We took a vegan Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai, Thailand today at a cute little restaurant called Morning Glory (the name of a popular Thai vegetable).
Our lovely instructor, Diana, started our class at 9am and took us to the local market. She led us through the alleys, hugging the stall holders as we walked along (we can tell she’s a popular lady), pointing out the local produce, and showing us the Thai essential herbs and vegetables. Diana even explained what we could use instead in our home countries if we couldn’t find certain ingredients.
Here is Diana, dressed head to toe in Thai silk and explaining to me the difference between red and green curry pastes. They both use the same ingredients. The only difference is one uses red chilis and the other uses green.
Galangal, Kefir Lime, and Lemongrass – the three main ingredients for Thai spices, including Tom Yam and red and green curry pastes. In the pre made bundle, ginger and turmeric are included. The Thai and Indian cultures use Turmeric as an antiseptic on the skin and as a scrub.
We get back to the restaurant and start preparing. Diana explains that we should pre soak the vegetables in a tub of water and vinegar to give them a firm quality for Thai cooking. We prepare all the vegetables together and then head to the kitchen.
We didn’t really know we signed up for a cooking marathon. Diana tells us we will be making 10 Thai dishes today starting with Pumpkin Hummus, including Pad Thai, Peanut Sauce, Papaya Salad and Tom Yum.
Jonas quickly toasts the sesame seeds. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry wok for a couple minutes and the cashew nuts in a drop of oil.
Dish 1 and 2, Pumpkin Hummus and Pumpkin and Potato Soup. Very simple using coconut milk, steamed pumpkin and potato, and most importantly Thai spices.
It was amazing. Each meal takes only 5-10 minutes to whip up. Fast and fresh. Diana explains everything and makes sure you understand how to make the meals and she truly hopes you can take the lessons home with you.
Of course we whipped up Pad Thai. It’s all about how you toss the noodles in. for 3-5 minutes fold the noodles with the veggies and sauce.
Next we make the famous Thai peanut sauce. Everything is so simple with Thai cooking, just a few key ingredients. The peanut sauce includes red curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, soy sauce
Tom Yummmmm….Back to basics – Galangal, Lemongrass, Kefir Lime, Chili, Local way + Basil, or you can add milk or coconut milk for vegans
At the end of the cooking course we are pregnantly full and exhausted. But there’s one more course left. Sticky black mango rice with hot coconut milk.
Steam the black rice in a bamboo steamer for 15 minutes. The trick is since black rice is really hard you must mix black rice and white rice and let soak over night. The next day you can quickly steam it and it will be soft and sticky.
We pour the coconut milk in the wok and mix with the black rice for just a couple minutes.
Where: Morning Glory Vegan Restaurant, Chiang Mai, Thailand
When: Arrange in store with Diana. Classes start at 9 am and end past lunch.
Cost: 1200 Baht per person or around 30 USD
Diana has groups of 4 people max, so it is an intimate cooking class. It was just the two of us and Diana.
Don’t eat breakfast before hand and don’t eat too much in the beginning, take it slow. You will be preparing 10 dishes…there will be leftovers. Even with our appetites, Diana gave us a whole bag to take home AND we were stuffed for the whole day. If you’re looking for a vegan / vegetarian Thai cooking class Chiang Mai this is the place to go! Even if you aren’t vegetarian, the dishes are wonderful and the technique is the same with meat. We ate and ate and ate and learned so many valuable skills we can take back home with us after Thailand.
P.S. Do you even tourist?