Chiang Mai Cooking Class

asia scenic chiang mai cooking class

Week 91

Day 627


19.3589° N, 98.4367° E

I’ve been wanting to a take a cooking class ever since we reached SE Asia.

I had signed up to do one in Luang Prabang, but unfortunately food poisoning kept me from attending. 🙁

So after almost 5 months of eating yummy stir frys, curries, and soups I finally got my cooking class in Chiang Mai.

I signed up to do a full day class with Asia Scenic, enticed by their cooking class on an organic farm.   The full day class gets to make 2 more courses than the half day.  I was tempted to only do a half day, but you don’t get to make curry with a half day class.  I’ve been cooking curry since I was in high school.  I remember helping my mom make it when my dad was deployed.  After years of cooking it with my own spin, but always buying curry paste, I was dead set on making my own paste.

The day starts out at your homestay.  Asia Scenic drives and picks up each person one by one before jetting out of town towards the farm. About 20 minutes down the road, we stopped at a local market to learn about the store bought ingredients we would be using.

First we learned about the many different types of white rice you can buy in Thailand.  Long story short, the more expensive the rice, means the more pure and rare it is.

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

We learned that small red chilies are the spiciest.
Chiang Mai Cooking Class

We learned the difference between soft, firm, and blood tofu.  Yes there is a blood tofu made from animal’s blood.  I’ve yet to try it…
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
After 20 minutes of learning through the market we were off again to the farm for more lessons on the freshly grown ingredients found in the garden.

Many of the Thai flavors come from vegetables and herbs grown in Thailand.   Thai basil, Thai ginger, Thai eggplant, and Thai cilantro have much different flavors than their equivalents in the states.  They don’t just taste different, but most variants are much smaller in Thailand.
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class

After our tour of the garden it was time to get down to cooking.  We each got to choose 6 items to make individually, but overall we covered how to cook over 24 recipes!

Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class

The biggest take home from the day was that almost every Thai recipe has 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp fish sauce, and 3 tsp oyster sauce.  The individual flavors come from the intense Thai herbs which all smell amazing!

Check out the dishes I made:

Meang Kum

Chiang Mai Cooking Class


  • Ginger
  • Shallot
  • Chillies
  • sliced lime with skin
  • roasted peant
  • toasted coconut meat
  • betel-leaves
  • Syrup slow boiled until sticky of palm sugar, salt, sliced shallot, sliced thai ginger, and water

Chop all the ingredients to 1 cm bits

Fold the betel leaf in half 4 times to make a cup.  Put 1-2 bits of each ingredient in and top with syrup.  Eat as one bite.
–This one was probably my favorite of the day.  You wouldn’t expect it, but all the ingredients combined made for great flavor!

Chicken Cashew Nut

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 2-3 pieces of garlic minced
  • Baby corn, onion, ear mushroom cut bite sized
  • 1 cup fresh cashew nuts
  • 1 dried large chili sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 50 g. chicken


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp suger
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp oyster sauce

Heat the oil the wok over high heat.

Lower to medium heat, add garlic and chicken. Cook for 1 min.

Add all veggies but spring onion.

Add all the seasoning and turn up to high heat.  Cook one more min.

Turn the heat off and add spring onion, cashews, and dried chili.
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
–This dish is Tom’s favorite so naturally I had to learn how to make it!

 Spring Roll

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 2-3 pieces garlic minced
  • 1 piece mince tofu
  • 2 stalks chive cut at 1 inch length
  • 100g Bean Sprouts
  • 50g minced chicken
  • 100g glass noodles
  • 2-3 cups cooking oil for deep frying and cooking
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp oyster sauce

Fry garlic in hot oil over low heat add chicken and tofu.  Cook 1 min.

Add sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and mix over high heat.

Add noodles and a little bit of water.

Add sprouts and chive.

Let cool.  Add some of mixture to spring roll wrapper.  Fold and Fry in Oil until light brown.

–Surprisingly super easy to make!

 Spicy Chicken Salad (Laab)

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 200g minced chicken
  • 20g shallots
  • 1 tsp spring onion
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1-2 tsp saw coriander
  • 1 tsp suger
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp chilies
  • 1 tbsp roasted sticky rice powder
  • 1 cooking spoon water

Heat the water in wok over low heat.

Add chicken and stir until cooked.

Add shallot, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chilies & sticky rice powder.

Serve with onion, coriander, and cucumber or long bean.

–I found this dish to be better in Laos!

 Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 1 bowl water
  • 1 stalk lemon grass
  • 1 slice galangal sliced thin
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves torn in half
  • 2-3 small chilies smashed
  • 1 tomato cut bite size
  • 1-2 mushrooms cut bite size
  • 3-4 sices onion
  • chopped coriander and spring onion to garnish
  • 2-3 prawns
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili jam

Heat water in a pot over high heat until it boils.  Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, and chilies.  Cook for 2-3 min.

Add tomato, onion, and mushroom.  Cook for 30 sec.

Turn to low heat add sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and chili jam.  Add prawns and cook until prawns are cooked.

Add coriander and spring onion before serving.
Chiang Mai Cooking Class


–I decided I prefer Tom Kha 🙁

Red Curry Paste


Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 10g gingseng
  • lemongrass skin
  • 10g kaffir lime
  • 10g. galangal
  • 10g. tumeric
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 10g garlic
  • 10g shallot
  • 7-12 dried red chilies

Mince as finally as possible and pound in a mortar until the texture is smooth.
Chiang Mai Cooking Class

–Fresh chili paste smells AMAZING!! 🙂

Khaw Soi Curry (Chiang Mai Noodle Curry)

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

Ingredients 1 serving:

  • 1/2-1 tbp curry paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • pickled cabbage
  • 1/2 lime
  • red chili poweder
  • shallot sliced
  • 50g chopped chicken
  • 200g. bioled wide egg noodles
  • 100g fried wide egg noodle

Add 2 cooking spoons of coconut milk, curry paste, and chicken.  Fry until cooked

Add sugar and fish sauce.  Add remaining coconut milk until desired texture is reached.  Serve over top of noodles and garnish with pickled cabbage, lime, fried noodle, and chili powder.

–Good flavor, but I prefer no noodles with my curry.  I made this one as it was local to Chiang Mai, but Panang Curry is Tom’s and my favorite! 🙂

So that was my cooking class.  I came home exhausted and full!

Which dish looked the best to you?

Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think! 🙂

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