Learning how to cook Thai Food on a Bangkok Layover
Exactly one year after I left Amsterdam for the UAE, David and I got to do a flight together. Our destination: Thailand’s exotic capital Bangkok. David mentioned earlier he’d love to do a Thai cooking class on the next Bangkok Layover, so we were extra excited when we managed to get this flight together.
House of Taste Thai Cooking School
We booked our cooking class at House of Taste Thai Cooking School, located in Sukhumvit close to QSNCN MRT station, which is the meeting point for the class. Booking your class ahead is recommended, as capacity is limited and classes tend to be fully booked. In fact, when we tried to book our class a few days before our trip, most cooking schools located close to our hotel were already fully booked.
The Market Visit
Our day started at 8.30 in the morning with a visit to the local market. All of us received baskets to carry the ingredients (no plastic wasted) for the dishes we were going to prepare later. Today’s Chef was Pim. She was guiding us while we made our way through the market to source our ingredients. We went to the Khlong Toei Market, which was extremely colourful and full of fruits and vegetables we hadn’t seen before! We got various typical Thai snacks which we tried later at the cooking school.
The Cooking School
From the market we were taken to the House Of Thai Sukhumvit branch by Tuk Tuk. The cooking school itself looked super pretty and well designed! There were three areas: the corner where we would sit and eat the dishes we made, one long wooden table where we would prepare the dishes, and a separate area where we would actually cook the dishes. We first took a seat and tried the various Thai snacks we bought in the market. After that it was time to get our aprons on and start cooking ourself!
Tom Yum Goong
Our first dish was Tom Yum Goong, also known as Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp. This is perhaps the most famous Thai soup dish in the world. All the ingredients we got in the market were presented on a beautiful tray. Step by step Kim explained how to prepare the dish. Every individual had their own cutting board and went through every step. We even made the coconut milk ourselves from scratch by squeezing out the coconut in hot water.
After we prepared all ingredients, we took our trays to the pans, added the shrimps and cooked the actual soup. The best part came afterwards: sitting down and eating out freshly made Tom Yum soups!
Next we made an all time Thai favourite: Pad Thai. This is the Thai Food I’d always order at Thai Restaurant Bird back in Amsterdam, or at Papaya Salad in Dubai. But now it was time to step up the game and make it myself! I always thought Thai Food was quite healthy, especially Pad Thai with the tofu and egg inside. Little did I know the amount of sugar and oil that’d go into this dish! Maybe that’s why it’s so delicious. “Pad Thai is Fast and Furious” on chef told us (she was full of fun quotes throughout the course). It’s all about the right timing when adding the spices, vegetables, and eggs. The result: more delicious than the local street food Pad Thai we had the previous night.
Red Peanut Curry With Chicken
Now it was time for the main: Red Peanut Curry With Chicken. Here we even made the red curry paste from scratch. We used gloves while handling the large amount of red pepper in order to avoid burning our eyes or skin. Did you know? The smaller the pepper, the more spicy it is. The moment we started cooking the curry everyone started sneezing when all the spices (read: chili peppers) were released in the pan!
This was my favourite dish. Especially because normally we’d just buy curry paste from the supermarket when making curry at home. This might actually be one of the most flavourful curries I had ever tried. Even though we were pretty full already at this point. I recommend you not to have a breakfast buffet right before doing this cooking class.
Mango Sticky Rice
Last but not least we made our favourite Thai desert: Mango Sticky Rice. Did you know that there are over 200 different types of mango grown in Thailand? The one used for Mango Sticky Rice is the Nam Dok Mai Mango. Extra sweet. The rice was already pre soaked, since this is normally done overnight. We made both the Sweet Coconut Milk (to mix with the rice) and the Sweet Coconut Cream Sauce which is served together with the mango and rice. The result was delicious, and of course we finished it all.
By now it was about noon and we ate four different dishes plus the hotel breakfast buffet. Needless to say we passed out till wake up call to operate the flight back in the evening. And we couldn’t resist buying one more Mango Sticky Rice in the airport for on board.
We booked our cooking class three days ahead and even at that point many schools were already fully booked. I can highly recommend House Of Taste. Our chef spoke good English, had good sense of humour, and the overall experience was just very fun. We paid about 1.200 bath per person for the course, which included all the “groceries” and the Tuk Tuk ride from the market to the cooking school. Free drinking water is available as well at the cooking school.
Visited: November 2019. Pictures taken by @davidoliveirac