Joining a Cooking Class in Krabi, Thailand
As proud as I am of my own country’s cuisine, I have to be a traitor and admit that Thai food reigns supreme in Southeast Asia (sorry, Malaysians).
The moment I tried green curry and tasted the smooth, creamy texture in my mouth, mingling with the heady fragrance of steamed jasmine rice, I knew that I’d keep coming back for more. And I did.
After I lost count of how many times I went to Thailand only for the food, I did the next most logical thing — I learned to cook it myself.
How to Find a Cooking Class
You won’t have any problem finding a cooking class in any tourist destination in Thailand. And by tourist destination, I mean everywhere in Thailand.
All you have to do is look at the many tour brochures at your hotel/hostel reception and you’ll be certain to find at least two or three different cooking classes in the area.
Some classes may also include a market tour, so that you can learn about the local ingredients and how to buy them.
Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School, Krabi
During my stay in Krabi, I finally decided that it was time for me to learn to cook Thai food from the experts. After comparing the prices of several different classes, I settled on Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School, as they seemed to offer the best value for money. It was THB 1,200 for 6 different dishes.
Booking can be made through your hotel reception or by contacting them directly through their Facebook page, e-mail, or phone number.
Do note that at the time of booking, you will be required to pre-select the dishes that you wish to cook in the class. This is so that they can prepare the right ingredients for you.
You can choose 6 different dishes (one of each course), as listed in the menu below:
- Salad: Papaya salad (som tam) / spicy glass noodle salad / savory minced chicken salad (larb kai) / seafood salad
- Soup: Hot & sour prawn soup (tom yum goong) / chicken in coconut milk (tom kha gai) / clear cucumber soup / wonton soup
- Fried Dish: Thai-style fried noodles (pad thai) / fried thick noodles with soy sauce / deep-fried spring rolls / fried rice with prawns
- Stir-Fried Chicken Dish: Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts / stir-fried chicken with ginger / sweet and sour chicken / minced chicken with holy basil
- Curry: Massaman curry / green curry / red curry / Panaeng curry
- Dessert: Sweet sticky rice with mango / banana in coconut milk
There are also special courses for slightly more complicated dishes. These will cost you THB 1,600 per course.
Special Course A
- Fried chicken in pandanus leaves
- Hot & sour prawn soup
- Deep-fried fish cakes
- Steamed whole fish with lime
- Curry paste & curry (of your choice)
- Mango with sticky rice
Special Course B
- Deep-fried spring rolls
- Chicken in coconut milk soup
- Steamed curried fish in banana leaves
- Deep-fried whole fish with sweet and sour sauce
- Curry paste & curry (of your choice)
- Black sticky rice with young coconut
What to Expect in the Cooking Class
There were morning, afternoon, and evening classes available. I chose the 1:00 p.m. class so it would coincide with lunch time. The teacher personally picked me up from my hotel about 30 minutes before the class started. I was the only participant.
After arriving, the teacher served me with a drink while she went and got everything ready. The school is a large open kitchen surrounded by a beautiful garden, where they got some of their ingredients from.
First, I was introduced to the ingredients used in Thai cooking. This class didn’t include a market tour, but since I was already familiar with the ingredients (they were very similar to the ones I used back home), this was not an issue to me.
To save time, all of the ingredients that I would be using had been cleaned and cut prior to my arrival. So, don’t worry if you’ve never entered a kitchen or used a knife before — you won’t have to deal with the unexciting parts of food preparation.
The teacher also demonstrated to me how to make the curry paste from scratch using the pestle and mortar, and I did get to try my hand at it. However, it was a tedious and lengthy process and would take a long time to finish, so she let me use the paste that she had pre-made for me instead.
We began with the easiest dishes. The first one was the papaya salad (som tam). This only required the mixing of the ingredients to make the dressing, and tossing it together with the julienned vegetables. The second one was the dessert of my choice: mango with sticky rice.
Next, we proceeded to the next level: cooking pad thai (fried noodles) and tom yum goong (sour and spicy prawn soup). I had never cooked with a wok before. It was a lot less forgiving than my usual non-stick pans, so I had to move fast.
In fact, everything was so fast I barely registered what I was learning. My teacher had to help me with some of the ingredients so that I wouldn’t burn the dish.
Please note that after each of these rounds, you will sit down and eat what you have prepared, so it’s wise to come with an empty stomach (or empty food containers).
Our next dishes were my favorites: green curry with chicken and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. This time around, I could no longer fit anything else in my stomach, so my teacher helped me pack them in small plastic bags (bring your own containers if you want to avoid plastic usage).
In total, the class took about 2 – 3 hours, including meal time. If there are more of you in the class, it might take longer than that, so do allow some extra time when planning your itinerary.
I was given a booklet of all the recipes that I learned on that day, which was a good thing, because there was no way I could have remembered everything. On the first page, there’s a cute little diploma signed by the head chef.
After a photo with my teacher, she then drove me back to my hotel.
Additional Info on the Cooking Class
Is the class suitable for beginners?
Absolutely! Your teacher will be guiding you along the way and explaining every little detail, so you don’t have to feel embarrassed about not knowing your ginger from your galangal.
In my class, all the raw ingredients had already been cut and cleaned for me, so I didn’t have to worry about accidentally cutting myself with a knife either. However, I’m not sure if they do that for bigger groups. In any case, they would help you out if you’re struggling.
Is the class suitable for vegans/vegetarians?
Most Thai dishes contain some sort of meat or seafood, and fish sauce is the staple condiment to give them that distinct Thai flavor. However, at Siam Cuisine, you can choose to skip these ingredients and make them 100% plant based.
Are the dishes spicy?
Most Thai dishes are. But since you’ll be the one cooking, you get to decide how much chili to dump in there, or none at all. Most importantly, make sure you come hungry, as you’ll be expected to eat what you cook.
Final Thoughts on Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School
This was my first cooking class ever and honestly I didn’t know what to expect. But what I experienced at Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School had far surpassed any expectation I could have had.
Everything was well-organized, from the booking process to the drop-off back at my hotel. As a solo traveler, I sometimes have a problem booking tours or activities, since some of them require a minimum of 2 persons per booking. But there was no such issue with Siam Cuisine. The teacher entertained me with as much enthusiasm as if the class had been at full capacity.
On top of that, the food was so good I almost couldn’t believe that I had prepared all those dishes with my own two hands — they looked and tasted so professionally made!
So, if you want to bring home something more impressive and memorable from Thailand than those souvenir T-shirts, go and book a session at Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School, and impress your friends at your next dinner party.
Note: This is not a sponsored post.
Have you ever joined a cooking class while traveling? Share your experience in the comment section below.
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Tom yum soup is my favorite dish while traveling in Thailand! I’ve not taken any classes there yet, I usually end up eating everything at the markets on my own 🙂
I usually do that too, Marquis! The markets in Thailand are a foodie paradise. But I was frustrated at not being able to replicate the food I had in Thailand despite having all the ingredients in my kitchen, so I finally decided to join a cooking class. It was worth it!
What an inspiring account of your Thai cooking class! When my husband and I visited Thailand, I debated taking a class but ended up not doing it. I regret it now! This looks like so much fun. We’ll just have to do it on our next visit. Plus, the photo of you with your instructor and diploma is adorable.
Oh, Katy, you’ll have to come back to Thailand and take the class! Perhaps you and your husband can each choose different dishes, and have a blast trying them all. I’m drooling just thinking about it. 😀
Wow what a cool experience!! Thank you sharing this. I’ve never been to Thailand but I would love to learn how to cook Pad Thai.
I hope you will, Jade. Pad Thai is one of those dishes that can be deceiving. It looks very simple — just a plate of fried noodles — but the taste (if done right) is exquisite!
Love Thai food! this seems like such an amazing experience, I’d love to do this.
You should, Lerato! It was an amazing experience and is something that you must do if you love Thai food. 🙂
I love Thai food. And, to learn Thai cooking is truly awesome. Very informative post. Will join the cooking classes, next time I go there.
You really should, Bella. Learning to cook Thai food is fun. Getting to eat it is double the fun!
Sonoknye masuk kelas memasak. Dapat belajar masakan negara lain kan
Betul tu, Marina. Lepas ni kalau saya ke mana2 negara yang makanannya sedap2, saya akan cuba ambik kelas memasak kat sana. 😀
It must have been an eye-opening experience right to learn first-hand from a chef who can dish out authentic thai food.
That’s right, Tekkaus. Although there are many ‘Thai food’ restaurants in Malaysia and although I had tried many times to cook Thai food using the ingredients that are readily available in our country, somehow it just didn’t taste as good as the authentic one in its country of origin.
Tak pernah pulak belajar memasak kat tempat orang. Sis cuma cover tempat menarik ajer. Next time boleh cuba since sis suka makan masakan Thai.
Next time boleh la cuba, Ezna. Sebab kalau kita rasa masakan Thai yang ada di Malaysia ni, tak sama sedapnya dengan yang ori di Thailand. Jadi boleh belajar la apa rahsianya. 🙂
Oh, satu lagi nak mention. Bagi sesiapa yang concerned sama ada Siam Cuisine cookery school ni halal atau tak, yang tu saya tak berani jamin la. Tapi diorang pork-free dan tiada bahan-bahan yang mengandungi alkohol. Selain drp tu, kita juga boleh pilih untuk masak menu vegan/vegetarian.
Wow………it’s good that you now know how to cook Thai food. One day boley lah kita dtg rumah you and you serve us Thai food. Hehehe. Just jokeing.
Yeah, I agree with you. Thailand is a food heaven. I pun suka makan Thai food. My family and I kalo gie Bangkok mesti makan kat Yana Halal Restaurant. Golly……i miss the coconut spicy crab.
Ohh, I have never tried coconut spicy crab yet. Sounds exciting though!
But jangan la datang serbu rumah i. I cannot cook under pressure. Hahaha. 😛
you went to thai for how many times?? for food only? this is a jealousy ! i can not wait for border to open so i can go there for food as well.. never been there even once ! huhuhu
Hahaha, can’t remember how many times, Atie. Thailand is my favorite country in the world, because of the people, language, culture, islands, and the overall ambiance. But food is usually my main motivator. You should check it out if you have a chance. 😀
This is so cool! You get the rare experience on learning to cook the authentic Thai food yourself. I love Thai food as well.
Me too, Zayani! Perhaps you could try it on your next trip to Thailand. 🙂
bestnya dapat belajar masak thai food. i suka sangat makan thai food 🙂
Sama la kita.. 🙂 Next time pergi Thailand boleh la join cooking class.
Yea. I like Thai foods as well especially all tomyams type and spicy foods. Maybe i’m not into cooking but thanks for sharing this.
You’re welcome, Mohd Zarin! If you ever change your mind, the class is suitable for beginners 😉
your travel itinerary mesti something different. never in my mind nak belajar masak in krabi. hehe congrats berjaya masak thai cuisine..
Thank you, Bae. Kalau pergi ke Krabi atau mana2 destinasi di Thailand nanti, boleh la cuba. Saya dah lama sebenarnya teringin nak join cooking class semasa travel, tapi ni baru ada kesempatan.
Rajin yer ummi, pergi holiday dan travel sempat lagi join cooking class. memang terbaik! makanan thai memang sedap dan craving for more…
Hehe thank you, Huda. Saya memang suka join aktiviti hands-on macam ni bila travel. Asyik sightseeing aje bosan jugak. Lagipun Krabi ni saya dah pernah pergi a few times, jadi dah (almost) habis round semua dah.
Saya suka makanan Thai. Menarik dan bertuah dapat belajar memasak Thai direct di kedai. Pengalaman yang hebat dan menarik. Harap saya juga ada peluang sebegini.
Yang ni memang di sekolah memasak betul2 sis, bukan kedai. Tapi ada jugak kot kedai2 makan yang buat kelas. Apa pun, memang pengalaman yang sangat seronok dan bermanfaat. Semoga sis juga berpeluang nanti. 🙂
Waaa bestnya Ummi you dapat belajar masakan Thai di Krabi.. Masa Sis pergi Krabi, memang kejenya makan ajeee, semua sedap-sedap.. lepas ni you dah boleh masak sendiri aje semua resepi tu..
Boleh la sikit2 sis, kalau tiba2 mengidam nak makan makanan Thai, kan. Tapi walau macam mana pun, lagi best makan kat sana jugak. Feel dia ada lebih sikit. Haha.
Seronok dapat belajar masak-masak. Esp masakan dr negara lain. Kalau dapat oeegi market tu lg best
Ya, Ayu, kalau ada market tour sekali mesti lebih seronok. Tapi saya fikir takpe la, bahan2 mentah di pasar Thailand rasanya tak banyak beza kot dengan tempat kita. Takde la sayur2 pelik yang kita tak kenal.
Interesting! Something so different from our normal activities when traveling. 🤭Worth to try it out! Favorite bah Thai food ni..
Absolutely, Kitkat. You have to give it a try when you go to Thailand next. 🙂
Yeahhh ni memang best. Part of pelancongan juga ni. Kelas memasak best join semasa trip. Kita boleh belajar skill dan teknik memasak cara mereka. Usually kelas ini tidak terlalu mahal jika kita pilih kelas yang bersesuaian. Ruby pernah join kelas memasak masa travel ke Dubai. Chef mengajar dengan penuh kesabaran sampai faham. Kalau kelas memasak di Malaysia, semuanya serba laju. Tak sempat catch up. Macam ada competition pula. Tak tau kenapa begitu. Better cari Chef Hotel dari Chef Selebriti kot. Hahaha.
Wah, menarik tu, kak Ruby. Lepas ni saya nak jadikan misi terbaru saya — nak join kelas memasak di setiap negara yang saya lawati. Haha. Sebab saya memang suka explore sesebuah negara atau budaya tu melalui makanan diorang. Tapi kalau belajar dengan chef selebriti atau chef hotel, dah tentu harganya pun lima bintang juga ya, kak? Takut bajet saya tak cukup la pulak.
Now you are a Thai masterchef too! And I am like you too – I have lost count of how many times I visited Thailand just to enjoy the real authentic Thai food. Perhaps I should learn to cook them too. Haha
Yes, maybe you should, Rawlins, especially since you love Thai food. It’s really fun. And no, I’m far from being a masterchef — I doubt if I even qualify to be a kitchen porter. Haha.
I pun suka dgn masakan thai, klu pg sana utama cari mkn kat sana, shopping no 2. Plg suka tgk ukiran buah mereka mmg rare, tentu seronok belajar masak tempat org.
Memang seronok, kak Halimah. Tak puas hati betul kenapa makanan kat sana sedap sangat, padahal dekat je dengan Malaysia — bahan2 pun lebih kurang sama. Haha. Ukiran buat tu saya belum pernah tengok lagi kat Thailand.
Wahh Ummi dah boleh bukak kedai Tomyum Gung nih since banyak kedai sekarang tutup sebab tiada pekerja dari Thai boleh datang balik kerja. Best jugak aktiviti memasak nih. Walaupun kita rasa macam ala mudah jer tapi kalau dapat belajar dari orang Thai sendiri memang lebih best. Kalau ada rezeki dapat pergi Thai lagi memang nak join jugak kelas cooking nih. Lapar terus tengok lauk Ummi masak.
Hehehe takde la sampai boleh bukak kedai, Saidila. Tapi memang seronok la join cooking class bila travel. Next time saya nak try di negara lain pulak. Tentu lebih menarik bila belajar bahan2 yang kita tak biasa jumpa. Saidila kalau ada peluang nanti, cuba la. 🙂
I miss cooking classes! I used to take some international cuisine classes every now and then before this pandemic hit. It’s not the same as cooking classes in that particular country, but usually the teacher had some ties to the cuisine and they knew what they were talking about, spices were only slightly accustomed to the bland Finnish taste. This post was great, it made me really miss learning to cook things. I think I’ll sign up for some remote classes now!
I’ve seen some of those remote cooking classes. I think it’s an ingenious idea, especially now that we can’t travel. It’s also great for those who have never had or will never have a chance to travel the world.
I’ve never tried any though — because it would mean I have to clean my kitchen to make it look presentable enough for the whole world to see. Hahaha.
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I love Thai food. And, to learn Thai cooking is truly awesome. Very informative post. Will join the cooking classes, next time I go there.
Totally agree. Enjoy the cooking classes, Nazmul!