Making Thai Food in Thailand - booyah

One of the days in Chiang Mai, we decided to take a cooking class.  First, we stopped at a local market to purchase the ingredients and learn more about the ingredients that go into Thai food.  Then, it was off to a secluded location where both Katrina and I prepared 5 amazing dishes.  First was a pork salad accompanied with pork spring rolls.  Next, we followed it up with fish curry and prawn stir fry.  We finished with a black sticky rice and some new fruits for desert.  They were very accommodating and Katrina was able to make all vegetarian dishes.  The school was called cooking@home and I would recommend it for those not on a strict budget who want to learn how to make some Thai dishes.  We were also given a cookbook so hopefully Katrina and I will be able to prepare a few of these dishes in the States.  Also, there are a few pictures from diner one evening. 

 Cooking at Home Culinary School

Our first stop was a market - here you can see some different curry pastes.  We actually made our own, homemade curry paste which is something I've never done.

I believe this is a curry starter set.  You have your turmeric, a garlic/ginger like root, and some lemon grass I believe.  It's kind of cool how they sell them all together as a curry starter set.

Blood - not sure what it is used for...

Meat anyone?  This part made me a little sick but Katrina didn't mind it all - go figure...

Some sort of new fruit...

Dragon fruit - quite possibly one of my favorite new fruits

View as we ate our meals - a little bit of heaven on Earth, almost doesn't seem real

Our stations for the day

First dish was a pork salad - tofu and mushroom for Katrina

Chef Katrina whipping up a master piece, frying her spring rolls

Not sure what I'm doing in the picture but my spring rolls were a little brown...

Spring rolls and pork salad - Thai Style

It is actually a family run business and this is one of the sisters.  As a group, we all pitched in and made the sticky rice for desert.  Here, I added the rice.  There was a Canadian couple on their honeymoon who was also at the school with us.

This is another sister showing us how to make a dish.  First, one of the sisters would prepare a dish, we would taste test, and then go back to our stations and make it.

Chef Katrina making her curry paste.  It was quite the workout using the mortar and pestle, a utensil I've never used before. 

Bam - Fish Curry

The Chef and her dishes

Prawn or Shrimp Stir Fry

Katrina tasting some fruits at the end of our day

Dinner with Libby...  This was the day before, since we were stuffed from all the food we ate at the cooking school.  This was a Northern Thailand restaurant.  Yeah, I didn't know there were different Thai dishes either.  

Entrance to the restaurant

Inside were lots of cool nick knacks

Green Curry with Shrimp

Katrina mistakenly ended up with the pork fried rice

Pomelo Salad with baby eggplant.  It was a cross between pineapple and grapefruit.

Katrina and I after dinner

We went to a night market afterwards to get some desert - here's a fruit stand

Here's a food stand - I was a bit concerned about how long the food's been sitting out.  There didn't seem to be many takers and as you can see, some of the pans were quite full.  It just made me wonder a bit, that's all...

Rotee Time - It was like a fried dough, drenched in oil and butter, with bananas inside and drizzled with chocolate on top...

The ladies watching as she made

Chiang Mai - Ice Cream and Temples

We made it Thailand, safe and sound.  Fortunately, we were lucky enough to stay with a friend of a friend, Libby, and she was a fantastic host.  She also had an amazing house so we had all the comforts of home and it didn't really feel like we were backpacking.  Chiang Mai is a very laid back town, but with plenty to do.  We stayed for 5 or 6 days, I don't remember, and I felt like I could have stayed for a few weeks.  We were able to check out a few of the temples, eat some great food, even vegetarian options for Katrina, rent scooters, see a few of the markets, and we did a Thai cooking class as well.  Here are the first batch of photos from Chiang Mai.

 Libby's house had these sweet trees which roots or branches came down.

 Pond in front of her house

House Decoration

 Katrina the first night when we went to the market

 Just a big pile of glasses/sunglasses for 30 cents each I believe - as you can imagine, not the best quality

Libby, our host, on the left, with her friend Hally as we ordered sushi

 Restaurant where we ate our first dinner in Chiang Mai, actually at the market

 Sushi for four ended up setting us back 400 baht or a little over $13

 Frozen ice cream...  the woman actually pours a liquid onto a cold metal surface and scrapes it up occasionally until it forms a cold, solid substance.

 Libby in the background watching

Katrina deciding what to order

Happy with her choice

Putting her helmet on for the ride home

 Statue outside of a temple

 Front of the temple

Inside the temple with a few people praying - pretty big Buddha statue

So, these guys were fake but looked real - kinda creepy...

Not quite sure what this is - perhaps a Buddha relic?

 Place for the monks to sit during ceremonies

Lots of dragons at the entrances to temples and usually, one dragon eating another one

There was, what I can only assume, was a meditation garden with these signs posted on the trees

Some more words of wisdom

Dragon Time

Another Temple - there were a ton inside the old city walls and on bicycle, it was very easy to stop and see quite a few of them.  There were probably 3 or 4 temples I didn't even take pictures at...


 Inside one of the temples, some artwork

As I am sure you noticed, the design is usually quite similar

Yet another temple - some you could go in, some you couldn't

Perhaps the coolest of all was this one - however, you couldn't walk up the steps or get inside... bummer.  Great to see in the evening though.

Another temple in the same complex

5 Headed Dragon that protected the entrance to the temple

 A different angle - the camera doesn't really do justice to how big it actually was