Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

The best souvenirs for me are rarely cheap trinkets from travel and instead are the skills acquired along the way. As these are the souvenirs that just keep on giving. And as a food-obsessed traveller, this comes mostly with cooking classes, where I have picked up pretty much invaluable recipes through the years and benefit from them pretty much daily. And, in Thailand, Chiang Mai would have to be the place to find Thai cooking classes, given it’s a relatively compact city with lots of tourism and Thai cooking classes on offer. And while we have joined a Thai cooking course before at one of the more high-end resorts (Spice Spoons at the Anantara) there are also many independent Chiang Mai cooking classes to choose from. Anyway, to get a better idea of the competition, I enlisted the help of fellow food-loving travel bloggers to share a list of some of the best Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai.


Chiang Mai Cooking Classes?

A typical Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai will take around half a day, where they often start out with a tour in a local market or farm, to pick up some fresh local ingredients for the day. Or with shorter itineraries, they just start straight out in the kitchen. There will then be a short list of possible Thai food dishes to choose from to prepare that day. And with Chiang Mai cooking classes I would always hope for local Northern Thai dishes (Lanna Cuisine) as an option, where Khao Soi Curry may be a likely option. And while they normally do include the more common Thai dishes found in cookbooks and all online, I would personally go for more technical learning and preparation, such as pounding chilli pastes or squeezing coconut milk. Although all Chiang Mai Cooking Courses will vary.


Zabb E Lee’s Cooking Class

By Nancy of enSquaredAired: During my first trip to Chiang Mai, I read that cooking classes is a must-do when you’re in the city and booked it, despite having no interest in cooking classes. After doing some research online, I found Zabb E Lee’s Chiang Mai cooking class to be within my budget and booked that class. I wasn’t expecting much going into it but by the end of the class, my opinion of Thai cooking classes completely changed.

This cooking class not only taught me the basics of Thai cuisine, but it gave me a deep appreciation for how each Thai dish is cooked. Of all the delicious meals we cooked, the best dish that I learned to cook is panaeng curry. That’s because I learned the hard work and effort that goes into each curry dish since we made the curry paste from scratch. Not only that, but the dish is incredible too. My opinions about Thai cooking classes completely changed after taking this one. As well, whenever I order a Thai curry dish, I appreciate the hard work that went into this meal. (Their website here)

Zaab e Lee Cooking School, Best Thai Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai Thailand

Aromdii Cooking School

By Monique MacPhail of the Honeymoon Backpackers: If you want to learn to cook Thai cuisine, why not do it at one of the best cooking classes in Thailand! Arom Dii Cooking School is situated in Chiang Mai and is a family run business. Their facilities are clean, modern and it’s also a really affordable Chiang Mai Cooking Class too! We had an absolute blast at our private half day cooking class on our Honeymoon in Thailand. Learning to cook a variety of dishes like Khao Soi, Som Tum, Tom Yum, Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice.

Chiang Mai’s signature dish is Khao Soi Khun Yai. It’s by far our all-time favourite Thai food and we even learnt how to cook it! Khao Soi Khun Yai is a yellow coconut curry style soup with egg noodles and (usually) chicken. It’s garnished with pickled cabbage, shallots, lime and deep-fried crispy egg noodles. If you’re like us and don’t eat meat, no worries! opt for a vegetarian We just swapped out the chicken for tofu, you can also use mushroom if you prefer. (Their Website Here).

Best Chiang Mai Cooking Classes in Northern Thailand

May Kaidee’s Cooking School

Vegetarian and Vegan Thai Cooking Class By Kelly Edgar of Wanderlust by Kelley: Looking for an authentic vegetarian/vegan Thai cooking class? Look no further than May Kaidee’s cooking school. The founder of the school May Kaidee is a successful entrepreneur owning restaurants throughout Thailand and even in New York City! The Chiang Mai cooking school is located next door to the famous restaurant where people from all over the world, (vegans and non-vegetarians) rave about the delicious and fresh food.

On arrival you are greeted by the friendly staff with fresh water and fruit. You are provided with a course material book, with the recipes and secret tips. This book is now a staple in my kitchen. You begin by making a secret chilli paste, this will be used throughout the class. Next you move on to making the tastiest peanut sauce. Now entree, the freshest spring rolls topped with the peanut sauce, absolutely divine! Plus, the famous green papaya salad, a combination of spicy, sweet and sour! You’ll now enjoy a break to try your spring rolls, and papaya salad. After entree, it is time to make Tom Yam Soup, Pad Thai and Massaman curry! The Tom Yam Soup was my favourite dish. For dessert, Mango with sticky rice, yum! By the end of the class, you’ll be amazed at how well you can cook Thai cuisine. (Their website here).

May Kaidee’s cooking school, Best Thai Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai Thailand

Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School

By Jorge Bastos of Travel Drafts: There are several cooking classes all over Thailand but we simply loved the Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School in Chiang Mai. Thai food is delicious, so knowing how to make the best Thai food dishes in your home is precious and useful. We took a half a day cooking class that wasn’t expensive and enabled us to learn 5 Thai dishes: a stir-fry, a curry, a soup, spring rolls, and a dessert. We started the class with a tour in the local food market to choose the ingredients and learn about them. We also did a tour through the cooking school’s garden to tasted different herbs and learned about their properties.

After choosing the 5 Thai dishes we wanted to learn, we started cooking while our mentor went through it, step by step. Each student had a working station with a wok and a stove. The class only had 10 students so we felt it was personal and had a good vibe. In the end, we were very satisfied, with good food in our belly and new cooking skills to put into practice back at home. (Their website here).

Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School, Best Thai Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai Thailand

Aroy Aroy Cooking School

By Rosemary & Claire of Authentic Food Quest: Taking cooking classes is a great way to learn about the local dishes and develop a deeper appreciation of the culture. With Green Papaya Salad, Khao Soi and Mango Sticky Rice being among our top 10 favourite Thai local specialities, we were eager to learn how to make them. At Aroy Aroy cooking school in Chiang Mai is where we learned how to make our favourite dishes.

The most innovative dish we made was som tam or green papaya salad. This is Thailand ’s most iconic salad. The key to making a great green papaya salad is using a mortar and pestle. Standing in front of our stations, we placed all the ingredients into the mortar and gently pounded everything with the pestle until the ingredients were bruised, but not mushy. What looked complicated to make was actually quite simple. When it was time to eat, our Thai chef made a point to ask us to decorate the dish. In Thai culture he told us, “the presentation is very important.” After personalizing our half papaya shells, we sat down to enjoy a delicious and beautiful salad. Learning how to make this classic Thai salad and the cultural nuances were incredible.

Aroy Aroy Cooking School, Best Thai Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai Thailand

Thai Secret Cooking School

By Michelle Della Giovanna of Full Time Explorer: Located a quick 30-minute ride outside of Chiang Mai’s city center, the Thai Secret Cooking School feels like it’s in another world. The small school is situated between rice terraces and has its own organic farm on the premise. The cooking class begins with a trip to the local market followed by a walk through the organic garden. We hand-picked all of the ingredients we’d be using and learned the substitutes to use back in our own countries.

Everyone was able to pick which dishes they’d like to make, and I picked my favourites including spring rolls, coconut chicken soup, pad thai, green curry paste, and green curry with chicken. While all of the food came out amazing, it was learning to make green curry paste from scratch that stood out the most. Being American, we buy most of our ingredients already made, and it had never occurred to me that curry paste wasn’t just made from curry. My plate of ingredients was full of cilantro, lemongrass, shrimp paste, lime, shallots, garlic, and chillies. The process of grinding it down by hand was cumbersome, but in the end, we had a handmade item that tasted a million times better than anything you could buy in a store. (Their website here).

Thai Secret Cooking School, Best Chiang Mai Cooking Classes in Northern Thailand

Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre

By Anisa of Two Traveling Texans: Based on a recommendation from our hotel, we signed up for a private one-day cooking class at Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre.  In addition to learning to cook our choice of six dishes, we would also visit the local market. We had fun exploring the market and learning more about some of the local ingredients. Then, it was time to head back and get cooking.

My favourite dish that we made was the red curry. It was interesting to learn how to make it from scratch. We even used a mortar and pestle to make the curry paste. After we made each dish, we got to try it.  Everything we made was delicious. By the end of the day, I was stuffed. We had a great time and learned a lot. Our teacher was patient and spoke excellent English. The class also included a Thai cookbook that we could take home. I still need to try making some of the recipes in my own kitchen. (Their website here). 

Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre, Best Chiang Mai Cooking Classes in Northern Thailand

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