If you’re looking for something a little different and delicious, try Amita Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok—a few hours in a garden kitchen is a perfect way to spend a few yummy hours.
A couple of years ago I was in a bit of a quandary over a 24-hour layover in Bangkok on my way to Myanmar, I wanted to do something fun but after flying 18 hours, the idea of doing anything that required walking or land me in the middle of a large crowd made me want to put a fork in my eye—effectively eliminating about 80% of my options.
Amita Thai Cooking Class
I made a reservation at the Amita Thai Cooking Class, a charming urban oasis I visited on a previous trip and a wonderful alternative to the frenetic atmosphere of many tourist attractions.
At Amita, I would spend a half-day feasting on some of the best Thai dishes (my favorite), while learning to prepare a traditional four-course meal.
Tam Piyawadi Jantrupon, a little wisp of a woman with a big personality, hosts guests in her home along a canal off the Chao Phraya river, The third generation of her family to grow up in the house, Tam watched her grandmother and aunt prepare the family meals—and so began her love of cooking.
My day started at 8 a.m. with a pickup at my hotel and a leisurely 30-minute boat ride down the Chao Phraya River with seven other guests. During our journey, we passed many iconic sights such as Wat Arun, known as the Temple of Dawn, and the Grand Palace, the ancestral home of past Thai kings. Gliding across the water, it was a great opportunity to view these historic wonders from a completely different perspective.
Upon our arrival, Tam met us at her dock with a team of four equally petite assistants and a tray filled with chilled towels to wipe away the morning’s humidity—a lovely gesture I’ve always found appealing in hot climates.
Moments later, a cold glass of a lemongrass drink was placed in our hands, accompanied by a homemade banana leaf straw.
We took a seat on a waterside veranda surrounded by trees and a garden as lush as a jungle. There, a plate of tempura (battered and deep-fried) flowers was paired with a delicate sweet-and sour-dipping sauce. The flowers themselves didn’t have much of a flavor but the crunch of the tempura and the tang of the sauce made for a wonderfully exotic snack.
Authentic Thai Cuisine
After a round of introductions, and over the chatter of very talkative pet mynah bird named Basil, Tam outlined the day’s Thai menu: We’d begin with chicken satay (tasty strips of grilled chicken served with a spicy peanut sauce), followed by kang keaw wan gai (green curry chicken in coconut milk), khao man som tam (coconut rice and papaya salad with chile-lemon sauce), and for dessert, khao niew mamuang (mango sticky rice).
But first, we’d tour Tam’s extensive garden. There, she pointed out the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices we’d collect for our meal, and peppered the conversation with interesting facts about the historical and medicinal uses of each plant.
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Tam Cooks First
At one end of the garden stood the open-air kitchen where all the magic happens. Ten individual cooking stations lined the kitchen, five on each side. At the back stood a large table where Tam demonstrated how to prepare each dish first before it was our turn to give it a go.
Tam demonstrated each course step-by-step, chopping, and dicing and pummeling ingredients with a mortar and pestle. She also shared traditional Thai cuisine tricks of the trade. She explained how wrapping herbs and spices in banana leaves keep them fresh, and my favorite, how to turn a banana plant stalk into a marinade brush for the satay by fraying one end with a knife.
When she finished her demonstration, we were up at bat. We each chose a cooking station while Tam’s assistants brought out separate trays loaded with ingredients. It was our turn to pummel, mix, boil, and grill, but to my delight, all of the tedious chopping, peeling, and measuring had already been done.
Tam coached us through each step. The smells tantalized me so my stomach growled loud enough for the woman standing next to me to hear and she erupted in laughter.
When we finished each dish, Tam’s assistants removed them, keeping them hot until we completed the entire meal. When the last of us put down our wooden spoons it was time for the feast to begin!
Reaping the Rewards of Our Thai Cooking Class
Meeting again on the veranda, we saw our meal beautifully laid out before us. For the next 45 minutes, we laughed and talked and stuffed ourselves silly.
At 1:30 p.m., our visit was winding down. Tam and her ladies packed any leftovers into doggie bags and gave each of us recipe cards so we could cook everything at home.
It was time for our merry band to head back to our respective hotels, happy and sated.
How You Can Enjoy Your Own Amita Thai Cooking Class
- Hours of operation: Open every day except Wednesday (8 a.m. to approximately 1:30 p.m., including transportation to and from your hotel)
- Number of guests: No more than 10 per class
- Cost: 3,000 baht (approximately $95) paid in cash at the end of the class.
- Book your own Thai cooking class.
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93 thoughts on “Amita Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok, Thailand: A Delicious Culinary Adventure”
I’ve been to Bangkok many times with my family, one day soon, we’ll go back again, and I’m going to ditch the family and do this by myself. Looks great. Wonderful evocative photos.
It’s a great experience! Absolutely loved it. I think you will too.
This is an amazing idea! I will definitely be doing this when I travel to Thailand one day!
You won’t regret it!
Great as always :)!!
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Lv gathering ! :*
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A beautiful blog, is Travelling ur profession ? 🙂 and is there room for 1 more 😉
I do write and photograph some of my travels for publications but it’s really more of a passion than a money-maker.
Oh , there are other ways to make money, do u find peace in this passion? And does travelling bring freedom to u? . I really liked the pics 🙂 , I hope I m not bothering
I often find peace in it, yes. Especially when I am someplace beautiful like Africa. I find serenity there.
this is so amazing it is so good love it keep it up
Thank you! I will. 🙂
Must have been a serene afternoon gratifying all your senses… You have inspired me to hop on to the next flight.
It was MOST satisfying. Just delish. 🙂
How much fun is that?! Loved the design of her garden.
It was beautiful and that shot was only a fraction of it. It’s quite extraordinary.
Great post, lovely shots 🙂
Thank you so much!
May the Good Lord Bless you my dear friend, and may He always be with you. Hallelujah Amen
Thank you very very much.
Amen. Your welcome friend.
Me acabo de apuntar a tu página. Me encanta. Felicidades desde España.
Nice place yours. I like it very much. Congratulations from Spain 😉
woow right now im very hungry, it´s wonderful!!
Wonderful website !
I live vicariously through you and am kind of obsessed with the idea of a bamboo straw!
It’s so great isn’t it? I’m glad you liked the post. 🙂
I’m hungry now :c
great post! 🙂
Everything looks so delicious you made me hungry again! Thai cuisine is my favorite too, the preparation and the seasoning makes everything special. Something many people don’t even know! How can you live without spices?
Spicy Spicy Spicy! I love Thai food for that reason.
Great post. My mouth is watering and I shall just have to go and eat something NOW as a result.
Haha! I’m glad you think so. Thank you. Welcome to the blog. 🙂
That looks so fantastic! I’m going to have a cooking class at Silom Thai Cooking School next Saturday, so excited!
That sounds mouthwatering…in Italy coconut milk is really hard to find and Thai restaurants even more scarce 🙁
Hmmm.. That’s interesting. I guess that makes perfect sense. I adore Thai food. Italian too. If I could live on pasta without the fear of all the carbs/calories, I would. 🙂
Yes its a had a living in Italy! I dont know how all the Italians stay so slim…
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Nice, i love asian food ! Specially thai and balinese
Thai is one of my favorites. Just delish.
what a wonderful way to learn something new. I’ve always wanted to do a cookery class in India, however if I ever find myself in Bangkok then I know what I will be booking
I bet a cooking class in India would be spectacular. It’s a great way to connect with a new culture.
Hi! i’ve nominated you for the sunshine blogger award tag! feel free to do it if you want, but you don’t have to. Keep on keeping on 🙂
Thank you! That’s very kind. 🙂
salu a tous je ma ppelle maxime44
Wonderful…. You have inspired me!
Thank you! I’m glad you felt inspired. Means a lot.
Nice article language is structured and broaden the horizon for me personally ,,, thanks
yummy. I love thai food. Very well written
Me too! Probably one of my favorite cuisines.
Thank you for the nice compliment. Most appreciated. I hope you return to the blog. 🙂
This is definitely a must try now if I have the chance to travel to Thailand!
look delicious and make me hungry, meanwhile i’m fasting now 😀
yummmm, look delicious.
On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 9:36 PM, The Insatiable Traveler wrote:
> Susan Portnoy posted: ” Rife with exotic palaces and temples worthy of > exploration, Bangkok is a traveler’s dream, but if you’re looking for > something a little different, a few hours in a garden kitchen is a perfect > way to spend the day. My quandary A couple of years ago, I ” >
This looks amazing! Thanks for the tip 🙂
I will be going to Thailand this December and I can’t wait!
How great! you’ll Tampa and the class. If you end up going, let me know what you think when you get back.
Salivating! Details filed away for future reference. Thanks Susan!
You bet. 👍😀
I can get the aroma just reading through:-) Enjoy
That’s a lovely compliment, thank you. 🙂
This is fantastic! When I finally make my way to Thailand, this will definitely be on my list of things do to! Thanks for the advice.
So glad you liked it. I guarantee you’ll love it.
I did a great cooking class in Indonesia. The Southeast Asians’ sure know how to cook!
If I ever get to Thailand, this will definitely on my agenda! Food photography… an art in itself!
It’s a great time. You’ll love it if you go.
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Fantastic! The soup looks so good i want to just reach through the screen and eat!
It was absolutely delish!
Hunger stirred up…
Mine too. LOL
Incredibly written. Developed an insatiable hunger to visit Bangkok. 👌🏻
One of my favorite items on a Thai menu is the iced coffee. I have not had it except in America and am not sure if it is truly a native drink.
That’s interesting. I don’t drink coffee normally so it’s not something I ever pay attention to. I wonder if it’s endemic to Thai food. Hmmmm…