Hot Heat: Traditional Thai Cooking Class

Fire up the burners and oil up those curry pots – we have some cooking to do!

A bunch of us took the trip out to Lanta Cooking school on Tuesday morning for a half-day of learning how to cook traditional Thai dishes. On the menu for the day: fresh spring rolls, pad Thai, green curry, and mango sticky rice to finish off the afternoon. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the second dish!

We set off for the cooking school after our breakfast at the resort, boarding the backs of tuk-tuks for our culinary experience abroad. The instructors greeted us with warm smiles and fresh excitement upon arrival at the school and were eager to get us started right away with the day’s cooking tasks. With our aprons tied and our knives sharpened, we were sent to the chopping boards to prep our first two dishes.

Our first set of ingredients to prepare included bean sprouts, chillis, greens beans, and many other freshly picked varieties of herbs and spices. We were all given garlic and peppers to finely chop before smashing it all up using a mortar and pestle. The instructors threw in more ingredients and bam – we had a sweet, sour and spicy sauce for our spring rolls. We then soaked rice papers in water before wrapping up the first fresh springs rolls, yummy and healthy all in one.

It was then time to move on to the pad Thai and green curry dishes. With our baskets prepped, we fried up the tofu in our woks and let them simmer before we added the extra ingredients. Our instructor taught us a quick lesson on kitchen chemistry where she threw water into hot oil to warn us of the dangers when mixing the two! Noodles, meats, veggies and all, our pad Thai was plated and prepared for all of us to enjoy. After a brief break, we then jumped back up to oil the woks and stewed our curry dishes for the last main course of the afternoon.

Raelle had this to share about her culinary lessons:

“I really enjoyed our day at the cooking school because it was both informative and tasty. When working at the wok, I was both impressed and partially scared of the cooking instructor’s intensity to the process! At one point it felt like there was food flinging everywhere because we had to throw it all in and sauté within five minutes. Overall, I really enjoyed learning how to cook these dishes and I think that they were among some of the top meals we have eaten on this program.”

By the time we finished our green curries, it was impossible to think of beginning another dish as we were filled to the brim with traditional Thai goodness. Students then paired up at the stations and learned how to create the sweet sauce that would mix with their rice and mango. With a spark of presentation to the final dish, students surprisingly ate every last morsel of rice before calling it an afternoon and heading back to the hotel for class.

Tomorrow brings a jam-packed day full of snorkelling and island hopping as we board a boat and jet off to the famous Phi-Phi islands of Thailand.

Yours in the kitchen,
Nic