You won’t regret taking this thrilling Thai cooking class in Bangkok

You can’t leave Thailand without doing a cooking class in Bangkok! Here’s my experience in one of the premier Thai cooking schools in the capital.

Normally, I would travel alone. But when I visited family in the Philippines, we all decided to make a mini-trip to Bangkok.

After our trip to Ayutthaya, we decided to take a cooking class in Bangkok. I mean, you’re in Thailand so this is one of the top things to do!

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We are all avid cooks, and we all cook our meals at home, so this activity in Bangkok made everyone happy, especially our group of 10 travelers!

Here’s my Bangkok cooking class experience and I highly recommend you book this activity, too!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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Choosing the best cooking class in Bangkok

cooking class in bangkok

Bangkok has several cooking classes, but not all offer an authentic Thai cooking experience. When choosing the best Bangkok cooking class, consider the following:

  • Is this cooking class led by experts and local chefs?
  • What is the class size? Will I be learning with focus or divided attention from the instructor?
  • Is this Thai cooking school certified?
  • What is the food hygiene rating?

As for me, I opted for one of the top 3 Thai cooking schools in Bangkok. It felt like they had the same offerings so I chose the one that makes more sense in terms of distance to my hotel.

Since I was traveling with my family, we also opted for private lessons (we were a group of 10!). Private cooking classes in Bangkok provide a more tailored experience.

I’ve been to many cooking classes all over the world but the one in Bangkok is the most professional class I’ve been to.

They let us focus on certain dishes or techniques and can change based on our pace and food tastes.

Private lessons also give you more time to talk to the teacher, which is good for more experienced students who want to improve their skills.

Best cooking class in Bangkok

BAIPAI THAI COOKING SCHOOL

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, our Bangkok Cooking Class will enhance your culinary skills and deepen your appreciation of Thai cuisine. Join us to create and savor dishes you can recreate at home for family and friends!

Cooking class in Bangkok experience

This was the experience I was looking most forward to during my family trip to Bangkok. In this section, I will tell stories on how the cooking class went.

The cooking school offered a free pick-up at a meeting point in Bangkok center but we opted to go to the school by ourselves.

It’s super near the Chatuchak Market which is one of the must-do things in Bangkok for shopping, street food and local life. We still had to take a Grab from Chatuchak (15 minutes ride).

Organic garden tour

When we arrived, the morning class was taking place so we had to wait in the garden. I know I said that most cooking classes are the same, but this school has a large organic garden where they grow the ingredients for the cooking class.

Here, we harvested coconuts and they taught us how to use the coconut grater stool.

A coconut grater stool, often found in various cultures that frequently use coconuts in their cuisine, is a small piece of furniture designed specifically for grating coconuts.

It typically combines a seat or stool with a metal grater attached at one end. The grater is usually a rounded blade or a series of sharp metal teeth.

When using this tool, a person sits on the stool and scrapes the halved coconut against the grater to extract the coconut meat.

The design of the coconut grater stool can vary, but its primary function is to provide a stable and efficient way to grate coconuts while seated comfortably.

Mind you, it’s not that easy – you need a lot of force! You also have to drive the coconut in the direction of the grater since everything is manual.

With the combination of the weight of the coconut and the force you have to exert to grate it, I considered this as a warm-up for the cooking class in Bangkok.

The actual cooking class in Bangkok

The school was equipped with professional kitchen gear and fresh ingredients from the organic garden. Thailand has many ingredients that the West doesn’t have so it was also exciting to try these new vegetables!

For example, I had learned how to properly wrap chicken with a pandan leaf in a very presentable way. Pandan leaf, known for its unique, sweet, and floral aroma, is widely used in Thai cuisine to enhance both savory dishes and desserts.

Compared to where I live (in Mexico), the Thai mortar and pestle was wooden, so it was easier to use.

In Thailand, two main types of mortar and pestle are used: one made from granite and another from clay or wood. The granite type is more suitable for pounding hard spices and making curry pastes.

Since this was a cooking class private to our group, we had the chance to really ask the chef about the process.

The instructor was a female and her English was clear and good. Throughout the cooking class, I had always envisioned her as the Asian mama teaching us to cook.

She was very generous with the information and she even gives her home-cooking tips that’s not part of the program.

This cooking school in Bangkok, where we did the class, is accredited by the Ministry of Education of Thailand and is also a school for professional chefs.

Presentation and Plating Techniques

Presentation and plating are very important in Thai food. They emphasize the balance and beauty of each dish, which shows how much care and thought went into making it.

In this cooking class in Bangkok, I learned some important ways that Thai food is served and presented:

Use of color: Thai food is bright and lively. Fresh herbs, spices, and a range of veggies give the dishes a wide range of colors that make them look good.

When you plate, think about how the colors will look together: basil or cilantro for green, chili peppers for red, mangoes or curry for yellow, and rice or noodles for white.

Garnishing: Fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and Thai basil are often used as garnishes in Thai food.

Lime slices, lemongrass sprigs, and carved veggies like carrots and cucumbers also make the dish look and feel different.

Symmetry and Placement: Thai plate is often set up in a way that is symmetrical, which looks good. The ingredients are carefully placed to make the final product look good.

Dishes are usually put in the middle of the plate, with all the other parts neatly organized around the main item, like a protein piece or a mound of rice.

Layering: Layering makes things look and taste more interesting. You can put meats on top of a base of greens or noodles, then add sauces and garnishes.

Each layer can be seen, which makes the arrangement more interesting and lets you enjoy each part of the dish on its own and as a whole.

Traditional Thai serving dishes: We also used traditional Thai plates to serve. Clay pots, banana leaves, and wooden platters give the presentation a sense of tradition and cultural history by making it look real and rustic.

With these new acquired skills, I can definitely host a Thai party back home!

Bangkok Cooking Class Menu

When booking your Bangkok cooking class, you will often be asked which dishes you want to learn.

I am sure you have Thai food where you live so more or less, you pretty much have an idea about what you want to learn to cook.

I honestly did not check the menu. I had the impression that all schools have the same menu but this school has A LOT!

For the class, you will be taught 4 dishes: 1 chicken dish, 1 pork dish, 1 salad, and 1 desert. Here’s a brief background of the dishes we learned to cook:

1. Papaya Salad

Thai Papaya Salad, or Som Tam in local language, is a popular dish in Thai food that comes from Issan, a region in the northeast of Thailand that was affected by Lao cooking styles.

Green papaya that has been shredded is usually mixed with peanuts, dried shrimp, runner beans, palm sugar, tamarind juice, fish sauce, lime juice, and chili peppers.

A mortar and pestle are used to smash this mixture together, which helps the tastes blend well. The taste of Thai Papaya Salad is distinctly vibrant and refreshing.

It is known for its harmonious blend of five main tastes: the sourness of lime, the sweetness from sugar, the umami from fish sauce, the saltiness from dried shrimp, and the heat from chili peppers.

Each ingredient can be adjusted to suit personal preferences, making Som Tam a versatile dish that can range from mildly tangy to intensely spicy.

This salad is not only cherished for its robust flavor profile but also for its healthful qualities.

2. Red Curry Pork with Bamboo Shoots

Red Curry Pork with Bamboo Shoots is a well-known Thai dish that is known for having strong, fragrant tastes.

Red curry sauce is made from dried red chilies, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and other spices. It is usually cooked with pork slices.

This curry paste has a bright red color and a taste that is spicy, slightly sweet, and savory all at the same time. The food tastes earthy and has a crunchy texture thanks to the bamboo shoots.

Another important element is coconut milk, which balances out the heat of the red chilies by adding a creamy, cooling touch.

Thai basil, which gives the dish a fresh, green taste, is often added as an extra. Overall, Red Curry Pork with Bamboo Shoots has the right amount of spicy, sweet, and creamy tastes.

3. Chicken in Pandanus Leaf

“Gai Hor Bai Toey,” or Thai Chicken in Pandanus Leaf, is a traditional Thai food made by marinating small pieces of chicken in a mixture of garlic, coriander roots, white pepper, and soy sauce.

Then, these pieces are skillfully wrapped in pandanus leaves, which have a sweet, flowery smell, and steamed or deep-fried.

Gai Hor Bai Toey has a great mix of sweet and savory flavors. You can taste the spices that were used in the marinade, and the pandanus leaves give it a unique flavor that is a mix of green and vanilla.

A lot of the time, the food comes with dipping sauces like sweet chili sauce that make it taste even better.

Thai food is incomplete without this dish, which is famous for its special way of cooking and the wonderful taste it provides.

4. Mango Sticky Rice

Thai Mango Sticky Rice, or “Khao Niew Mamuang” in Thai, is a classic dessert made with sweet sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and ripe mango slices.

Thai people love this food especially when mangoes are in season (from April to June). Glutinous rice is steamed and then mixed with coconut milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt to make the treat.

It has a rich, creamy texture. Most of the time, it’s served with ripe mangoes, which give the mild, slightly salty rice a juicy, sweet-tart contrast.

The overall taste experience of Thai Mango Sticky Rice is a delightful blend of sweetness, creaminess, and a subtle saltiness, complemented by the freshness of the mango.

More dishes to choose from

If the list above is not attractive to you or you want other options, the Thai cooking school can also teach you how to cook the following dishes:

  1. Chicken Satay: Grilled chicken skewers marinated in spices, served with a peanut dipping sauce.
  2. Savory Prawn’n Herb Salad: Fresh prawns mixed with a variety of herbs and spices, typically light and refreshing.
  3. Stir-fried Beef’n Chili: Beef stir-fried with chilies and other seasonings, offering a spicy and savory flavor.
  4. Panang Curry with Chicken: A type of Thai curry that is rich and creamy, slightly sweet, made with coconut milk and Panang curry paste.
  5. Thum Thim Krob (Water Chestnut in Coconut Milk): Water chestnuts coated in tapioca flour, served in sweetened coconut milk and ice, a refreshing dessert.
  6. Stir-fried Chicken’n Cashew Nuts: Chicken pieces stir-fried with cashew nuts, vegetables, and a hint of chili.
  7. Spicy Grilled Beef Salad: Grilled beef slices mixed in a spicy lime dressing with herbs.
  8. Pad Thai (Thai Style Fried Rice Noodle): Stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, tofu, shrimp, peanuts, and bean sprouts, flavored with tamarind and fish sauce.
  9. Spring Rolls: Fried or fresh rolls filled with vegetables, sometimes including meat or seafood, served with a dipping sauce.
  10. Minced Pork Salad North Eastern Style: Spicy and tangy salad made with minced pork, herbs, and spices typical of Northeastern Thailand.
  11. Tom Kha (Chicken’n Galangal in Coconut Milk Soup): A mild, tangy soup made with chicken, galangal, coconut milk, and lime juice.
  12. Pad See Ew (Stir-fried Rice Noodle Pork and Dark Soy Sauce): Wide rice noodles stir-fried with pork, dark soy sauce, and Chinese broccoli.
  13. Chicken in Pandanus Leaf: Chicken marinated in spices and wrapped in pandanus leaves before frying or grilling.
  14. Papaya Salad: Shredded green papaya mixed with tomatoes, chilies, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, known as “Som Tam.”
  15. Red Curry Pork with Bamboo Shoots: Spicy and aromatic curry made with red curry paste, pork, bamboo shoots, and coconut milk.
  16. Thai Egg Custard: Sweet custard made from eggs and coconut milk, often steamed and served in small cups.
  17. Golden Bag Filled with Tasty Combination: Deep-fried pastry pouches filled with a mixture of minced meat and vegetables.
  18. Tom Yum Soup (Hot ‘n Sour Prawn Soup): A hot and sour soup made with prawns, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves.
  19. Green Curry Chicken: A spicy and aromatic curry made with green curry paste, chicken, eggplants, bamboo shoots, and basil.
  20. Crispy Golden Cup with Tasty Fillings: Small, crispy pastry cups filled with a savory mixture, often including minced chicken and vegetables.
  21. Yum Woonsen (Glass Noodle Salad): Salad made with glass noodles, minced pork or seafood, and mixed with a lime-based dressing.
  22. Masaman Curry with Chicken: A rich, mildly spicy curry with influences from Persian cuisine, made with chicken, potatoes, and peanuts.
  23. Pad Kaphao (Stir-fried Pork with Basil Leaves): Pork stir-fried with holy basil leaves, chilies, and garlic, a very popular Thai dish.

After the cooking class in Bangkok

One of the best parts of a cooking class in Bangkok is getting to share and taste the food that was made.

We gathered around a shared dining table to eat what we’ve made after the cooking session. Even if we made the exact same dishes, we traded plates to see who did it better.

Actually, one of my cousins who joined us in this trip is a professionally trained chef so we always thought his was the best.

The cooking school has a dining area on the second floor of the building so we were transferred to a nicer room/setting to enjoy our meal.

They also surprised us with a printed and foldable Thai recipe of everything we made. It was a fantastic souvenir and I am still following these recipes at home!

Lastly, since I wasn’t able to take photos while cooking, there was a photographer roaming around and taking pictures of us. They will send you a copy of the photos via e-mail.

How much is a Thai cooking class?

Cooking classes in Bangkok vary but this one that I took range from $49-$99 USD per person. We paid for the group price and I wasn’t sure if that was a discounted rate.

Is taking a cooking class in Bangkok worth it?

I cook at home all the time and I barely eat out so a cooking class in Bangkok is super worth it for me. In all my trips, I make sure that I take at least one cooking class.

I truly believe that food is the language of the world and is one of the easiest ways to understand a culture that isn’t yours.

Most of the time, the classes teach a variety of skills, such as how to make the best curry pastes and stir-fries.

For both new and experienced cooks, these skills can be used not only for Thai food but also for other types of food, making your general cooking skills better.

Thai food is a big part of culture, and cooking lessons are a great way to learn more about it. They give more than just recipes; they also explain where dishes come from and the customs that surround making and eating them.

Participating in this cultural immersion helped me learn more about Thailand’s past and social values through its food.

Seeing how food is a part of everyday life in Thailand is an interesting experience!

If I am traveling alone, I would’ve joined a group tour to meet new friends. Although I saw many foreigners in the cooking school, we were in a private tour and did not have the chance to interact with others.

If you are traveling alone, a cooking class in Bangkok is worth it not just for acquiring cooking skills but for meeting new people.

Continuing Thai cooking at home

As soon as I got home, I started using the recipes and techniques I learned in the cooking class in Bangkok. I realized that doing it once is not enough – you really need to practice.

We host dinners every Friday in our home and we were happy to serve our friends new dishes that we learned in Bangkok.

The only issue is that I now live full-time in Mexico so Thai ingredients like fish sauce are not easy to get here.

If you are living in the United States or Canada, there are many Asian stores where you can get Thai ingredients so keep re-doing the dishes from the cooking class!

Lastly, I plan to make a more serious cooking class in Bangkok like taking more advanced classes or workshops when I come back to Thailand!

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