Thailand Travelogue

Cooking class with Akha Kitchen

As a huge lover of Thai cuisine, I am always fascinated by the flavours and the complexity of the thai food. Hence, during my solo trip to Chiang Rai, I signed up for a cooking class to learn more about thai cooking. While doing my research, there are 4 cooking schools that keep on appearing, namely Suwannee Thai Cooking Class, Akha Kitchen Thai Cooking Class, Cook Thai Yourself and Cooking With Ann. But I chose Akha Kitchen as it is currently top on TripAdvisor’s best cooking class in Chiang Rai as well as it is cheaper than the rest and it offers 5 courses including a dessert.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-103
We started our morning with Jaruwan picking us up in a songteaw, a pick-up car commonly seen along the street in Chiang Rai as a public transport, from our hotel/ accomodation to a local thai market to purchase fresh ingredients for the dishes that we have decided to cook for the day. We were blessed that the class was relatively small (there were only 4 of us) and we are all females.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-14
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-25
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-17
Jaruwan was really sweet to treat us drinks at a local coffee stall in the market before we proceed to explore the market.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-6
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-47
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-34
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-36
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-8
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-9
Besides sharing with us, ingredients that are used in Thai cuisine and tips on choosing certain ingredients, Jaruwan also treated us to some local snack made with glutinous rice in a bamboo packaging. But one of the most interesting find during this market visit was the machine that is used to make fresh coconut milk. The guy simply pours in water and the freshly grated coconut and the huge ass machine generates heaps of coconut milk within seconds. I was super impressed by this machine. The thais are very smart, aren’t they?
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-58
Before heading over to Akha Kitchen to start our cooking class, Jaruwan also brought us to the Hill-tribe souvenir shop to take a look. To be honest, the price here is slightly cheaper than the ones in the night market. So if you are looking at buying some, you can actually buy them here if you sign up for the class since the course fee also includes transport back to the hotel.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-62
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-63
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-60
Upon reaching Akha Kitchen, we were served with freshly cut pineapple as well as rosella tea.
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-71
The class began with us preparing our own curry paste using a mortar and pestle to be used later for the thai curry before we proceed to make a special Akha Chili Dip called “Sapi tong”.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-77
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-78
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Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-64
Depending on what the group of the day have chosen, the dishes might be a tad different from mine. For us, we chose Pineapple Rice, Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry as well as pumpkin in coconut milk. The pace of the cooking class was good with Jaruwan being very patient with every one of us. After cooking each dish, we get to sit down to enjoy our food hot while chit-chatting about everything under the sun with my new friends from Hong Kong and UK. Oh yes, not to forget the free flow of drinks in the well-stocked fridge. Definitely a pleaser for the hot sweltering weather of 37 degree when I was in Chiang Rai.
Akha Kitchen Cooking Class-102
Overall, I am so glad that I joined Akha Kitchen for the cooking class. I like how organised the whole cooking experience was and everything was clean and the process was well planned. Jaruwan also helped us to cater our cooking according to our preferences with vegetarian option available. After the cooking class, we can also wear Akha traditional costume to take some pictures before the songteaw send us back to our accommodation. Oh yes, not to worry about having no prior cooking experience as Jaruwan and the Akha Kitchen crew will guide you toward cooking your amazing 5 course Thai meal.


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