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Traditional Thai cooking course on an organic farm? - Pretty spicy.

Do you love delicious Thai food on holiday and dread the day when you have to say goodbye to your favourite street food stall? At the Smile Organic Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you can pick up the wooden spoon yourself and learn the art of Thai cooking and take it home with you. I was keen to try this out. So in this IMPACKT blog post, I'll tell you what to expect on this culinary adventure and how to whip up a delicious red curry paste. 

Learning in the market and herb garden 


The culinary journey of discovery began when we were picked up from our accommodation. Together we took a trip to the Charoen Charoen Fresh Market a little outside with Ken, our cook. There he pointed out the ingredients we would need later. I was particularly taken with the relaxed atmosphere, the selection of finger food and fresh fruit and vegetables. That's why I immediately marked the market on Maps. 

Once we arrived at the farm, Ken took us to the herb garden where we could try the fresh Thai basil. Because Thailand has its own species of basil: What do you say now, dear Italy? We also picked edible flowers to decorate our dishes. Furthermore, he showed us kaffir limes, which used to be used as shampoo. Try this green hair shampoo on your next trip. In addition to the lime, Ken passed around a Thai ginger, also called Alpinia Galanga, for us to smell and emphasised, "Without it we can't open restaurant." 

Let's get to the wok 


By then it was time to cook. Ken gave us a selection of dishes to choose from. Of course, there were also vegetarian and vegan options. Before we could really get started, Ken explained each sauce as well as the different spices. After a short introduction to the gas cooker, each of us was given an apron - very sexy indeed - and our own little cooking station with a work surface. But then it was really time to get to work on the wok. We were already chopping, rolling and cooking away. We threw herbs everywhere and waved the wok and cooking spoon around. My favourite part was cooking the Tom Yum soup. Because of this very famous as well as spicy Tom Yum soup, by the way, Thai cuisine became famous for its spiciness. "But only 40% of Thai food is spicy. The rest is not. A lot of delicious without spicy," Ken reassured us, smiling amusedly as we seemed only half convinced. He promised us that we could later determine the dosage of our curry pastes ourselves. Because it is often from those pastes that the spiciness comes. 

After the first cooking session, a spring roll, fried chicken with pad kaprao and phad thai were on the table and it was time to taste. The two hours had already been enough for me to find myself better than many a street food stall. Luckily, I had skipped breakfast and had room left in my belly. While feasting, I chatted with the other course participants. We tasted each other's cooking and awarded points. 

Well fortified, we went into the second half of the cooking with the preparation of curry pastes. When we put the chillies in the mortar, Ken came over and took out first three, then seven chillies and said with a wink that that was enough. Spoiler alert: I didn't spit fire later, but I still got a few sparks. 

Red organic curry paste to make 


Now here's the recipe for the organic red curry paste. Throw all the ingredients into a blender or pound everything with a mortar and pestle. So here goes. 
You need: 
  • 10 chopped and dried red chillies
  • 1-2 chopped shallots
  •  1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped Galangal or Thai Ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tsp chopped Thai ginseng
  • 1 tsp chopped Kaffir lime
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander root
  • 2 tsp chopped turmeric
  • 2 pinches salt
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  •  ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried peppercorns
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional) 

We then used up the fresh curry paste straight away and used it as a base for the Tom Yum soup, as well as the Khao Soi soup. The cooking was a lot of fun and Ken was running around giving tips on what we could improve. Although I can only give a few dishes, like Kaiserschmarrn or my mum's spaghetti bolognese, I was praised every time. It definitely showed me how easy Thai cooking is, even if you're not usually a kitchen fairy. 


Cooking class as an employer 


While we were polishing off the leftovers from the second cooking act, Ken told us that he finds it much more fulfilling to cook for tourists who are interested in authentic Thai cuisine than to work in a busy restaurant. As the farm is visited by 120 tourists a day, it provides valuable employment for local people. In addition to the staff:inside, they have regional organic suppliers who bring fresh ingredients daily. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when tourism plummeted, Ken had to look for other work and was happy when tourists started coming back to the country.

Overall, my experience at Smile Organic Farm was a highlight of my trip to Chiang Mai. Not only did I learn how to prepare delicious organic Thai food, but I was also able to support a sustainable and community-oriented business. I'm definitely writing invitations for a Thai feast at home already. After all, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. 
Best regards, 
Yours Franzi

Traditional Thai cooking course on an organic farm? - Pretty spicy.

Do you love delicious Thai food on holiday and dread the day when you have to say goodbye to your favourite street food stall? At the Smile Organic Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you can pick up the wooden spoon yourself and learn the art of Thai cooking and take it home with you. I was keen to try this out. So in this IMPACKT blog post, I'll tell you what to expect on this culinary adventure and how to whip up a delicious red curry paste. 

Learning in the market and herb garden 


The culinary journey of discovery began when we were picked up from our accommodation. Together we took a trip to the Charoen Charoen Fresh Market a little outside with Ken, our cook. There he pointed out the ingredients we would need later. I was particularly taken with the relaxed atmosphere, the selection of finger food and fresh fruit and vegetables. That's why I immediately marked the market on Maps. 

Once we arrived at the farm, Ken took us to the herb garden where we could try the fresh Thai basil. Because Thailand has its own species of basil: What do you say now, dear Italy? We also picked edible flowers to decorate our dishes. Furthermore, he showed us kaffir limes, which used to be used as shampoo. Try this green hair shampoo on your next trip. In addition to the lime, Ken passed around a Thai ginger, also called Alpinia Galanga, for us to smell and emphasised, "Without it we can't open restaurant." 

Let's get to the wok 


By then it was time to cook. Ken gave us a selection of dishes to choose from. Of course, there were also vegetarian and vegan options. Before we could really get started, Ken explained each sauce as well as the different spices. After a short introduction to the gas cooker, each of us was given an apron - very sexy indeed - and our own little cooking station with a work surface. But then it was really time to get to work on the wok. We were already chopping, rolling and cooking away. We threw herbs everywhere and waved the wok and cooking spoon around. My favourite part was cooking the Tom Yum soup. Because of this very famous as well as spicy Tom Yum soup, by the way, Thai cuisine became famous for its spiciness. "But only 40% of Thai food is spicy. The rest is not. A lot of delicious without spicy," Ken reassured us, smiling amusedly as we seemed only half convinced. He promised us that we could later determine the dosage of our curry pastes ourselves. Because it is often from those pastes that the spiciness comes. 

After the first cooking session, a spring roll, fried chicken with pad kaprao and phad thai were on the table and it was time to taste. The two hours had already been enough for me to find myself better than many a street food stall. Luckily, I had skipped breakfast and had room left in my belly. While feasting, I chatted with the other course participants. We tasted each other's cooking and awarded points. 

Well fortified, we went into the second half of the cooking with the preparation of curry pastes. When we put the chillies in the mortar, Ken came over and took out first three, then seven chillies and said with a wink that that was enough. Spoiler alert: I didn't spit fire later, but I still got a few sparks. 

Red organic curry paste to make 


Now here's the recipe for the organic red curry paste. Throw all the ingredients into a blender or pound everything with a mortar and pestle. So here goes. 
You need: 
  • 10 chopped and dried red chillies
  • 1-2 chopped shallots
  •  1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped Galangal or Thai Ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tsp chopped Thai ginseng
  • 1 tsp chopped Kaffir lime
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander root
  • 2 tsp chopped turmeric
  • 2 pinches salt
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  •  ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried peppercorns
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional) 

We then used up the fresh curry paste straight away and used it as a base for the Tom Yum soup, as well as the Khao Soi soup. The cooking was a lot of fun and Ken was running around giving tips on what we could improve. Although I can only give a few dishes, like Kaiserschmarrn or my mum's spaghetti bolognese, I was praised every time. It definitely showed me how easy Thai cooking is, even if you're not usually a kitchen fairy. 


Cooking class as an employer 


While we were polishing off the leftovers from the second cooking act, Ken told us that he finds it much more fulfilling to cook for tourists who are interested in authentic Thai cuisine than to work in a busy restaurant. As the farm is visited by 120 tourists a day, it provides valuable employment for local people. In addition to the staff:inside, they have regional organic suppliers who bring fresh ingredients daily. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when tourism plummeted, Ken had to look for other work and was happy when tourists started coming back to the country.

Overall, my experience at Smile Organic Farm was a highlight of my trip to Chiang Mai. Not only did I learn how to prepare delicious organic Thai food, but I was also able to support a sustainable and community-oriented business. I'm definitely writing invitations for a Thai feast at home already. After all, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. 
Best regards, 
Yours Franzi

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Suitcase L

Colour: flora pink

Size: L

€159.95*
Wheel set

Colour: deep sea green

€19.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: sunset yellow

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: polar white

Size: L

€159.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: polar white

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: glacier blue

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: polar white

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: flora pink

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: deep sea green

Size: L

€159.95*
Wheel set

Colour: iron grey

€19.95*
Wheel set

Colour: flora pink

€19.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: iron grey

Size: S

€129.95*
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IP1 Suitcase

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€159.95*
IP1 Suitcase

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Size: M

€149.95*
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