• Day19

    Day 3 - Chiang Mai

    December 20, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    It's our final day in Chiang Mai before we take the overnight train down to Bangkok. For our last day we booked ourselves into Siam Home Cooking Class. We were picked up in a tuk-tuk and taken to a local's food market just outside of the Old City where we met Nancy our cooking teacher. Here she showed us all of the traditional Thai ingredients including the fresh fish counter. The fresh fish counter was nothing like the one in Asda and instead there were numerous buckets of fish swimmimg around. You could literally pick which one you wanted and they fished it out and chopped it up in front of you!

    After the market it was back on the tuk tuk and off to the cooking school. When we arrived we were able to choose 7 dishes from a menu to create which included a soup, stir fried noodles, curry, dessert, salad, stir fry and deep fried.

    We started off with the soup, tofu coconut milk soup for me and wonton soup for Simon. Nancy showed us how to chop the ingredients and then put them together to make the soup. We then sat down to enjoy our dishes which were delcious. Turns out my tolerance to spice has significantly improved whilst we have been away. I put 2 green chillis in mine and found it quite mild!

    We were then back up to make our stir fry, tofu and cashew nut for me and sweet and sour chicken for Simon. It was at this point we both really regretted eating breakfast. I was already full and had another 5 courses to get through! They weren't small portions either.

    Before the next course we got to have a little break and a walk around the neighbouring lake to 'help digestion' as Nancy put it. After a couple of laps (it was a small lake) we started on the salad course. I went for a green mango salad and Simon made a sweetcorn salad. My salad was very sweet and not because of the mango as you may think but the lashings of palm sugar that went into it. Salt and sugar appear to be key ingredients in Thai cooking, with 1 - 2 spoonfuls going into every dish! As we were finishing up our salad we were joined by another couple (up until now we had our very own private tour).

    Next up was the deep fried and noodle course. I opted for the vegetable spring rolls and Simon for the fried wontons. Turns out Si is a complete pro at constructing the wontons and I also smashed the spring rolls! Both of which were delicious! Unfortunately I wasn't able to try any of Si's dishes as they all contained meat and fish sauce (even the salad had fish sauce).

    After popping our fried goodies on the table for later we started on the noodle dishes. I opted for the traditional pad thai and Si for Pad C-eaw. Despite loving Pad Thai, this was actually my least favourite dish. It just didnt have much flavour. Si wasn't a fan of his either (he is still traumitised from all of the stir fries he ate in South America) and it contained large noodles which were a bit slimy.

    After polishing off the noodle dishes, spring rolls and wontons we moved on to the curry course and making our own curry paste with a pestle and mortar. I quickly discovered that the most effective method of making the paste was to simply bash the crap out of it, much to Si's amusement! It was actually pretty easy and smelt delcious! I reckon its something I may even be able to do at home. For the curry course I made a Khao soi which is a traditional dish for Northern Thailand and Si made a massaman curry (one of our favourites). This was by far my favourite course but I was so unbelievably full by this point I couldn't eat much. It was quite good that we were joined by another couple as we got to see a few other dishes being made.

    We then finished off with a dessert of sticky rice with mango and banana and coconut milk. Im a big fan of sticky rice and mango which on the face of it sounds really healthy but again was full of sugar.

    We thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class and Nancy was lovely! We will have to cook up a Thai feast when we get home.

    Feeling completely and utterly full we headed back to our hotel to grab our bags before heading to the train station. We were a couple of hours early but so was our train so we were able to sit in our first class carriage instead of on the platform. We were greeted by a very grumpy lady thrusting menus in our face and asking if we wanted to order food. When we asked if we could also buy food from the food cart she snatched them out of our hand and stormed off! Rude! Fortunately we have stocked up on lots of snacks as the food is supposedly terrible and we ate a 7 course lunch!

    A lady came around 7pm to convert our cabin into sleep mode so after a couple of episodes of netflix we downloaded, we tucked in to get some sleep. We will let you know how that was tomorrow.
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