Best Chiang Mai Cooking Classes + Bonus Thai Recipes!

One of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia, one of the top experiences you can have in Thailand is to attend one of the cooking classes in Chiang Mai. Taking a cooking course in Chiang Mai will not only improve your cooking skills but also introduce you to new ingredients and the local way of grocery shopping and daily lifestyle.

You can pick a Chiang Mai cooking class with a local market tour included or a Chiang Mai Thai cookery school at an organic farm. You can choose your own ingredients, whether you are vegan or vegetarian, you will always find something for your taste. Discover some of the top Chiang Mai cooking classes to book during your trip.

Best Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

  1. Grandma’s Home Cooking School
  2. Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class
  3. Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour
  4. Baan Thai Chiang Mai Cooking Classes
  5. Mama Noi Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai
  6. Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai
  7. Red Chili Cooking School in Chiang Mai
  8. Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai in an old Teak House
  9. Bonus: Full recipes from a Thai cooking class!
  10. Where to stay in Chiang Mai
local market chiang mai
Shopping at a local market in Chiang Mai, delicious Chinese cabbage, bok choy

1. Grandma’s Home Cooking School in Chiang Mai

This is a favourite Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai. With a small group of maximum 8 participants, you will visit a local market to better understand the ingredients you are going to use, visit an organic farm and pick your favourite flavours to prepare your own dishes.

You will experience the local lifestyle and learn to cook Thai dishes as well as make the curry paste. If you are looking for a vegetarian cooking class in Chiang Mai, here such option is available. You can pick your own ingredients and require to cook vegetarian and even gluten-free dishes at the moment of booking.

Some of the dishes you will learn here are Pad Krapow Moo, mango sticky rice and the ever-popular and copied all over the world Pad Thai.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

2. Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

If you are looking for a Thai farm cooking school in Chiang Mai, this is your tour. In fact, you can choose to either attend your course at the cookery school in Chiang Mai or at an organic farm. Professional chefs will teach you how to cook a fine Thai meal after you pick your own fresh herbs and veggies.

The organisers promise an authentic Thai experience of cooking as well as witnessing how the farming and growing of herbs and veggies takes place in Thailand. Participants have multiple options such as half a day or a full day at a Chiang Mai cookery school or a full-day Thai cooking course at an organic farm, perfect for who wants the complete experience of picking their own fresh ingredients.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

Banana leaves chiang mai cooking class
Banana leaves at a local market in Chiang Mai, a popular ingredient in Thai cuisine

3. Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai & Local Market Tour

One of the popular Chiang Mai cooking classes is the one aimed at introducing the guests to the culture of the indigenous Akha hill tribe that migrated to Thailand at the beginning of the 20th century.

You will visit a local market, shop for fresh ingredients and get ready to cut, chop, sprinkle and spice things up. You will spend the morning preparing your own Akha and Thai dishes. You can choose different options for this cooking course, which goes from 4 to 7 hours depending on your preferences. And depending on what you sign up for, in this Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai you can learn to make up to 10 dishes from soups to stir-fried meals to appetizers to desserts.

If cooking is not your favourite thing, you can also choose to just explore the market to sample a large array of local dishes and experience the local lifestyle.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

4. Baan Thai Chiang Mai Cooking Classes

For this cooking course in Chiang Mai, you will be supervised by a professional chef who will teach you popular dishes like pad thai, the much-appreciated papaya salad, spring rolls and mango sticky rice.

With your group of a maximum of 9 participants, you will visit a local market, interact with local vendors and farmers, pick your own ingredients and make your dishes. You can also consult a recipe book that you can take home afterwards to make the dishes again.

Your cooking class will take place and Baan Thai Cookery School where you will learn authentic and easy-to-make dishes from the Thai culinary tradition. You can pick your own time, either in the morning or in the evening, either to attend a full-day or a half-day Chiang Mai cooking course.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

5. Mama Noi Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai

Among the best Chiang Mai cooking classes you can choose from is also Mama Noi Cookery School where professional instructors will introduce you to the flavours and aromas of Thai cuisine. They welcome all levels and cooking skills and they will let you select your favourite ingredients to start making the dishes from.

The kitchen is open-air and the instructors will give you a fascinating behind-the-scenes of Thai food preparation. They will also explain the different ingredients when you tour a local market to shop for fresh herbs and veggies.

You can choose a half-day class where you will learn to make three dishes or a full-day Thai cooking course where you will prepare five dishes while enjoying fresh fruits and a dessert.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

6. Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

You sign up for this Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai either in the morning or in the afternoon. It lasts some 4 hours and you will discover how to make popular Thai dishes such as som tum, pad Thai and spring rolls to surprise friends and family back home. The group is small, a maximum of 8 participants, and the package includes hotel pick up and drop off.

You will do a full immersion in Thai cuisine with a local chef who will also help you pick up the right ingredients among your favourite flavours. In the end, you will enjoy your own creations and receive a cookbook with the recipes. You better go hungry because in this cooking school in Chiang Mai you will prepare pretty delicious dishes.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

7. Red Chili Cooking School in Chiang Mai

This Chiang Mai cooking class will take at least 4 hours during which you will prepare a 4-course meal. Your instructor will be a local chef who will introduce you to the Thai herbs, veggies and spices so that you will be more aware when making dishes such as soups, rice, noodles and desserts.

Some of the dishes you will create and enjoy are Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles with peanut), Tom Kha Gai (Coconut soup with chicken) and Yum Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Salad), while for dessert you will make the ever-famous mango sticky rice.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

8. Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai in an old Teak House

Four hours and a half for this Chiang Mai cooking class where you will learn to make delicious Thai dishes in an organic local farm. You can choose to take the class in the morning or afternoon, but whatever you choose, you will stop at a local market to shop for ingredients and you can also decide among different cooking styles.

Depending on the day of the week, the menu of these cooking classes in Chiang Mai will change. Some of the dishes you might be preparing are Abb Pla (grilled fish with herbs cooked in banana leaves), Lab Muang Kai (spicy chicken salad with herbs), Kaw Pad Sapparod (pineapple fried rice with cashew nuts), Kung Pad Hed Hom (stir-fried prawn with shitake mushroom in oyster sauce), Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodle with egg and tamarind sauce) and many others. Each day, on the menu, are four dishes.

Click here for more info and to book the cooking class.

Bonus: Full recipes from the Thai cooking class I took in Chiang Mai

I also signed up for a cooking class in Chiang Mai. It took place at an organic farm just outside the town and I learned to make three dishes and a dessert.

I chose the different courses of my meal replacing chicken with tofu. The dishes I made were yellow curry paste and yellow curry with tofu, soup with veggies and tofu, stir-fried tofu with cashew nuts and banana in coconut milk for dessert.

rice field chiang mai
The rice field in Da’s farm, where Da showed me how rice grows and is harvested.

Yellow curry paste recipe

I made it from scratch, meaning chopping and smashing all the ingredients with pestle and mortar for about 15 minutes. The ingredients for the curry paste are:

  • 2-3 red dried chillies to be soaked in water for about 15 minutes
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemongrass to be chopped
  • 1 tbsp of galangal to be chopped (use ginger if you don’t have galangal)
  • 1 tbsp of shallots to be chopped
  • 1 tbsp of garlic to be chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp of kaffir lime peel to be chopped
  • 1 tsp of coriander root
  • 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of peppercorns
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2-3 tsp of turmeric powder
  • for non-vegetarians also 1 tsp of shrimp paste
  • a piece of fresh turmeric.

Chop and smash all the ingredients together until forming a paste.

yellow curry chiang mai cooking classes
Ingredients for the yellow curry paste

Yellow curry with tofu recipe

When the paste was ready, we started preparing the yellow curry with tofu. Ingredients:

  • A bowl of coconut milk
  • Yellow curry
  • Tofu
  • Potatoes

Steps:

  • Put a pan on the flame and stir a bowl of coconut milk and the yellow curry paste until the oil appears on top
  • add the tofu and keep boiling for a couple of minutes
  • add the potatoes and keep simmering and stirring gently until they are cooked.
yellow curry with tofu cooking classes in chiang mai
Ready yellow curry paste with chopped tofu and potatoes

Here is Da pouring the coconut milk:

Coconut milk for yellow curry with tofu vegan cooking class chiang mai
Coconut milk for the yellow curry with tofu

Here is the result, with two slices of red pepper on top for decoration.

Yellow curry with tofu and potatoes vegetarian cooking class chiang mai
Yellow curry with tofu and potatoes

Egg-tofu and veggie soup recipe

Ingredients:

  • carrots
  • fresh coriander
  • cabbage
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • vegetable stock
  • egg-tofu

Put all the ingredients to boil except the egg-tofu. Add the egg-tofu after a couple of minutes, let simmer a bit and serve warm.

thai soup cooking course in chiang mai
Part of the ingredients for the tofu and veggie soup

Stir-fried tofu with cashew nuts recipe

Ingredients:

50 g of tofu

1 tbsp of cashew nuts (if you don’t have them, almonds will do, too)

30 g of carrots (or baby corns)

30 g of large onions, sliced diagonally

30 g of mushrooms roughly chopped

10 g of spring onion

1 large red chilli roughly chopped

1 tbsp of chopped garlic

2 tbsp of cooking oil

1 tsp of sugar

3 tbsp of mushroom sauce

2 tbsp of soy sauce

1/4 cup of water

Ingredients for the stir-fried tofu with cashew nnuts
Ingredients for the stir-fried tofu with cashew nuts

Steps:

  • Stir-fry the garlic until it starts releasing its aroma;
  • add the cashew nuts and keep stirring;
  • after a couple of minutes, remove the nuts and put the tofu, the other seasoning ingredients, mushrooms and red chilli in the wok and start stirring non-stop not to make it burn;
  • add the water, the sugar, mushroom sauce, soy sauce and keep stirring;
  • in the end, add spring onion, stir once more and turn off the cooker.

Here is the result:

stir-fried tofu with cashew nuts at chiang mai cooking classes
My stir-fried tofu with cashew nuts

Banana in coconut milk dessert recipe

My last treat, the dessert, banana in coconut milk. If you wish, you can replace the banana with pumpkin or sweet potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • a cup of coconut milk
  • 3 tsp of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

Steps:

  • cut the banana in pieces
  • put a cup of coconut milk, 3 tsp of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt to heat
  • when it starts boiling, add the banana and leave it until cooked
  • it can be served hot or cold.

Here is the dessert:

Banana in coconut milk dessert best cooking class chiang mai
Banana in coconut milk as a dessert

Here is my final and complete meal:

thai meal chiang mai cooking class
My complete meal from the Chiang Mai cooking class I took

Where to stay, best hotels in Chiang Mai

High-end. Some of the best options for luxury hotels in Chiang Mai are Chala Number6 for luxurious rooms, swimming pool, fitness center, and a great on-site restaurant, Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, a luxurious all-suite hotel that features an infinity swimming pool on the rooftop and two on-site restaurants, and Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel And Spa, set in a colonial-style building and offering a lobby bar, an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and luxurious rooms and spa services.

Mid-range. Good options for mid-range hotels in Chiang Mai include Mini Boutique House with spacious and nice rooms featuring a kettle, private bathroom, a desk, flat-screen TV, and located close to the main landmarks, At Phra Sing Retro, located in Chiang Mai city center and offering simple rooms equipped with the necessary facilities, helpful staff, and on-site dining options, and Jomkitti Boutique Hotel, a little more expensive but worth the price. This boutique hotel in Chiang Mai city centre offers free WiFi and bikes, a fitness centre, a small swimming pool, and rooms with a desk, private bathroom, air conditioning, TV, kettle, some rooms with a balcony and a minibar.

Cheap stays. Among the cheap hotels in Chiang Mai, some of the best are Bruuns Guesthouse, conveniently located near important landmarks such as Wat Chiang Man and featuring simple rooms with air conditioning and flat-screen TV, Wayside Guesthouse, another guesthouse with all the necessary facilities and free WiFi for a really cheap price, and Green Sleep Hostel, a cheap hostel in Chiang Mai city center that features free WiFi, air-conditioned rooms, and free bikes.

For more reviews and prices, check HotelsCombined comparison website.

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18 Comments
  1. I cook a lot, and Asian food is always so hard for me to master – even with a recipe! I hope your meal tasted as delicious as it looks!

    • It was delicious! Obviously there was Da to help me, but now I think I can make it on my own. If you like to cook try a cooking class in Thailand, they reveal less hard than they seem, guaranteed! ;)

  2. Qu’est-ce que ça a l’air bon! Quelles couleurs appétissantes!

  3. Mi sa che mi converto e divento vegetariano! I piatti sono proprio invitanti!

  4. Reply
    Maria | Acceleratedstall February 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Now this is unexpected! Great entrees and the recipes to make them with a dash of storytelling – brilliant. Thanks

  5. Fantastic. I remember doing a cooking class in Chiang Mai years ago and saying to myself ‘now I’m going to go home and always cook amazing Thai dishes’. But I don’t think I ever did a single one. I hope you have more success :)

  6. I did a cooking class in Chaing Mai as well, but with a different company. It was great – and Thai food is so quick and easy to cook that it is easy for lazy chefs like us to adopt.

  7. I cook most of my own meals, but my cooking style is also very simplistic. I don’t have patience or much confidence in the kitchen. The more cooking classes I take when I travel, the more I really want to become a great cook.

  8. I have a friend going to chiang mai this winter, how did you connect with Da’s Organic Farm? When I google it is only gives me your comments.
    Thanks for sharing
    Linda

    • Hi Linda, thanks for your comment! At the end of the post I wrote Da’s contact details. I found him by chance through a little travel agency in Chiang Mai, just entering Tha Phae Gate, crossing the road and it was near the traffic light and a vegetarian restaurant. They arrange many trips and one was this cooking class, otherwise I think you (or your friend) can directly call Da..

  9. Great photos and a beautiful narrative that really paints the picture of your experience. Love that you’ve included some of the recipes as well :) We also went to vegetarian cooking class in Chiang Mai and absolutely loved it. Yet to really give our new skills a test though.

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