When in Chiang Mai, one of the best things that you could do is to book a cooking class and learn how to cook a few dishes from Northern Thailand. With this in mind, during the recent visit of my parents, I decided to book us a slot with Aroy Aroy Cooking School, a newly opened place which was slowly growing in reputation among the many cooking schools in Chiang Mai. We arrived in the school, impressed by the facilities around us. The custom built kitchen, the clean and professional looking staff, along with the beautiful ambiance around us. We came there eager to get our day started.
Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School
For those of you that don’t know, Aroy is the Thai word for delicious and I think the name was quite apt! We decided to go with Aroy Aroy Coking School because apart from its stellar reviews, it was also the only cooking class that included a boat ride down the Ping River as part of the culinary experience. We were to float down the Ping River on a boat, take a tour of the local market to buy our produce and check out the variety of Thailand’s fruits and vegetables before heading back to the school to cook. To me, it sounded pretty perfect!
After spending some time wandering around Chiang Mai’s Nimmanhemin area, we headed to Aroy Aroy to begin our class. As soon as we arrived, we could see that their kitchen was large, airy, and very clean. They had stainless steel cooking stations, individual burners, and woks, as well as a spic and span area in the middle where could eat our food. It was an open air kitchen with lots of ventilation which we loved!
We began our day by meeting the owner himself, Roy who kindly welcomed us into his place. He introduced his team to us and shortly after, we found ourselves on a boat with two of the Chefs headed for the market.
Our Walk Through the Market
Chef A filled our morning with interesting historical facts about Chiang Mai, Thailand and its neighboring countries. He was a fun and lively character who thoroughly kept us entertained. The river was peaceful and pleasant, making it one of the most memorable ways I’ve reached a market.
My parents enjoyed walking around the market seeing the fresh produce along with some odd bits and bobs that you would only most definitely find in Thailand! Fried silkworms anyone?
Throughout the walk, Chef A would stop in various stalls, explain what they are selling, and entertain our questions. I personally love going to markets and groceries when I go to other countries. I like seeing what unique ingredients a place has and generally just wandering around. I think my parents and the other couple from New Zealand felt the same as we were all amazed by the variety of things around us. We wandered around letting our curiosity get the best of us as we weaved our way through this local market. Soon, we hopped back on our boat and headed back to begin our cooking classes.
The Cooking Stations
As mentioned, we had a custom build kitchen where we could each make our dishes. Chef A initially talked about the ingredients, demonstrated how to cook it, then after tasting his, off we went to our cooking stations. My hats go off to the wonderful staff of Aroy Aroy as every time we returned to our stations, everything was already chopped up and ready to use! The stations were well organized and had everything from the seasoning, wipes, and all the ingredients.
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The Thai Dishes we Made- Aroy!
In total, we made 5 different dishes, each dish varying in flavor and texture. As soon as I saw the menu, I was glad that we were learning how to cook Khao Soi. Khao Soi is one of my favorite Northern Thai dishes and my attempt to bring my parent’s to a good Khao Soi restaurant failed as the restaurant was closed. After all, I couldn’t possibly let them leave Chiang Mai without trying this dish! For those of you who haven’t tried it, Khao Soi is a smooth, silky and light coconut curry noodle dish which is absolutely delicious.
During the course of the morning we learned how to make, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Pad Thai, Khao Soi, Chicken Stir-Fry with Cashew, and lastly the ever so delicious mango sticky rice. The food was glorious and we were stuffed to the brim! The great thing about this is that we were free to customize our dish as much as possible.
We could customize the spice level and how salty we would like our dishes to turn out. Naturally, my favorite part was eating what we made. The staff even offered us a complimentary beer to go with our meal. All of the dishes were delicious and the fact that we made them from scratch made them taste even better.
Read: What to Eat in Thailand
Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking Class offers three different menus which then alternate, depending on what day it is. The dishes are listed as follows:
Course 1 Siam Delights: Thai spring rolls, Pad Thai, Pineapple Fried rice, Thai Green Curry with Chicken, and Mango and Sticky Rice.
Course 2 Chiang Mai favorites: Aroy Aroy Chicken Lettuce wraps, Khao Soi, Pad Thai, Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews, and Mango Coconut Sticky Rice.
Course 3 Chef’s Favorite Dishes: Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad), Khao Soi, Pad Thai, Stir Fry Chicken with Cashew Nuts and Jasmine Rice, and lastly Mango and Sticky Rice.
Cooking Class Details
Thai Address for Taxi: ถ.เจริญประเทศ ต.ช้างคลาน อ.เมือง จ.เชียงใหม่ 50100 (ติด กับ ขั๋วเหล็ก)
Tour Length: 9:30am- 2:00pm
Cost: $59.00 with a maximum of 10 students. This includes your riverboat tour, a trip to the market, all the ingredients, lunch, as well as complimentary coffee, tea, water, and beer.
If you want to book this particular tour, we recommend doing so with Cookly to see the best price and option.
Overall Experience with Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School
Overall, we had a blast! This is definitely something that we recommend doing while in Chiang Mai. The staff were fantastic and were very well organized. The boat trip to the market made it seem like we were doing a tour rather than just a cooking class. We loved the fact that he was teaching us more of the technique on how to make the dishes rather than how to follow a recipe. Chef A gave us lots of great tips which we could apply to general Thai cooking.
I had previously done a cooking class in Vietnam and had to spend a lot of my time writing recipes down. Here, we could access their recipes on their website which I thought was a great touch. After the class, Roy, the owner takes the time to email you photos taken from the class, accompanied with a short thank you note. I thought that was fantastic of them!
It is a shame that they have closed down however, there is no shortage of other amazing cooking schools in Chiang Mai. In fact, click here to read our review of our lessons in Galangal Studios.
Exploring Northern Thailand? Here are some guides for you
- Riding the Mae Hon Son Loop Review
- Your Travel Guide to Falling in Love with Pai
- 10 Awesome Things to do in Chiang Mai