Thailand … Chiang Mai … Cooking Class & Doi Suthep

Hey Everyone …

Welcome to the next instalment from our time in Thailand … this is about our last day in Chiang Mai and the amazing cooking class we had with Noi at Dash! restaurant …

We got up early again this morning (19th March) and decided to skip breakfast knowing how much food we were going to be eating throughout the day with Noi during our cooking class …

We were dropped off by Pom outside of Dash! at 8.30am and headed straight out to the local fresh produce market with Noi … this was where all the locals would come to do their shopping … most of the food sold here is locally grown in Thailand and some of it comes in from China …

We wandered around for a while and picked up a few ingredients for the class later … Noi also explained a few things about the different types of coconut and other things about different ingredients we came across …

Always happy to explain anything if we had questions … we even picked up some curry pastes so we can make our own at home later …

We then moved onto to a different market which did all sorts including food, fruits, dried nuts and other processed/prepared food products … it was interesting to see and Noi kept getting us to try different things as we went round … from coconut jelly sweets to watermelon sweetened rice cakes (really good!) …

By the time we got back to the restaurant we were raring to go … we started with some basic culinary skills such as how to handle a knife properly and how to clean shrimp correctly … we then moved onto making a few sauces which we were going to be using in some of the other dishes later … these included Pad Thai sauce, Tamarind sauce, Hoisin Sauce and Noi’s Mum Paste …

We started with the appetisers and made Garlic Shrimp served with the Tamarind Sauce … it was so good …

Then moved on to making Thai Shrimp and Veg spring rolls … these were incredibly tasty and fresh flavoured … I particularly liked the fact they were not deep fried and the Hoisin Sauce went with them perfectly …

Next up on the list were the soups … we made two kinds of soup … one was a traditional Thai coconut chicken soup and then a Thai spicy Shrimp soup … both incredibly tasty and very flavourful …

We followed this with a very traditional Thai dish of Green Papaya Salad … which is basically a spicy fruit salad … and Noi went on to explain what other fruits we could substitute in the salad if we couldn’t find all the right ingredients …

We took a short break at this point … we hadn’t even moved onto the main courses yet and I was already starting to get quite full …

We moved onto the currys and made a Green Curry and my favourite a Panang Curry … they were so incredibly yummy, packed with flavour … and surprisingly quick and easy to make (once you have all the ingredients of course) … by this time Perry and I were already starting to lag from all the food we had eaten … but we persevered with tasting the dishes as we progressed making them …

We then moved onto the stir fry dishes … and we made an Aubergine stirfy …

A sweet and sour fish stir fry … this was particularly good … and it pained me that I couldn’t eat more than a mouthful at the time …

And finally we made a Chicken and Cashew nuts dish … equally good and tasty … just like everything else we had made that day …

The final dish that Noi was going to show us how to make was the traditional Pad Thai … or rather her take on the classic Thai dish …

Now I had never been the biggest fan of this particular dish … I had never really had a version of it that made me think it was amazing … until we came to Thailand … I fell in love with this dish during this week and Noi’s version is incredibly tasty … we each made our own Pad Thai before serving up and going to sit down to eat and have a chat …

We were joined by one of the neighbours cats who sleepily dozed near us as we ate …

As full as I was I did eat most of my Pad Thai … a testament to how good the food was … every time I put my chopsticks down and declared I was done … I would find myself picking them up again and having more … it was ridiculously tasty …

There was still so much food which we had made but were unable to finish that we agreed we would come back later in the evening to eat the rest for dinner … so after making a quick desert of coconuts and bananas … which we would eat later … Noi helped us to organise a Sankampaeng (a large 12 person taxi) to take us up to one of the famous temples in the mountains called Wat Prathat Doi Suthep … so we clambered in and napped on the way up there …

Once there we got tickets for the cable car to the top … neither of us had the energy to contemplate climbing up the 300+ stairs to get to the top … when we got up there we went for a wander round the temple grounds and the Golden Pagoda … it was interesting to see and if it had been a clear day we would have had some lovely views out over the city as well …

We spent about an hour wandering around and looking at all of the different things there were to see … from lanterns in the trees to the rows and rows of bells and all the little statues dotted around … there was also a Jack fruit tree and as I hadn’t seen one before I found it particularly intriguing …

Once we were satisfied we had seen everything we headed back down and found our taxi driver who had waited for us while we were up there … and got dropped off back near the main gate in the Old City … we strolled down the main road and stopped at a little coffee shop along the way for a cold drink and to just sit down and relax for a little bit … all that eating earlier had really taken it out of us … and our legs were still abit sore from the day at the Elephant Park …

Once we had recouped our energies somewhat we got ready to leave … as we were leaving we bumped into a young woman outside the coffee shop who was doing survey about public transport in Chiang Mai and wanted tourists perception of it … as we were in no hurry to be anywhere we stopped to fill in her survey and have a chat with her … she was really sweet and we were happy to have been able to help her out …

We wandered on back down the main road and stopped at a little massage place … Perry opted for a foot and leg massage to help his sore legs while I had another back massage … Perry told me after it was exactly what he needed, and I loved mine just as much … I got my back cracked a couple times and the masseuse managed to get to all my pressure points with the elbows and knees … after being completely mellowed out we strolled along, on auto pilot by this point, down the little side streets back to Dash! to go for dinner … we took a seat outside and soon we were having our food served up along with cold drinks …

We said hello to the staff and Dash who were moseying around rather calmly serving the few tables that were there at the time … it was still early and the dinner rush hadn’t quite started … that was until a bus load of people suddenly appeared outside … at this point one of the waitresses started calling into the house (adjacent to the restaurant) to say that about 20 people had just shown up and soon after Noi came rushing out (she had been resting) and greeted everyone, helping them settle, talking to them and taking orders …

Noi, Dash and the rest of her staff are all really friendly and make a great effort to drum up conversation with their guests taking a real interest in everyone’s stories … they make you feel incredibly welcome … and it says alot that out of our 3 days in Chiang Mai we have probably spent about 50% of our time with Noi and her family here at Dash! … wonderful people and amazing food … if you ever find yourself in Chaing Mai please visit … I cannot recommend the food enough …

After finishing our meal we had some of the coconut and banana desert we’d made … with live music playing in the background and it being a balmy 30 degrees it was a perfect evening to be sat outside for a meal … We settled up, made our call to Pom to come collect us … and after saying our goodbyes to Noi and the staff we made our way to the meeting point for pickup … when we got back to the villa we had just about enough energy left to finish packing our bags before collapsing in bed with massive food bellies …

It had been a brilliant day spent with wonderful people and fuelled by amazing food … the perfect ending to our stay in Chiang Mai …

Stay tuned for updates on our time in Koh Samui …

Till next time …

Mina X

3 thoughts on “Thailand … Chiang Mai … Cooking Class & Doi Suthep

  1. Pingback: Thai Panang Curry Recipe … | Our Adventures In The Middle East

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