I can’t count on my fingers and toes how many people told me to do a Thai cooking class while in Chiang Mai. They have them all over Thailand, especially in the bigger cities, but Chiang Mai seems to have the best ones. At first I was a little turned off by the price. It cost me 1,000 Thai baht, which equals about $32 USD. I know that seems like nothing. But that’s actually a whole days budget for me right there. I really wanted this experience so I just went for it! I’m so glad that I did! I love eating Thai food and I truly enjoyed learning how to cook it.
It was really overwhelming trying to pick one out of what seems like 50 different places you can take a cooking class. In the end I went with Mama Noi’s! I had read a few blogs about this one in particular and it sounded fantastic. I did a whole day class, however, they do offer shorter half day classes as well. I figured if you’re going to do it then you go for the whole day.
They come and pick you up from wherever you’re staying. I enjoyed getting to meet people as we drove around picking more people up. Then they drove us to a market where they talked about different Thai spices, herbs and ingredients. We then got to explore the market and take pictures of things we didn’t recognize so we could talk about them later. It was especially hard for me in the market because I was starving but couldn’t get anything because I was about to cook and shove my face full of food all day. Somehow I refrained. Then off to the organic farm we went.
When we arrived at the farm I was instantly taken aback by the sheer beauty of the place. It was a decent sized farm and the grounds are so perfectly manicured. They definitely put a lot of love into making this place homey, comfortable and beautiful. They grow the vast majority of the ingredients they use in the classes and you can absolutely taste the freshness. They gave us ten minutes to walk around the farm and take pictures which I really enjoyed. Then we picked our items we wanted to cook. There were several items in each category, which I thought was great. Literally all my favorite Thai dishes so I was in heaven. What I chose to cook today: chicken Thai basil stir fry, tom ka soup, larb gai, massaman curry, mango sticky rice, spring rolls and Thai tea.
The women who teach the classes are so wonderful. They are patient, kind and extremely helpful. They do all the set up and clean up. They walk you through each ingredient and taste everything right along with you. After each item you sit with your group and eat. I had such an awesome group and we were all sharing our food with each other, so even though I personally didn’t cook each item, I did get to taste each one and see how it is prepared and cooked. As we were eating we were getting to know each other and where we come from. The eating and socializing was my favorite part of the day!
Any food you don’t finish they put in a to go for you. So, I was stuffed full and sent home with dinner! Then they take you back into town and drop you off wherever you would like. Such a fantastic experience! When you visit Thailand don’t skip the Thai cooking class and I would 100% suggest Mama Noi’s!
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