One of the most popular activities for visitors in Thailand is to take part in a cooking class. The country’s cuisine is utterly irresistible, and it is a great opportunity to learn to cook it yourself, with experienced chefs advising and supporting you each step of the way. A Thai cooking class can give you confidence to recreate dishes from your holiday once you’re back home; a great way to reduce those inevitable post-holiday blues.
My boyfriend and I decided to book via Cookly as it clearly describes the day’s schedule, menu options and costs. You could also use Airbnb Experiences or ask your hotel/hostel staff to recommend a class. We scrolled through the different ones available on Cookly and compared the prices, reviews, and menus. Some menus included dishes we were very familiar with, such as Pad Thai and Green Thai Curry, whereas others incorporated ingredients we had never cooked with or tasted before. As my boyfriend is a very skilled cook, we decided to go for a more challenging and unfamiliar menu. We chose Baan Farm Thai Cooking School because their menu appealed to us the most, it had glowing reviews and we liked that it was a family-run business.
Now, you might be wondering….
What does the class involve?
We were picked up from our hotel by minivan and met the other people taking part in the class. It was a small group of people from all around the world. We were taken to a local market where our guide showed us some of the ingredients we would be cooking with today, along with some typical staples of Thai cuisine. Afterwards we were driven to a farm in the countryside. It was a beautiful, rural area surrounded by palm trees – you couldn’t choose a more idyllic environment to cook in. The on-site instructors showed us where to handpick fresh, organic herbs and vegetables to be used in our dishes. Then it was time to start cooking!
Over the span of three hours, we made five dishes each along with our specific curry paste of choice. It was a lot of work but there were lots of friendly, patient instructors to help and the class moved at a good pace. Everything was very well-organised so we had time to concentrate on what we were making, enjoy the relaxing environment and devour as much food as we could. Afterwards, we were dropped back at our accommodation.
How long does the class last?
Most classes last half a day, from when you are picked up to when you’re dropped back at your accommodation. You can decide if you’d like to do one in the morning and eat the dishes you cooked for lunch or start in the afternoon and eat them at dinnertime.
What are some typical dishes you can cook?
- Larb (Spicy chicken salad)
- Som Tam (Papaya salad)
- Tom Yum Kung (Spicy sour soup with shrimp)
- Tom Kha Kai (Spicy sour soup with chicken and coconut cream)
- Green curry
- Panang curry
- Massaman curry
- Khao Soi (Chiang Mai noodle soup)
- Stir-fried cashew nuts with chicken
- Pad Thai (Stir-fried small rice noodles with shrimp)
- Mango sticky rice
- Deep-fried bananas
- Black sticky rice with coconut milk
How many dishes can you choose?
Most cookery schools will ask you to choose between 3-5 dishes to cook. In the case of Baan Farm Thai Cooking School, it was 5 dishes out of over 20 options. Upon booking, we were asked to select a curry, a starter, a soup, a curry, a stir-fried dish and a dessert.
I cooked Massaman curry, fried noodle stir fry, sweet and sour soup with coconut, mango sticky rice and larb. In the end, it was A LOT of food but nothing was wasted; we ate some for lunch and brought the leftovers back to our hotel. It was all absolutely delicious and it was great to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Will I be able to handle it if I’m not an experienced cook?
Yes! The instructors are there to help you and give you instructions and guidance. The atmosphere was warm, friendly, and relaxed. These classes are not for professional chefs, but for fans of Thai cuisine. It’s not MasterChef and you certainly won’t be judged.
How much was the class?
We paid 1055 Thai Baht per person, which is approximately £24 / €28 / $32 USD. Based on our research, this price was quite standard. However, you should expect to pay more for a private cooking class.
Will I receive the recipes afterwards?
You should check this with the school, but most provide e-books or hard copy recipe cards. Baan Farm Thai Cooking School emailed all participants an e-book afterwards, which included over 20 recipes. You can recreate the dishes you tried and experiment with all the dishes you didn’t have the chance to cook during the class.
I hope this answers all questions you might have about Thai cooking classes. If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments below.
Ciao for now
The Curious Sparrow