In 2012 I was in Thailand with my boyfriend for a few weeks (escaping meters of snow and subzero temperatures in Holland) and we decided that we wanted to do a cooking class while in Bangkok. If you have ever been to Bangkok you’ll most likely be acquainted with the madness of Khao San Road. Trying to avoid this main tourist street and the buckets of whiskey and redbull, lady boys and tuctuc drivers we found the most amazing place to stay; a beautiful Thai house filled to the brim with antiques and with a ‘secret garden’ in the middle of the city, which was run by the sweetest old couple and had rooms for approximately €10 a night!
Elated with our new house (in previous visits to Bangkok we slept in dirty rooms with paper-thin walls) we walked into town (searching for food) and almost fell into May Kaidee’s famous Vegan and Vegetarian restaurant and cooking school. We couldn’t believe our luck!
May Kaidee is a well-travelled Thai woman who used to live off of snake-curry but had an epiphany and became the goddess of Thai Vegan and Vegetarian cooking (resulting in her contagiously happy aura and stunning figure).
Having filled our faces with delicious and healthy vegetarian food we decided to enroll for the next day’s cooking class.
We started at nine am with a cooking song (making my boyfriend and myself equally uncomfortable) and were warned to only eat a bite each course that we prepared as we would be preparing fifteen courses. We started with a delicious fresh-fruit salad and then learned how to make chili paste – a key ingredient in Thai cooking. The next step was to discuss Thai herbs and ingredients, to visit a vegetable market and a ‘spring-roll-wrapper’.
On return we learnt how to cook with the ingredients that we just learnt about. The dishes that we prepared were Tom Yum Soup, Tom Kha Soup, Issan Vegetables, Fried Vegetables with Ginger and Cashew Nuts, Pad Thai, Peanut Sauce, Masaman Curry and the all-time Thai favourite Green Curry. And yes, we were very full by the time that we made Pad Thai!
Having polished off our hot-dishes we concluded with rawfood recipes such as raw spring-rolls and Papaya Salad (or Som Tom) and an amazing traditional Thai desert: Sticky Rice with Mango.
While my cooking is usually limited to blending things (I do great soups and smoothies), the course really proved that you can make delicious and healthy Thai food really easily!
Visit May Kaidee’s website for more information and to purchase her great cookbook!