The time: 9am.

The place: Siam Rice Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The temperature: a sweaty 90°.

The mood: hungover, hungry and excited for this part of the trip we’ve been looking forward to but sad it’s our last day in Chiang Mai.

Hence Christian getting a bit randy with the cleaver he is handed by our instructor.  There were a lot of emotions swirling around that morning.  We had been out a bit late with some new friends the night before and the Tuk Tuk for class arrived at our hotel bright and early at 7:30am.  Of course we were the first people to be picked up so we had the joy of jostling around the back of the oppressively hot Tuk Tuk for the next 45 minutes while slowly meeting those who would be our fellow classmates for the next 4 hours.

Then, off to the traditional Thai market we went!  There we learned about all of the fabulously fresh and exotic produce, freshly shredded coconut, hand made noodles, grilled Chiang Mai sausage…and of course there were the insects, dried fish and unrecognizable meat products.  We honestly could have just spent our 4 hours at the market, but after a bit of sampling we all piled back into the Tuk Tuk and went to the Siam Rice Thai Cookery School.

We were then each paired off to share an outdoor work station under a bamboo hut, given a cleaver and small wooden cutting board and then asked to choose the 4 dishes we would each like to learn how to make.  Between the two of us we learned how to make traditional and authentic:

Pad Thai
Green Curry
Phanang Curry
Pad Rad Nah (Stir fried big noodles with gravy sauce)
Pad Kra Prao (Fried chicken with holy basil)
Som Tam (Green papaya salad)
Mangoes with Sticky Rice

Seriously delicious homemade Thai food…and homemade by us!  And now we have recipes for not only the dishes we made while in Thailand…but recipes for all of the other dishes that we could have chosen to make during our class as well.  And lucky us, we live in fabulous San Francisco where Clement Street abounds with the ingredients we need to make everything (see my post about our Thai Photo & Food Party here).  Including Singha and Chang beer.  Which is essential to any good, spicy Thai dinner.  Unless the cleaver is out…then put the beer away please.