If the fiery yet delicate taste of Thai cuisine has got you hooked, you may want to learn some skills that will allow you to reproduce the same wonderful flavours back home. Cookery classes are a relatively recent phenomenon in Krabi and all are geared for the lowest common denominator, which is great for novice cooks, even children, who want to learn the basics.
Find out the secrets of balancing of sweet, hot, sour and salty flavours, as well as some of the techniques used to cook – stir-frying, curries, soups and salads. There is normally a selection of dishes to choose from at each session (each person can pick 4 – 5 from the list offered).
Most schools will also touch on the wide range of ingredients used in Thai cuisine and be able to suggest substitutes for use in Europe where fresh herbs may be hard to come by. Our advice would be to stock up at the local market, especially on things like freshly made curry pastes, before you leave and freeze them when you get home.
Even if you are not a skilled Thai chef at the end of the course, which is normally a half day (though sessions can in theory be combined to make a full day, or even more) it can be a fun “rainy day” activity to do with a small group of people – and of course, you get to eat your efforts in a big feast at the end.
Recommended courses are run by Zest in Klong Muang, or Siam Cuisine and Ya’s Thai Cookery School in Ao Nang. Many larger hotels will also offer shorter courses in their activity programs. For Halal kitchens, look to Siam Cuisine or Ao Nang Thai Cookery School – the latter also teaches traditional fruit carving.
Please note however that these type of classes may be frustrating for more experienced chefs, as the menus and methods taught will likely seem boring and inflexible for those who are already familiar with the techniques of Thai cookery. In this case, it may be worth arranging private lessons at the same school to upgrade your existing skills; or, another excellent way of learning (by observation) is to visit some of the local street food markets and simply watch how the dishes are prepared. Most stalls sell only a couple of dishes so they will repeat the same process each time.