Thailand is known for its mouthwatering, flavorful cuisine. Eating is one of the many highlights of visiting the “Land of Smiles.” But who says you have to stop eating the food when your plane departs Thailand? After attending a 3-4 hour cooking class at Silom Thai Cooking School in Bangkok, you won’t have to! Even those of you who are terrible cooks and, therefore, mostly eat pasta or chicken because it’s easy to cook, will be able to master the dishes you learn to make here for 1000 THB (28 USD).
Learn about the ingredients in Thai dishes
Upon arrival, you will be given an apron and told to wash your hands before entering the preparation room. The class will have nine people maximum so get to know your fellow chefs from around the world. Before cooking each dish, the group will sit on the floor and gather around a tray of herbs, vegetables and spices. The head chef will tell you about each item and about what dishes they are used in. If you attend a morning or afternoon class, you will first have a market tour where you will be given this information.
Thai cuisine has many different spices and herbs that work together to make the correct tastes. Since taste and smell are connected, many of the ingredients smell absolutely heavenly. Close your eyes and smell the lime and holy basils, lemongrass, Thai cilantro, cinnamon, and turmeric powder. Some of these items, such as the lemongrass, are entirely for flavor but will not be eaten.
Eat and repeat
After learning about the preparation that goes into a dish, you will prepare the ingredients! Peel and cut the vegetables and herbs. Measure the correct amount of spices. Head into the next room to find your individual burner and wok.
The head chef will tell you how high to turn the burner on, and when to add which ingredients. For the hot and sour shrimp soup (tom yum goong), fried noodles Thai style (pad thai sai kai), and green curry with chicken (kang khiao wan gai), the chef will provide you with the necessary amount of shrimp and chicken. Tofu is available as the vegetarian option. As you are cooking, the head chef will give each chef-in-training personalized instructions such as “stir faster!” and “you go girl!” Each dish only takes about five minutes to cook. Once everyone’s dish is done, you’ll head into the dining room to enjoy the cuisine!
The schedule of the class is set up as follows: preparation, cook, eat, repeat. This allows for you to digest a bit before eating your next dish so you can eat as much as possible throughout the evening. The food also tastes better directly off the wok!
The menu changes depending on which day of the week you attend the cooking class. Therefore, be sure to check the school website to make sure you go on the day of the menu you want to eat.
Bring on the mango and sticky rice dessert
Thailand has just about the best dessert on this planet: mango and sticky rice. It’s simple, healthy and oh-so sweet! Although it’s considered a dessert, travelers and tourists eat mango and sticky rice whenever they can during their time in Thailand!
The sticky rice needs to be prepared overnight. This part of preparation is done in advance for you! Therefore, making the sticky rice is very easy, which you will appreciate after how full you will be after the previous four courses. At this point, expect to be slipping into a food coma and for your pants to be tighter than when you arrived at Silom Thai Cooking School. However, the sticky rice is worth it so you will eat on.
Since the sticky rice is already cooked, it’s just a matter of pouring hot coconut milk over the hot sticky rice and letting it sit for fifteen minutes. The rice will soak up the coconut milk.
Dig into the last, and potentially the best course of the night!
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Leave feeling full, happy and with a cookbook in hand
As a foodie, you will feel content to your heart’s desire after the amazing Thai food you just ate, and quite possibly the best food you will ever make. In case you’re worried that your taste buds won’t ever be this happy again, remember that included in the price of the course is a cookbook with a total of twenty-six recipes and useful information about Thai cuisine.
Now hop on your plane and impress your friends and family back home with your new cooking skills!
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