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Chiang Mai Cookery School

Chiang Mai Cookery School

The last few days I’ve been at cookery school in Chiang Mai. The school is one of the best in Chiang Mai, just outside the city, and I stayed at Sompon Nabnian’s house, a TV chef here in Thailand, along with an American girl and we were cooking solidly for three days. The house was huge and it didn’t feel like you were in someone’s house (apart from the family portraits in the hall), there were lovely bits of artwork everywhere and plenty of books, plus a herb garden and swimming pool outside.

We made six dishes per day, four in the morning and then two after lunch. We were basically eating constantly so there was no need for dinner!

Inside the classroom there was a mirror above the station so we could see

Inside the classroom there was a mirror above the station so we could see

We made a selection of curries, stir fries, noodles, salads, vegetable side dishes and desserts plus we learnt how to make our own curry paste (by hand, no blenders allowed) and we went to the market in the mornings to get our ingredients.

Panaeng Curry Paste

Panaeng Curry Paste

Red chicken curry

Red chicken curry

Papaya salad

Papaya salad

Steamed banana cake - amazing!

Steamed banana cake – amazing!

Fried big noodles with pork

Fried big noodles with pork

It was brilliant and everything seemed really easy to make, definitely do-able at home. It was also great to see different ingredients that we just don’t have in England like fresh cumin leaves, prickly ash (herb) and three types of basil.

Prickly ash herb used with fish

Prickly ash herb used with fish

At the local market

At the local market

Vegetable lady at the market

Vegetable lady at the market

Butcher (holding up some fresh tongue) at the local market

Butcher (holding up some fresh tongue) at the local market

Those pink eggs look nice!

Those pink eggs look nice!

...maybe not!

…maybe not!

Frogs - still alive!

Frogs – still alive!

Offerings for the temple

Offerings for the temple

My favourite dishes were the curries. They start with coconut cream, rather than oil, that’s reduced down until the oil in the cream separates then curry paste is added then more coconut milk. It made it so creamy and taste absolutely delicious – get ready to eat curry when I get home 🙂

I finished this afternoon and moved to another hotel in town so tomorrow I will start exploring the old city and then on Tuesday I’m going to learn how to be a mahout for the day at an elephant park – another action-packed week ahead!

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