On our second day in Chiang Mai, we signed up for a Thai cooking class with Oui from Trichada The Cookery Home, recommended to us by a friend of Katie’s. Oui picked us up from our hostel at 8:30 and we went straight to the market. On our way there, we selected the dishes we’d be making for the day from a menu of Oui’s teaching recipes. We’d be making a starter, a soup, a curry, and stir fry, and a dessert.
At the market, we learned about the surprising number of uses for coconuts, tried a number of unfamiliar but delicious tropical fruits, and had an eye-opening experience in the meat section (think live frogs and whole dead chickens, among others). While Oui was helping us pick out fresh ingredients for our menus, she also had us try banana and sticky rice grilled in a banana leaf. It might sound simple (and a bit odd – rice with fruit, who knew?), but it was amazing.
After we finished shopping, Oui drove us to her house where she hosts the classes. She had a lovely setup on her patio, complete with full workstations and everything we needed for the class. Then we began…
Katie: Som Tum (Papaya Salad)
Me: Porpia (Spring Rolls)
Katie: Tom Juad (Clear soup with minced pork or chicken)
Me: Tom Khaa Gai (Chicken in coconut milk soup with Thai herbs)
Katie: Green curry paste + green curry with chicken
Me: Paenang (ground peanut-coconut cream curry with chicken)
Katie: Pad C-Ew (fried wide flat rice noodles)
Me: Pad Thai (fried noodles)
Katie: Kao Niew Ma Muang (Sticky rice and mango)
Me: Sang Ka Ya Fak Thong (Thai custard with punpkin)
Over the course of the afternoon, we successfully made (and devoured) all five of our courses. Oui guided us through the steps but allowed us to follow the recipes fairly independently. Oui and her husband Peter were fantastic hosts – we chatted with them throughout the day as we sampled our creations in between rounds in the kitchen. I’ve never experienced such a full-on food coma like I did after the class, but the recipes we learned were so delicious and Oui was a fabulous teacher – she even sends all of her students a pdf of all the recipes she teaches. For anyone heading to Chiang Mai, this is an essential experience. And for anyone at home, just call me Master Chef (HA!); I’ll be whipping up homemade curry and pad thai in no time.