Now that I’ve got you thinking about the delicious and cheap eats on the streets of Chiang Mai you could head out for a takeaway order of pad Thai and tom yum soup or you could whip up a few dishes at home.
While in Chiang Mai I spent a wonderful day at the Basil Cookery School taking a Thai cooking class. Led by our trusted instructor, Benz, our small group of 8 cooked 6 dishes each. Needless to say by the end of the lesson, I was struggling to eat my dessert (although it was voted the best dessert by the group).
Our day started out with a trip to the local wet market where Benz gave us a quick tour and showed us many of the ingredients we would be using in the kitchen that day.
Once we made it to the cookery school, it was time to get cooking. We each had our own chopping stations and woks and every step of the prep and cooking was guided by Benz (and two other assistants who thankfully washed up all the dishes).
The lesson really made Thai cooking seem easy. By the end of the day I had successfully made stir fried minced pork with holy basil, drunken noodle, hot and sour prawn soup, green curry (made with my freshly ground curry paste), papaya salad and black sticky rice pudding.
And everything was amazing.
P.S. Sorry for the poor food photo quality. I was in a hurry and the food was steamy.
Basil Cookery School gives you a recipe book to take home, complete with all the recipes from the dishes you made (and the ones you didn’t choose to make). I’m now back in Hong Kong, and have had a bit of trouble tracking down all the ingredients so my most recent curry attempt turned out to be way too spicy and not quite as good as the green curry I made in Chiang Mai (which was the best curry I’ve ever had).
But, I feel confident that my next at home Thai cooking attempt will be just fine.
Although if anyone wants to send a mortar and pestle my way for my curry paste, that would be lovely.