18 Aug Thai Cooking Class in Koh Lanta with Time for Lime
When we were living in California (and while we still had cable) there was a show we never misssed: Master Chef.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but also kinda not. Like my beloved Joey would say, “What’s not to like?”
1) Food. Good
2) Drama. Good.
3) Guaranteed tears on my face. Good.
4) Gordon Ramsey shouting at people. Goood.
When we decided to travel to Thailand, there were some specific things I wrote on my to-do list. One of them was to take a Thai cooking class. It was going to be the closest I’d get to feeling like a master chef myself.
As we pushed our departure date from the island further and further back, it became the perfect place to cross off learning how to cook curry off my list, and we booked a Thai cooking class in Koh Lanta with Time for Lime
Time for Lime is a beachfront establishment with a restaurant facing the ocean and an open space for the cooking class inside.
On the day of the class (insisting that they should drive in case we wanted to indulge in one too many cocktails while we cooked) they picked us up from the hotel.
Once we signed in they gave us our recipe booklet for the day.
Red Curry Paste
Limey Coconut Soup w/chicken
Stir-fried Holy Basil w/chili & seafood
Thai style Fish Cakes w/dip & salad
Chicken Chili & Cashew Nuts
We subbed tofu and vegetables instead of chicken, seafood, or fish on every dish. (A huge point to Time for Lime for being so accommodating for special dietary needs)
First, we had an intro and a ingredient theory class upstairs. Our teacher, Noi, was nothing like Gordon Ramsey. Aside from the Thai-Scottish difference, he was always smiling, he’s super sweet, and has a real talent for making people laugh. On this Thai cuisine 101 we got down to its simplest level and examined each ingredient individually, and how each of them complements the others to create flavorful masterpieces.
We touched, smelled, and tasted everything from holy basil, to galangal, chilli, lemongrass, and palm sugar.
Noi also taught us the ultimate rule of Thai food: every dish must have these four basic components: sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.
When we went back downstairs to start cooking, I had a clearer understanding of Thai food.
Settling down in our stations, I examined my place and I truly felt like I was in an episode of Master Chef. The ingredients were already arranged in front of my cutting board, and I had my very own knife (larger than my head and a real threat on my accident-prone hands).
Noi taught us the proper technique for chopping the ingredients-each has its own including one where you have to yell “kill it” immediately before stomping the huge knife on top of the ingredient you’re trying to kill. We also learned how to make curry paste on the mortar, the proper way to arrange the ingredients in the pan before actually cooking them, and even presentation tips.
After we cooked and plated the coconut soup and the holy basil tofu, we went back upstairs to eat it. It actually tasted good! I don’t know how they did it, because even I, who doesn’t particularly enjoy Thai food, thought it was pretty good.
A little full already, we headed back down for the second round. It was time to make sweet potato cakes and tofu stir-fry with chilli and cashew nuts. This time around everyone had already gotten the hang of “killing” the ingredients so we moved a little faster. I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t disappointed when I learned that we weren’t going to stir-fry our dishes on our own. I know myself too well to know that creating a massive flame in an enclosed space could end in a million tragic ways.
These dishes also ended up being quite nice. As a final touch, they brought us some pineapple and watermelon. I was so stuffed by the end that moving proved to be a difficult task.
I got to keep my apron and thinking back on what I learned, I’d like to think that Gordon Ramsey would’ve be proud of me.
Profits from the Time for Lime cooking classes go to Lanta Animal Welfare which specializes in taking care of rescued cats and dogs. They also help visitors adopt them and arrange transfers to wherever your home may be.