showing us the different types of rice. She explained about short vs long rice, and explained about sticky rice (which is used in Thai desserts.)


And here Wass explains that we are going to be taught to make our own curry paste from scratch. (In this photo she is showing us pre made green, yellow and red curry pastes.)


 I found the markets in Thailand fascinating. This market is a food market. It was truly incredible to see the variety of ( to my eyes) the most exotic foods...


After a little bit, we went back to our van, and headed off to the farm. When we arrived, we had some tasty tea. We were each given a bright red apron, and a blue dish cloth. Then the cooking lesson began. First off, we were shown the different ways to prepare rice. Firstly, you must wash the rice. For jasmine rice, the rice was cooked in a rice cooker. For sticky rice, the rice must be soaked for 4 hours, or overnight. For rinsing do not use your hands. Rather, instead rinse using a bamboo basket. Sticky rice is steamed.

Then we were shown the garden and the different plants and herbs that are used in Thai cooking. We were encouraged to try, experiment and taste; to not be too afraid to try things. I loved our teacher, Wass. She had such a positive, fun approach to teaching.


Next we went back to our class room. We had to prepare our curry pastes. We had a choice of either green, yellow or red curry. I had chosen green curry, and Kevin red.

We were given our ingredients and shown how to chop them up. Next we had to pound the ingredients using a mortar and pestle into a paste.

Here are ingredients used for the curry pastes..


Here Wass demonstrates how to chop them up...


It felt very satisfying pounding the ingredients into a paste.

Next we had to make the soup. We each had our own cooking stations. 


I made the most tasty coconut soup. 


I can't wait to try this at home.

Here's Kevin working at his cooking station... (he's taking a photo!)


Here Wass is demonstrating how to make spring rolls.


And here is Kevin's finished spring rolls...


By this time we had already eaten our soup, and our spring rolls. I was starting to feel full.

Next, we had to make our curry, and we made our cashew stir fry.

This is a photo of my green curry.


It was delicious. But by now I was so full, I am afraid I did not do it justice!

We had a bit of a break to wander around the farm. One of our classmates was a keen birder - much better than me. He spotted green bee eaters, and olive backed sun birds.

Then we finished up with making dessert - mango and sticky rice.

I had fun being a little creative.


I couldn't believe I had space to eat another bite.

Then it was time to get in our vans, and head back into town, and to our hotels.

What an amazing day. Highly, highly recommend this. Thank you Wass! And thank you Thai Farm Cooking School!