Chaophraya Cooking Lesson

 A week or so ago, I was invited to Chaophraya to be a guinea pig for their Cookery School Experience. I love thai food, as they use coconut milk more than dairy, so it was a no-brainer for me and I didn't hesitate to say yes.

There was three of us in total, all bloggers, Alev from Bella and the Robot and Laura from Full to the Brum. We had a helper each, our own tables with an electric burner, pans, kitchen knives and ingredients.
We were taken upstairs in the restaurant, which was spacious and even had its own bar, where the chef greeted us.

 For the first of three courses, we made spring rolls. I grew up in a household where spring rolls and samosas were plentiful and I helped with the preparation of them but I have never done the whole process myself so I was very excited and nervous to get these done. They started by introducing how to chop, in a professional chef-like manner. I cannot say I did this amazingly well because I have my own way of doing things but it was nice to be given the how-to guide.

My veggie spring rolls (I didn't use the chicken shown in the picture above) contained shitaki mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, glass noodles, with a season of soy sauce and water. The green paste, shown above and was also used, contained ginger and garlic with coriander and it smelt amazing, I could have eaten just that. The flour was mixed with water to bind into a paste to seal the spring rolls.

 The filling

 My first roll

 A hot pan ready for a good deep fat frying, oooo yeah.

 I was really pleased with the end result, as they browned nicely and even tasted good; call me Spring Roll Queen.

 Onto the main, it was a veggie stirfry that also contained tofu, cucumber and carrot. It tasted oh so good!

 As you can see my pan was loaded up with veg and tofu, whilst everyone else was using beef. Did I mention that I love tofu?!

My end result was pretty damn good and was served with rice.

 Moving on to dessert, we deep fat fried bananas in a coconut milk batter and served it with golden syrup. Yes it is a sugar overload but they used my favourite fruit, used coconut milk and deep fat fried it, what is not to love?!

I have to say that I had a great time at this cooking class, as it was my first one I didn't know what to expect but it was enjoyable. However, I wish they would've talked through technique slightly more and why certain ingredients are fused together. For example, the chef suggested that we add a pinch of sugar whenever we add soy sauce to the dish, as this gets rid of that bitterness. I thought this was a great tip to learn and wanted to learn more. Also I would've liked to have made the green paste that I mentioned at the beginning of the post but I reckon they can't give away all their secrets. I really liked how they were able to adapt to my dietary requirements but not lose the authenticity.

As well as a three course meal and cooking lesson, the lovely people at Chaophraya gave us a fab goodie bag with the remaining food that we had cooked, recipe cards, an apron & hat, a can of coconut milk, a menu, a beer (which I gave to one of the fellow bloggers), bananas (not shown and probably already eaten) and a keyring.

(Here comes the science bit)

Normally this lesson would be £60 per person, this would include welcome drinks reception, introduction to Thai ingredients, demonstration and practical hands on session and the goodie bag. Sessions will be once a week with some exceptions, so just contact Lynsey at

Thank you to the team at Chaophraya, especially Lynsey for setting the session up and inviting me.

This has really got me interested into cooking lessons and what else is offered within Birmingham and beyond, is there anything you would recommend?

P.s. I was invited along to this and it was complimentary but that does not mean I haven't expressed my opinion.

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