We have visited Bangkok many times over the last 10 years (Caroline has relatives that live in the city) – so I have done pretty much all the usual tourist attractions and tours. On our recent trip in March 2018 we decided that we wanted to do something new but also a bit unusual and fun. So when we came across The Market Experience’s ‘Thai cooking with a twist’ class located inside the famous 24-hour flower market (Pak Khlong Talat), it seemed to tick all the boxes. We love cooking and adore Thai food so we were really excited about booking this Bangkok cooking class.
The 4 hour long Bangkok cooking class starts at 9am and is located on the first floor of the flower market. The number of attendees is kept small at a maximum of 8 students for a more personal experience, but on our particular day it was just us and a lovely couple from Austria. The class is taught by Alyssa, an experienced Thai chef who is warm and friendly.
During the class you get to prepare and eat four thai dishes, and also take a walk around the flower market to look and purchase some of the fresh fruit and vegetable produce on sale.
Bangkok cooking class dish 1: Miang Khum
We headed to the outdoor preparation area to chop and prepare this traditional Thai appetiser. The dish displays the Thai culture of eating with your hands by wrapping each neatly cut ingredient neatly into small bites and placing it inside betel leaves or rose petals.
The ingredients that go inside the leaves include dried shredded coconut, diced shallots, diced gingers diced bitter orange, cut chilies, toasted peanuts and dried shrimp. It tasted so fresh and delicious! So simple to make (I’ll have to make this at my next dinner party!).
A walk around the market
After preparing our first dish we headed downstairs for a 45 minute guided tour of the flower and food market and to pick up some key ingredients for the class. The market is absolutely fascinating and one of the most instagrammable places in Bangkok with so many wonderful colours and variety of fruits. We also stopped off at a street vendor to try some delicious Thai coconut pudding pancakes.
Dish 2. A savoury fruity Thai salad
Our next dish on our Bangkok cooking class is a twist on a Thai fruit salad, with the twist being that we added cooked minced pork with garlic to the fruit! And you know what? It tasted incredible! The flavours seem to compliment each other very well and it was very enjoyable to eat.
To create this dish we diced pieces of mango, rose apple and dragon fruit and mixed it up with a delicious salad dressing of lime and sugar, and then added the cooked minced pork. The girls got to use a dragon fruit shell, whilst the boys got a mango shell to place the mixture into. We then garnished the dish with mint leaves and crispy fried shallots.
Dish 3 – Green or red curry
For our next dish we got to choose whether we wanted to cook a red or green curry. My boyfriend and I chose green as its one of our favourites. We then got to create the curry paste completely from scratch which was something I’ve always wanted to learn (I did another popular cooking class in Bangkok many years ago that used ready made paste which was very disappointing).
We had great fun using the pestle and mortar to pound the raw ingredients and create our fragrant paste! The twist to this dish was the use of water lily stems in the dish which was rather nice.
Dish 4 – Pad Thai
Our final part of the morning is a pad thai masterclass – the twist being we got to use these awesome purple rice noodles that are dyed with butterfly pea. I’ve tried to make pad thai’s in the past but they never tasted right – so I was super chuffed to learn how to make one that tasted just so authentic!
We each got our own wok and Alyssa talked through each step of the process and gave us individual help when needed. Another instructor was on hand to help out too (and rescue my food when I was taking too much time photographing and filming my wok! ha-ha).
To end all our hard work in the hot kitchen, we got to finally relax in a nice air conditioned room and enjoy all the beautiful dishes we created. And yep – everything tasted amazing! We couldn’t believe something so delicious was created from scratch by ourselves! The recipes are emailed to you afterwards so there is no need to take any notes.
Bangkok cooking class verdict
I was very impressed with the quality and professionalism of this particular Bangkok cooking class – the 4 hours flew by so quickly and the organisation was seamless! The location of the flower market made the experience that extra bit special and I loved that it included a tour of the market as well.
My boyfriend wasn’t particularly keen on the idea when I initially booked it and only came along to support me, but announced afterwards that he had really enjoyed it and was so glad that he came. We both went to our local Thai supermarket in London a few days ago armed with the recipe cards to buy all the ingredients to make our own green curry paste from scratch!
We 100% recommend this class for anyone visiting Bangkok and feel it would be a great addition to your Thailand itinerary. The location is fantastic if you want to explore more of the river Chao Phraya, Wat Pho, Wat Arun or the Grand Palace afterwards.
You can book this Bangkok cooking class directly online on The Market Experience by Expique’s website here. The price for the class is 1,750 Thai Baht each.
Download the Grab app
Grab taxis are widely used by both tourists and locals, and the fares are really cheap! Download the Grab app here and use the code GRABCKTRAVELS to earn a free ride when you sign up.
Sim cards and pocket WIFI
Having data on your phone whilst travelling is almost essential these days – from planning your route around the city, booking a Grab taxi or for staying connected with friends and family back home. SIM cards are pretty cheap in Thailand with generous data allowances and are available to purchase from both of Bangkok’s airports, malls and 7-Elevens (bring your passport along for identification purposes).
You can also prepay online and collect a SIM from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Muang Airport or Siam Centre. Just remember to make sure your phone is not locked to your local network provider before purchasing one.
Alternatively if you do not want to change your sim card then renting a pocket WIFI device with unlimited high speed internet access might be for you. We’ve used them multiple times and love that we can both connect our devices to it. Pre-order one online with Klook for collection when you arrive at either Suvarnabhumi or Don Muang Airport.
Other Bangkok blog posts
- Exploring Bangkok at night in a Tuk Tuk
- Flower Market in Bangkok guide
- Lhong 1919, Bangkok, Thailand
- Totoro Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand
- Bangkok on a Budget – Backpacking in Thailand
- A guide to visiting Soi Cowboy in Bangkok, Thailand
- A day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok
- A 5 star stay at the Avani Riverside hotel in Bangkok
- Mahanakhon Skywalk – Bangkok’s Newest Observation Deck
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Disclosure: Our cookery class places were complimentary but as always, opinions are all our own.