After almost spending one year bouncing in and out of Chiang Mai, it was now time to leave. As I racked my brain which was partly in panic as to how we should spend our last few days in the city, it occurred to me that out of everything, the food in Chiang Mai is what I would miss the most.
My solution? To look for cooking classes, of course!
What better way to leave Asia than by taking some of our favorite recipes with us. Although most of Thailand is known for its incredible cuisine, the food in Northern Thailand is truly something else. In fact, attending a cooking in Chiang Mai is one of the most popular things to do here.
Cooking Classes With Cookly
We decided to check out Cookly, an awesome company which allows you to search for cooking culinary experiences all over the world. Simply put, it’s like Airbnb, but for foodies: you pick a location then book a culinary experience. Similar to most booking websites, it has all the information needed to book a tour, including reviews, prices, and more, allowing you to compare multiple schools just by using one website.
Being a massive foodie myself, I love the concept as I am a big believer that one of the best ways to truly experience and get to know a country is through its food. As a frequent traveler, I also have no room for souvenirs so being able to cook my favorite dishes from the countries I love the most is probably as good as it gets.
Chiang Mai Cooking School Market Tour
We started our tour with a quick trip to the market where our guide and chef for the day showed us around. She walked us through the market, showing us all the local Thai produce. The smell of the fresh herbs was fantastic and was a great reminder of how healthy and good homemade food is.
Coming from the Philippines, I was fairly familiar with the local produce as these were items that we would use at home, however, it was interesting to see other people’s reactions to Thai coriander, local yellow ginger, kafir lime and other ingredients that can only be found in this region.
Galangal Cooking Studio
We were lucky enough to learn from Aoy, the owner of the cooking studio herself. The cooking studio was very large and was home to three separate cooking and dining areas. There were two other groups in the studio with us but we hardly saw the other people, making it a small intimate group setting.
Prior to the tour, we were asked to select four dishes that we would like to learn how to cook. We were given the ingredients for each dish and were given instructions on how to make them. We had our respective chopping and prep stations and each had a cooking station as well.
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Our Thai Cooking School Menu:
I personally selected Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong (which is a delicious hot and sour soup), Spring Rolls, and a Massaman Curry. Tom, on the other hand, learned how to make a chicken stirfry with cashew, seafood coconut soup, som tum (green papaya salad), and a Penang curry.
Although everyone in our group was cooking something different, our instructor Aoy handled it very well! Everything was very organized and was highly enjoyable. Admittedly, the one downside (or the best thing) about the entire cooking class was that there was just too much food! We left the studio stuffed to the brim as after all, we got the chance to devour every dish that we made.
Having previously done a cooking class in Thailand before, what made this one stand out was the curry paste making lesson that we had. From scratch, Aoy taught us how to make red curry, massaman curry, and green curry paste using the ingredients that we found in the market.
This for me was a fantastic experience and something I will attempt to try recreating myself once I have the sudden urge to have a Thai curry. Although it was time-consuming, the flavors that we got were out of this world and were pretty delicious!
Related: Things to Eat in Thailand
Galangal Cooking Studio Menu Selection:
When selecting what to make, there were four courses, a stirfry, a soup dish, a curry, an appetizer, and a Thai dessert. Here are the options that you can choose from:
- Pad Thai (Fried Noodles Thai Style)
- Pad See Ew (Stir fried Chicken with fresh Noodles)
- Kai Pad Med Ma – Muang Him Ma Pan (Chicken Cashew Nut)
- Pad Ka – Paw Kai (Minced Chicken with Holy Basil)
- Tom Yum Gung (Hot and Sour Prawn)
- Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Milk)
- Tom Kha Ta-le (Seafood in Coconut Milk)
- Tom Zap Kai (Hot and Sour with Chicken)
- Som Tom (Papaya Salad)
- Po Pa Tod (Sping roll)
- Lab Kai (Chicken salad)
- Yam Wun Sen (Glass Noodle Salad)
- Kaeng Massaman (Massaman Curry)
- Kaeng Khiaw Hwan Kai (Green Curry)
- Kaeng Pha – Naeng Kai (Panang Curry)
- Khaw Soi (Chiangmai Noodle with Chicken)- A Chaing Mai specialty!
From looking at that alone, you can only imagine that we left the cooking studio full and extremely happy about our newly learned culinary prowess.
Cooking Class Details:
Morning Class: 8:30-1:30
Afternoon Class: 3:30-8:30
Price: around $30+ which includes all ingredients, free hotel pick up, and a digital recipe book
Overall Thoughts About our Chiang Mai Cooking Class (Half-Day)
We were extremely happy with our choice on how we spent our last few days in Thailand. Thanks to Cookly’s wide selection of cooking classes, we were able to compare reviews and find one that fit in our schedule. As soon as we made our booking, we received a booking confirmation voucher and were given details as to when and what time we would get picked up. The entire process was seamless and easy!
We loved our time with Aoy and were extremely pleased with the result of our dishes. To be perfectly honest, we were all surprised at how good these dishes turned out (and yes, I am totally tooting my own horn!)
If you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai, attending a cooking class is one of the best things to do in the city! The best part about the dishes that we made was that they were all very easy. Each one took less than 10 minutes tops to recreate which I absolutely love. On another note, if you do end up going to Chaing Mai, don’t forget to check out the many incredible cafes in Chiang Mai!
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