Cooking Classes: Bali Vs. Thailand

I took my first-ever cooking class in Ubud while I was in Bali and absolutely loved it.

IMG_1335

And then I took another cooking class while in Chiang Mai – and I completely forgot all about Bali.

IMG_3769

If there’s one thing you should do when you come to Thailand, it’s take a cooking course. It’s something you have to experience in person. Because really, you can’t taste all the different flavors and smell all the varying aromas in a measly blog post – you just can’t. And the accomplishment of making new cultural dishes is so satisfying and amazing, it might tempt you to cook more often (says the girl who eats out every day and visits 7-11 every night).

Here’s the cooking course I took in Ubud: Canting Bali (highly recommended)

The menu:

  • Tempe lalah manis (sweet fried tempeh)
  • Tahu kare (tofu curry)
  • Soup ayam jamur (chicken mushroom soup)
  • Lawar bali (mixed veggies with Balinese spices)
  • Sate lilit (fish skewers with minced spices)
  • Pepes tuna (grilled fish served in banana leaf)
  • Dadar gulung (rolled cake with coconut and palm sugar)

I didn’t like the Balinese course as much since we were just given the food – we didn’t have the option of picking which dishes we wanted to cook. Everything was just laid out for us, and we cooked dishes family style. Some of us chopped vegetables, some of us fried tofu, some of us stirred everything together – but all 7 of us basically contributed a small part to a buffet set of food. In Chiang Mai, we cooked our own dishes individually with the guidance of our instructor, so I preferred that a lot more – that way, I could make things as spicy as I wanted.

Not a bad backdrop for a cooking course
Not a bad backdrop for a cooking course
Balinese peace offering: Made once a day, put outside before meals
Balinese peace offering: Made once a day, put outside before meals

IMG_1318IMG_1320IMG_1322IMG_1323IMG_1324IMG_1325

The struggs of using a knife for once in a rare lifetime
The struggs of using a knife for once in a rare lifetime
IMG_1329
The German girl to my direct right looked exactly like Lorde, I swear.

IMG_1330IMG_1331IMG_1334IMG_1342IMG_1343IMG_1344IMG_1348IMG_1352IMG_1354

Final products
Final products
Nom noms
Nom noms
That split in the side kills me
That split in the side kills me

IMG_1366

Chiang Mai’s cooking class (MaMaNoii Thai Cookery School) was even better since it was led by a hilarious ladyboy (I think) who told us that the person who crushed the curry paste together the hardest in the stones would be guaranteed to marry soon.

IMG_3530IMG_3519IMG_3520IMG_3521

We were toured around the farm in the first hour, shown the pigs (“Come back in the spring if you want to eat,” to which my stomach turned) and hot chili peppers – my favorite. I loved how we were shown a giant menu with five dishes in each category to choose from. We literally made five GIANT dishes in total – I added the last one in (deep fried bananas) since I ended up finishing one of the guy’s leftovers because I’m a beast. And it gives you an idea of just how fat Thailand is making me. 🙂

TOO CUTE. DO NOT EAT.
TOO CUTE. DO NOT EAT.

IMG_3536IMG_3543IMG_3546IMG_3549IMG_3551

The menu:

  • Nam Prik Khao Soi curry paste (for Khao Soi – Chiang Mai’s specialty curry noodles)
  • Pad Thai
  • Lab Gai (chicken spicy salad)
  • Tom Yung Kung (hot and sour prawn soup)
  • Khao Neow Ma Muang (mango sticky rice)
  • Kluay Tod (deep fried bananas)
Tom Yum Kung
Tom Yum Kung
Fireball Pad Thai
Fireball Pad Thai
Lab Gai
Lab Gai
Khao Soi
Khao Soi
Khao Neow Ma Muang
Khao Neow Ma Muang
Kluay Tod
Kluay Tod

IMG_3634

I was a little too excited to make the Pad Thai with all the spices in my power, since I normally don’t receive things Thai spicy here even when I ask for it. I think the locals are scared ferangs will roll over and die, perhaps? I dumped a heaping soup spoon of chili flakes in, as well as 7 or 8 Thai full Thai chili peppers in, since the average Thai person puts 5-10. I thought I was such a badass and could handle it.

IMG_3578

Wrong.

I was okay for the first 5 minutes, and then my eyes started watering and my lips were on fire. I have a really high tolerance for spicy food, but I completely overdid it and learned my lesson from those chili peppers. Never again will I dump full chili peppers into my dishes…

Sad that I couldn't finish...
Sad that I couldn’t finish…

All I want to do is take cooking classes around the world – I can’t wait to go back to Japan and take one there, as well as everywhere throughout Europe. Food is life. 

IMG_3774IMG_3770IMG_3767IMG_3766IMG_3765IMG_3762IMG_3761IMG_3759IMG_3633IMG_3630IMG_3612

Khao Soi ingredients
Khao Soi ingredients

IMG_3598

Stinky fish paste that makes curry taste so flavorful
Stinky fish paste that makes curry taste so flavorful

IMG_3595

Making curry paste
Making curry paste

IMG_3580IMG_3562

Pad Thai ingredients
Pad Thai ingredients
“Good food is like music you can taste, color you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only be aware to stop and savor it.” (Ratatouille)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s