Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai with Kids

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Thai cooking class knives — Chiang Mai with kids

In a continuing quest to hand my children sharp objects, I signed us up for a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai while we were there. If you’re in Chiang Mai with kids, I highly recommend trying one yourself, but look around at the options to see which one is right for you. There are plenty to choose from, and like fruit carving classes, they go from a few hours to several days long.

Thai cooking class Ingredients — Chiang Mai with kids

Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai with Kids

The Siam Rice Cooking School had come recommended to us, so we signed up for the evening class — 4:30 to 8:30. The class started with a trip to a local market.

Read what others say about Siam Rice Cooking School

Our instructor showed us all the ingredients we would be using: lemongrass, turmeric, multiple forms of chile and ginger, and a half-dozen other vegetables and spices. Then we loaded back into the songthaew they picked us up in and headed to a nearby suburb where the woks were waiting for us.

Thai cooking class — Chiang Mai with kids

Outdoor Kitchen

Traditionally, cooking is an outdoor activity in Thailand. All the heat and strong aromas involved are more accommodating when liberated from closed spaces. So when we arrived, I wasn’t surprised to see our kitchen stations set up in a covered garage.

All the ingredients were set out and ready for us. Some pre-cut, but most not, and our teacher showed us the chopping technique for each.

There is more Things to do in Chaing Mai!

Get help if needed

Two other workers popped in now and then to help out when they felt someone needed it. For example, lowering a flame, adding water or a spice when they felt the time was right, etc.

Our first course was soup and a noodle dish. The kids chose pad thai, while I, naturally, went for “drunken noodles.”

Drunken noodles

I knew there might be some flamboyance involved (ie. photo opportunity). Also, despite two bottles of Chang in me (the big ones), I believed that I could pull it off without burning the house down. Glad I was right. The teacher gave me a short countdown before he dumped rice wine into my wok — producing a meter-high ball of flame. Our son took my favorite picture of the evening here.

Thai cooking class. Drunken Noodles — Chiang Mai with kids

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Taste your own food

After everyone’s first two dishes were ready, we went inside where a table was set for us. Knowing our own hands had made the food (and knowing the kids had been able to leave the chiles out of their own dishes) made us all enjoy our dishes even more.

Thai cooking class. Fi's Pad Thai — Chiang Mai with kids

Hand made Thai curry

Now it was time for round two: the curry. Have you ever used a mortar and pestle? I mean, *really* used one? If you haven’t, let me be the first to tell you: it ain’t easy. Crushing a variety of hard and fibrous ingredients into a smooth, consistent paste takes time, strength and patience. Here’s what the it all looks like *before* we pulverize it:

Thai cooking class. Curry Ingredients Before — Chiang Mai with kids

And the picture below is the final result. I lost track of time, but pulverizing it all felt like a feat of endurance. My (admittedly weak) arms needed multiple breaks from the pummeling, and I wasn’t alone. But when it was done, we were proud of our persistence…and pleased to know that food processors and pre-made curry pastes were also commonplace.

Thai cooking class. Curry Ingredients After — Chiang Mai with kids

Thai Cooking Class — Curry Dish. Chiang Mai with Kids

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.

Comments

  1. wow nice adventure! good exposure for the kids.. ill put this into must do thing when in chiang mai.. thanks for sharing…
    cheers from langkawi,malaysia!

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