Thai Cooking Class with Miss Amita! – Cooking Class Bangkok


Thai Cooking Class, Cooking Class Bangkok

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok

When traveling, honestly, I never really think about taking a cooking class. I mean, I like to eat as much as the next guy, but just generally don’t think of cooking it myself. Well, that all changed when the Tourism Authority of Thailand invited me to a special Thai cooking class. And I say special because this is not just some ordinary thai cooking class in Bangkok. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

One of the things I have mentioned before about traveling and what makes a big difference for me is who I meet along the way. I have met some wonderful people while traveling, like Mr. Castillo, Mr.Lombardi, and Mr. Coll. Well, this Thai cooking class made meeting someone special all the easier when I was introduced to the very tiny, very witty, and apron-clad “Miss Tam“.

Miss Tam at Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Miss Tam – Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok

She is so cute and so sweet, and she really is the perfect person to teach me her wise ways about Thai cooking and her special ingredients.

Miss Tam at Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Miss Tam at Cooking Class Bangkok

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok

I recommend arriving at the Amit Thai Cooking Class via the banks of the Chao Phraya River on the Yai canal which completely adds to the authenticity of this experience.  As you cruise through the canal, the houses become more affluent and eventually you will arrive at the Piyawadi “Tam” Jantrupon’s property.

Longboat on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand

Longboat on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok

Here, is where that sweet “Miss Tam” will come from underneath an archway to greet you.  She started her Thai cooking class in August of 2008 and named it after her daughter Amita, meaning “eternity”. This is not only a Thai cooking class, it is also an experience that she will take you through while you are there for your four-hour class.

Thai Cooking Class, Cooking Class Bangkok

✦ Thai Cooking Class

She has the cooking class honed in like a well-oiled machine and you are just a piece of chess that she moves on her chess game, moving you through the appropriate steps, so that one day you, too, can become a master Thai chef!

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok

If not, you will feel like you should be one under the tutelage of the “old great one”.

Upon arrival, she sits you down at the table and shows you edible flowers from her garden at the table and then shows you the same flowers that have been deep-fried, tempura style and are ready for eating now!

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Cooking Class Bangkok

✦ Thai Cooking Class – Garden Visit

Then, as she has you put all your belongings locked away for safekeeping in a chest nearby, she allows you to follower her along her wonderfully scented garden for a tour of her wonderful products. The scent of basil, lemongrass and kaffir leaves are in the air, then no, it is coriander and cumin you smell all in a single breath.

What you come to realize is that this is not just a single lady in a home on the river, but instead it is a conglomerate of houses together of family members that create the atmosphere you are experiencing all for the sole purpose of this cooking class. “The house belonged to my great, great grandfather” she quipped. There are sisters, and cousins and nieces and others always running around the area, quietly polite, yet always working to make things run as smoothly as possible in the background. A small army of minions doing a ton of work solely for your experience.

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok: Preparation time

Our host Tam will lead us as we prepare to cook four courses of authentic Thai food:

  • Khao Mun Som Tum
  • Satay (Moo, Gai or Nua)
  • Khang Keaw Wan Gai
  • Khao Niew Ma Muang
Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Coconut Rice and Papaya Salad at Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Green Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk, Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Mango Sticky Rice at Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

In English that is:

  • Coconut Rice and Payapya Salad
  • Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce (Pork, Chicken or Beef)
  • Green Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk
  • Mango Sticky Rice

It’s funny, but I have been eating these dishes of Thai cuisine for over 20 years and they seem like the perfect dishes to pick for our small group of 10.  After the garden tour, we get whisked away to the food cooking stations, where one by one, she demonstrates how each is made.

Amita Thai Cooking Class Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Cooking Class, Cooking Class Bangkok

Everything is close up and personal and easy to ask questions and make comments, as well as taste a few things along the way.

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Cooking Class Bangkok

✦ Cooking Class Bangkok: Demonstration

Once each has been demonstrated, we are off on our own station, with each ingredient carefully placed in tiny dishes, for us to add and stir and smash.  She did give us her tip of the secret ingredient, “the coriander and the cumin are pounded together with a mortar and pestle”.  This is used in the Green Curry Chicken and in the Satay peanut sauce.  Also, they use things like palm sugar, Massa Man curry paste, green curry paste, fish sauce, and tamarind paste in many of their dishes.

And then, “wa la” like magic, our dishes are carefully prepared and ready to eat at the dinner table underneath the canopy outside.

Amita Thai Cooking Class, Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Cooking Class

✦ Thai Cooking Class – Finally We EAT!

We sit and we eat and we taste and we laugh and enjoy our food.  We ask “Can you taste the lemongrass?”  “Can you tell I put coriander in there?”  We talk and laugh some more.  In the end, I think that is what it is all about.  The conversation, that centers around food.  Our time has ended and she takes out on the pier for one last tasting of lemongrass juice and a demonstration of seeds that expand in the stomach, to make one no longer hungry.

We rest, then it is time for us all to say goodbye, to one tiny lady and all her people, as they laugh and wave to us “goodbye” and “until we meet again”.  It was a good day at the Amita Thai Cooking Class and I would recommend it one and for all: a family a single, a couple a group, it works for just about anybody and a good day will be had by all. In my humble opinion is one of the best cooking classes in Bangkok.

Disclosure:  My trip to Bangkok, Thailand was provided by Thai Airways, in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

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  1. wanderingeducators January 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I’d totally do this – it looks amazing (and delicious!)

    • admin January 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      It was fun!! I loved Miss Tam.

  2. [email protected] January 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Wow! Sounds like you had an amazing experience with this cooking class. Food is such an amazing way to connect with a country’s culture and so its great that you got to participate in preparing the food! I’ll be traveling to Asia in the spring so I might have to try a class myself 🙂 Thanks so much for such a great post, the pictures made me hungry for some Thai!

    • admin January 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

      You are right, food is a way to connect to a country’s culture. And this is no ordinary cooking class, so do try out Miss Tam’s Thai Cooking Class. She is a sweet and gracious lady, you will be glad you did!

  3. Nicole January 18, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I would love to have Thai cooking lessons. The only reason is so I could cook a perfect Pad Thai!

    • admin January 19, 2014 at 1:20 am

      It was an awesome class!

  4. Bangkok Travel Tips - The Blonde Abroad April 1, 2014 at 10:34 am

    […] “Amita’s Thai Cooking Class is such a fun experience and she was so professional. She was amazingly educated on the ways of Thai cooking and knew about and showed us every ingredient found in her personal Thai garden that was right on the Phraya River. One of the cool thing about going to the cooking class is taking a private longboat down the river to her entry way (You can return by van), but the thrill of seeing everything from the water and actually stopping at someone’s home was awesome!” – Cacinda of Points and Travel […]

  5. […] when you get there, be sure and take a trip down the  hao Phraya River, take a cooking class at Amita Thai Cooking School, explore the Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, ride a longtail boat out to James Bond Island or head on […]

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