We all have one, right? A foodie friend, who insists on cooking classes and fancy chocolate shops in every country they visit? 😉
In Bangkok, mine dragged me to Ma-Sa-Man Thai Cooking Class, where I learned how to make 3 of my favourite Thai dishes from scratch: pad thai, green curry chicken and mango sticky rice.
Instruction began with a walk through one of Bangkok’s many markets, where all manner of ingredients, fresh and otherwise, assaulted us from every corner. Everything from round, green eggplants that had no resemblance to any eggplant I’d ever seen before to skinned frogs to pungent spices were pitched to us by noisy market sellers.
Fortunately, it was not up to me to decipher the varied goods on display, and our teacher soon picked up everything we would need for the day’s classes. Tamarind, fragrant keffir lime, chilies, chicken, some of those round eggplants, mushroom, shrimp, tofu and bumpy galangal filled our bags.
First up – sweet and sour, tangy, pad thai. Peanuts pan-roasted to bring out their flavour, rice noodles soaked in water, and the paste that gives pad thai it’s distinct flavour, massaged out of fresh tamarinds by hand (despite the pic of the packaged tamarind paste below).
For the green curry chicken, a combination of savoury spices crushed with a mortar and pestle, Thai fish sauce for salt, the distinct flavour and aroma of keffir lime, and coconut milk not out of a can.
Delicious, if I do say so myself!
Despite not being a foodie myself, learning about Thai flavours and cooking methods was definitely eye-opening. Now I understand why the curries and pad thais I prepare here in Seoul, never taste quite the same as the ones I eat when traveling in Thailand!
Thai Cooking Class
Since 2010, when I took this class, Ma-sa-man has changed ownership, and is now called Chef LeeZ Thai Cooking School. Information on courses and rates can be found on their website.
Do you take cooking classes in the countries you visit? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!