I wasn’t going to blog about this cooking class but I thought why wouldn’t I want to share what an awesome day I had with everyone else?
I will do a more detailed post o my trip to Thailand with photos however today I wanted to blog about a cooking class that my friends and I attended in Koh Samui.
I had googled for a Thai cooking class and Ying’s Thai Cooking Class kept popping up on Trip Advisor. After reading pretty much all the amazing reviews I decided to contact her and see if I could get a booking for while we were in Samui. We were very lucky to get a day with her as she’s quite popular!
Now a little about Ying. She was born in Samui but spent a number of years in Bangkok before returning home. Fluent in German and English, she runs a cooking class from her home with her parents (who are so adorable!). Her classes are no bigger then 4 people per session which makes it all the more intimate and easier to learn. The day starts around 9am and usually you would be done between 3-3.30pm which is a pretty long day in the kitchen! And trust me, after the class, there will be no need for dinner. My husband and I had dinner reservations at 7.00pm and we could barely eat!
There was so much laughing in her class that I’m surprised we didn’t burn our food from being to distracted with being silly!
What I love most besides the cooking (and eating) is that Ying really takes a step back to her origins. You’ll notice if you have ever been to Thailand is that there really is not much culture left and the country is pretty much run off tourism. Food is dumbed down with little or no spices and recipes and ingredients altered to suit the taste buds of foreigners. Ying is passionate everything being as organic as possible – as you’ll see with the photos below, her garden is amazing. Everything is in her garden is grown by both her parents and herself. Even her soaps and shampoo are all home made. Nothing is wasted. Scraps are used as compost and she stressed to keep minimal harm to the environment. It’s all very satisfying to witness with your own eyes someone trying to make a difference to their surroundings and the environment.
Our day started early with Ying picking us up from our Villa in her 4WD we drove to the Hua Thanon market which was quite far away from the tourist area near her home in Suratthani. She had no set recipes so we were able to pick out whatever we wanted to cook when we got to the market. We ended up deciding with Tom Yam Goong, Larb (my absolute favorite!), Yellow Curry with Chicken and Phad Thai Goong.
The market was bustling with only locals selling all sorts of fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh meats and an amazing selection of seafood.
Coming from a Vietnamese background, I live for seafood. Growing up we always had some kind of fish for dinner. At any opportunity, we would have seafood feasts but of course, seafood in Melbourne is stupidly expensive. Seeing the array display of fishes, squids, cockles, sea snails got me so excited! I know most of you are thinking ‘Cockles and sea snails?!’ But trust me, don’t knock it till you try it. I always have an open mind when it comes to food. No matter how disgusting it looks or smells, I will always give it a go. Funny that though, I love sea snails but I won’t touch pumpkin, carrots or peas lol.
Most of the herbs and vegetables required for the class are grown in her beautiful green garden so we just bought some protein and a few other things that she didn’t already have in her garden. Even the coconut milk was made fresh in class. Her dad picked out a coconut for us from their garden and shaved it down so we could make our own milk! We got to try some fruit I had never seen before at the market as well as try some authentic Thai snacks.
When we arrived at Ying’s home we were greeted by her wonderful parents and got to explore her home. The kitchen is set up in the carport area with a big bench for the class to sit at to prep food and another area with 4 gas stove tops. The day went by really quickly .. and we got full very quickly too.. *rubs belly* I highly recommend the class – this isn’t a paid review nor am I affiliated with the cooking class. I just had such a great time that I thought I would share this amazing class with everyone!
For those who are interested, please see the links below for her direct website and also all the reviews from Trip Advisor. Trust me, this is one cooking class you do not want to miss!
Thank you Ying, Mama & Papa for taking us in for the day and opening up your home to us! We really hope to see you soon! Enjoy the photos from the day below!