Enjoying delicious Thai food is a highlight of many tourists’ trips to Thailand. Learn to prepare authentic Thai dishes with a cooking class while you’re on vacation.
Cooking classes are becoming one of the most popular off-beach activities in Phuket. From purpose-built cooking schools with dedicated instructors to chefs giving demo-style classes in the resort restaurant, there are plenty of options.
Express Thai Cooking Class
In this class, you will learn the fundamentals of Thai cuisine and cook four or five dishes in a relaxed setting. The classes are suitable for all culinary skill levels and are available in English, Chinese and Thai. You will also be taught about essential techniques such as how to make coconut milk and curry pastes. The half-day and full-day courses are available for individuals or groups of up to six people. All of the ingredients are included, and you will receive a cookbook and recipe booklet.
This is a great option for those who want to learn how to cook authentic Thai meals during their vacation in Phuket. The class is taught by a local chef and offers hands-on experience. The class includes a trip to the local market to buy fresh ingredients. You will learn how to prepare a variety of Thai dishes including papaya salad, spicy prawn soup, and a curry. The meal that you will prepare will be served at the end of the cooking class.
This cooking class is an excellent way to experience the culture and history of Thailand through its cuisine. You will learn to create delicious dishes by balancing complex flavors and incorporating the use of spices and herbs. The instructors will teach you how to make a range of dishes, from appetizers to desserts.
Home-Style Thai Cooking Class
Thai cuisine is famous the world over and learning to cook it yourself is a great way to enjoy Thailand’s delicious food and experience the country’s culture. Classes range from simple introductions to intensive culinary training. They also provide insight into the ingredients, methods and all-important balance of flavors that make up Thailand’s cuisine.
A class at a traditional home kitchen adds a layer of finesse to your cooking experience, with the host showing you how to prepare classic dishes such as Krathong thong (‘golden flowers’; crispy cups holding a mix of prawns and vegetables), tom yum gai (spicy chicken soup with lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime) and khao new mamuang (mango with sweet sticky rice in coconut cream). This class was our pick of the best cooking classes for its friendly, informal atmosphere, beautiful setting back from Rawai beach and impressive use of organic ingredients.
Another good choice for a home-style cooking class is the half-day course at Phuket’s prestigious Blue Elephant Restaurant, in a restored century-old Sino-Portuguese mansion in Phuket’s old town. This class includes a visit to a local market to select the ingredients you will be using in your own cooking session and a lunch of the dishes you have made, including curry and satay.
Another excellent option is the Phuket Thai Cookery School, located on the east coast. Their course includes a trip to a local market (morning sessions only) and you will learn to prepare a minimum of four dishes, plus a dessert. Most of the courses we reviewed also included a recipe booklet and an apron.
Market Tour Thai Cooking Class
This high-spec class focuses on authentic Thai recipes and prepares a 4-course meal. Start with a visit to a local market and collect all the ingredients needed to make traditional dishes. Then transfer by Tuk Tuk to the chef’s immaculate teaching kitchen and prepare an array of Thai classics from scratch. Get hands-on instruction as you work at your personal cook station, with the chef demonstrating how to blend and season ingredients for best results. Dine with the rest of the group at a family-style table after your cooking class and take home recipes with tips for preparing meals at home.
Located inside a bright orange-colored theme shophouse that also serves as a restaurant, this cooking school offers small classes with a maximum of 10 people per session. Choose from a selection of half-day or full-day classes and learn to make up to four delicious Thai dishes including an appetizer, soup, main dish, and dessert. All participants receive a booklet of recipes and a Blue Elephant apron.
Set in a peaceful setting just back from Rawai Beach, this organic-focused class is a fun and informative experience for all. Chin, the host, has a lovely outdoor kitchen where you’ll learn simple cooking techniques in an informal and friendly environment. He grows and cooks many of the herbs used in the classes on site, and teaches guests how to properly pound spices for that authentic Thai flavor. In addition, you’ll learn to create delicious Thai curries and coconut milk and get a feel for how Thai cuisine is traditionally prepared.
Full Day Thai Cooking Class
Enjoying the food is often a highlight of a visit to Thailand. Learn to prepare some of your favorites at one of the many Thai cooking classes in Phuket. With classes offered in a range of locations, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.
This cooking school offers an express version of their full-day class, ideal for travelers with limited time. You’ll learn about Thai herbs and how to make curry paste in this short course, which teaches you how to cook two dishes. During the morning class, you’ll also go on a market tour before cooking at a kitchen overlooking Koh Siray Beach.
Located in a restored Sino-Portuguese mansion near Phuket Old Town, this cooking class immerses you in local culture. Choose from four different courses, each of which involves a visit to the local market and instruction on how to prepare several classic dishes. The afternoon class also includes a lesson on how to carve fruit or make curry paste, and the full-day course adds a traditional Thai dessert.
Taking place on a lush organic farm, this cooking school provides the most immersive experience of all of the options available in the area. During the morning or afternoon classes, you’ll prepare a 4-course menu from scratch under the guidance of a professional chef. You’ll receive a recipe book and an apron to take home with you.