Chiang Mai

Iron Chef Thailand

May 4, 2005

Today we tried our hand at a Thai cooking class. The class had 8 people registered which was the perfect number to get enough attention, but not too much. Our class consisted of Mark and Sally from England, Yost and Uffa from Holland and Heather and Ryan from NYC.

The class started out by touring the locals food market here in Chiang Mai. It was really interesting to learn the fruits and vegetables of the region. After getting our grocery list taken care of we walked back with our baskets full and got down to the good stuff. Our first recipe was fried rice. Fortunately the entire course could be modified for vegetarians so I never felt left out or confused as how to incorporate my tastes to a dish. Instead of chicken I used tofu and instead of fish and oyster sauce I used mushroom and soy sauce. The rice turned out great but I'm not sure that I'd get into eating it for breakfast like Northern Thais do. After the fried rice we moved on to fried spring rolls and sampled some of the local fruit, which may look strange but so tasty! Craig and Sally cooked this time while we all watched their technique and put bets on who would finish first. Craig did-go USA! Along with our spring rolls we all made a green papaya salad. Both were excellent!!! After lunch and chatting with everyone we moved on to what I was most excited about-deep fried bananas. Although they probably didn't help our cholesterol level I found them tasty. While we snacked on the bananas we split into teams of 2 to make a yellow curry paste for our next dish. This was quite intensive as the entire process is done by hand and takes a good amount of time to complete. There are no food processors allowed in this class so Craig and I got plenty of chopping practice. We finished up the day with the curry over Chiang Mai noodles with chicken/tofu.

The course was fantastic and we are both really excited to try the recipes we were given when we get back home. We promise to make them on the mild version because they like it spicy here! And the best part is that for $20 each we got to eat everything we made and meet some cool people! The cooking school's website is The instructors took pictures of us during the day and they should be up within a week so check us out sporting our cool aprons.

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