A few weeks ago I took my first Thai cooking class with the Thai Farm Cooking School. I choose this school because it offered a full day course (cooking 5 dishes) at their organic farm outside of Chiang Mai.
The class started with a stop at one of the local markets where we learned about the building blocks of the Thai flavor profile: soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind jam, palm sugar and chilies.
|So many kinds of rice|
|Grinding coconut to make fresh milk for curry|
|Fresh curry paste|
Then we went on a tour of the farm where they grow most of the ingredients used in the cooking school. We picked fresh lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime, thai parsley, tumeric, eggplant and chilies to use in our dishes.
|Tasting ginseng in the garden|
|Fresh veggies from the garden|
Next, we went into the kitchen to start preparing our curry paste. I choose to make yellow curry.
|From top left: tumeric, shallot, garlic, lemon grass, kaffir lime, galangal, hot chili, long chili|
|After spending several minutes pounding away to make a couple tablespoons of paste, I asked about the big tubs of curry paste we’d seen at the market. Apparently you can use a food processor instead, thank goodness!|
|Fresh, hand ground curry paste|
Then, on to coconut soup.
|The staff had prepped the ingredients for each dish|
|This only took minutes to cook|
|Enjoying our first course|
Then came the yellow curry, minced pork with basil, and lemon grass tea.
If you weren’t already stuffed to the gills, then came pad thai and sticky rice with mango.
This was, by far, my favorite experiences in Chiang Mai. To try some of these tasty recipes at home, click here. Or better yet come join me in Thailand!
|With our instructor, Liam. Am I a giant?|
Next edition: Some local specialties-buffalo tartare and catfish curry