A Thai cooking class at Kanchanabri

Monday 22 June 2015 – Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Noi, our landlady at Apple Retreat Guest House and proprietor of the Blue Rice Restaurant and Cooking School across the road from the accommodation, took us to the main market to explain basic Thai ingredients and offer her views on the health benefits of the Thai diet. Some of her views might not stand up to scientific scrutiny, but the emphasis on fresh herbs and vegetables makes sense.

  • At Kanchanaburi Market, with cooking teacher Noi
  • At Kanchanaburi Market
  • At Kanchanaburi Market, with cooking teacher Noi
  • Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Cooking teacher Noi at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Frogs for sale at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • More nose to tail eating at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Freshly ground spices for sale at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Noi at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand
  • Custard apples at Kanchanaburi Market, Thailand

Back at the restaurant we paired up (me with Harold) and started to cook. In addition to the training kitchen, there was a very large and well-appointed prep kitchen, which seemed to have as many staff as we were students. Indeed, Noi often seemed to spend more time instructing her staff loudly in Thai than she did us, firmly but rather more gently, in perfect English.

  • Prep at Noi's cooking school
  • Harold hard at work at Noi's cooking school
  • Noi's cooking school
  • Spice paste, Noi's cooking school
  • Noi's cooking school
  • The prep kitchen was bigger than the teaching kitchen at Noi's cooking school
  • Me hard at work at Noi's cooking school
  • Noi's cooking school
  • Me and Harold at Noi's cooking school
  • Harold at Noi's cooking school
  • Noi's cooking school
  • Steaming the fish souffles

We cooked a number of dishes, of which (for me, at least), the fish souffle was the standout. It’s definitely going on a dinner party menu at home. There was some issue with the jungle curry recipe (provided, will all recipes for the week, in a well-produced booklet from Soon and Intrepid) and Noi’s crew cooked a fresh batch from scratch. Noi made a point of getting us to adjust our seasonings to our own taste, which I did, and I preferred my jungle curry, authentic or not, to the kitchen’s version.

  • Harold at Noi's cooking school
  • Noi's Cooking School
  • Noi's Cooking School - Jacqui and Nicola
  • Noi's Cooking School - Liz and Leonie
  • Noi's Cooking School - Jeveen and Charanjeet
  • Noi's Cooking School
  • Harold and Soon at Noi's Cooking School
  • Noi's Cooking School
  • Taking a break at Noi's Cooking School
  • Noi's Cooking School
  • The final results of our toil at Noi's Cooking School
  • Enjoying lunch at Noi's Cooking School
  • The view across the river from Noi's restaurant at Kanchanaburi

After lunch we had some free time, so Harold and I visited the War Cemetery and Thailand-Burma Railway Museum in the centre of town, while the Aussie ladies went kayaking on the river. For dinner, Soon took us to a local restaurant (with a real table and chairs and a roof, unlike the previous two nights when we perched on street corners in the open air) and ordered up another range of stunning dishes including the ‘fish floss’ – fish minced then deep fried so it resembles sugar candy, but tastes so much better.

  • War Cemetery at Kanchanaburi, Thailand
  • War Cemetery at Kanchanaburi, Thailand
  • Street lights at Kanchanaburi
  • Death Railway Museum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi, Thailand

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