Lanta Thai cookery school

While in Ko Lanta we took our first, but hopefully not our last, Thai cooking class.

Having picked up some leaflets in town, we booked the Lanta Thai cookery school via email. There was a choice of an evening or lunchtime class, and we opted for the dinner option which cost 1700 baht (around £38) each. It was a little pricey, but worth it, as we love Thai food and thought it would be nice to be able to make it properly when we got home.

We were picked up from the hotel at 3.40pm and driven just a short way away from the beach to a lovely area, with views of the mountains. Our teacher, Prim, was fantastic and very conversant with coeliac disease. She promised to show me how to adapt the recipes to make sure they were gluten-free.

As a group, you choose which recipes you want to make. There were several options, suitable for all tastes. We were with two German couples, who were a bit older than us, and had been to Thailand many times before. One couple had been 30 times! They were very au fait with Thai food and had strong ideas what they wanted to cook.

My husband was keen to learn how to make his favourite Thai dish, Massaman curry. In the end, we settled on making four dishes:

• Golden bags (a starter) – I made gluten-free fresh spring rolls instead.
• Laab Chicken salad
• Seafood in Tamarind Sauce
• Curry – Green, Penang and Massaman.

It was really good fun. Prim started the session by introducing us to the Thai herbs and spices that we would be using and telling us the alternatives we could find back in the UK. We had our own preparation area around the table and our own gas hob and we set to work!

As I couldn’t eat the pastry sheets, I made fresh spring rolls instead of Golden Bags, using rice paper. I think my presentation skills could do with some work, but they tasted OK!

I loved the Laab chicken and we both enjoyed the seafood in tamarind sauce and the curries. The green thai curry was thick and creamy, and definitely something I will try to recreate at home.

We cooked with woks and gas burners outside. The mosquitoes were out in force, so I was glad we brought insect repellent. Drinks were available throughout the course (water was free, beer and soft drinks to pay for).

The other people on the course were very friendly, and it was a lovely evening. We left with a cookbook so that we could try the dishes back home, and Prim even offered to help us via email or Facebook if we got stuck!

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