Yesterday, we spent the day with Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai. It was so much fun learning how to prepare the dishes we all know and love. I left leaving more full than I have ever been before!
The day kicked off with our guide from Thai Farm Cooking School, Gift, picking us up from our hotel. After collecting the others in the class (6 more individuals) we headed to Ruamchook market, about 30 mins away. This market is huge, and has such a variety of local ingredients. Gift explained the different types of rice, how to make coconut milk and the various seasoning products that we would be using during the day.
After, we drove to the farm and had a refreshing cup of lemon grass infused tea. Gift then brought us around the farm explaining to us about the various ingredients grown there, how to pick them and we got to smell and taste them too. One thing to watch out for is the fire ants around some of the areas – I took a step in the wrong direction and my feet ended up covered. Not fun.
The class itself takes place in the terrace. Each individual has their own cooking station, dishes, ingredients etc. and gets to choose various dishes to prepare from the menu. To start, Gift showed us how to prepare sticky rice and jasmine rice. Once that was finished we started to prepare the paste for the curry that we would cook later in the day. I chose a red curry paste and was able to adjust the level of spice according to my own taste.
Up next was preparation of a soup. I chose to prepare Tom Yam however, we also had the option of Chicken in Coconut Milk. I think this was my favourite dish. You can make it clear or add some coconut milk for a more creamy consistency. I chose to add the coconut milk and it was delicious. We ate together and took some time to wander the grounds of the farm.
After the break, we continued on to prepare the Pad Thai. Although you may think that this is quite easy, there is a lot of technique involved and you have to move really quick to perfect it. I actually slightly burnt the shallots in mine (oops) but it still turned out well, and tasted delicious.
We then took another break before preparing the curry using the paste we made earlier that morning. Followed by the chicken with basil stir fry. While we enjoyed the meal, Gift also demonstrated how to make a traditional papaya salad.
To finish, we made bananas in coconut and oh my… this tastes amazing and is so easy! We even made a natural green colouring for the coconut milk from pandan leaves.
Every dish is adaptable and can be made vegetarian or vegan by swapping some ingredients in favour of others. I made all of my meals vegetarian and it was no hassle at all. At the end of the day, we got a recipe book containing all of the dishes, along with many others. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with Thai Farm Cooking School and we would definitely return if time allowed.