They say Thais do not cook because they rarely have their own kitchen at home. If this is true, we have assimilated perfectly here. No kitchen, no cooking, and “compulsory” eating out for us here in Thailand.

After having been overwhelmed by Thai cooking classes adverts, we wished to experience something different, so we chose a macrobiotic cooking course in Chiang Mai organised by RSM International School.

The course costs 950 THB per person, includes 5 dishes and one dessert and is held in the morning. Pick-up in the city is complimentary.

The six-dish menu consisted of:
1. Winged Bean Salad
2. Firm Tofu Salad with three different dressings (chickpea, tofu, ginger)
3. Mountain Rice Paella
4. Dumplings
5. Shitake Broth Miso Soup
6. Soy Milk Pudding

Our English-speaking chef Fah (whose name means ‘sky’ in Thai) welcomed us warmly at her cooking class and we started preparing firm tofu, which was exciting and challenging at the same time.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Preparation of firm tofu.

The soybeans were already soaked for us and during the cooking process, Fah gave us some cooking tips:

⁃ always use the beans with skin as they contain more nutrients
⁃ put a bit of sesame oil in when you start to cook the beans, so the pot will not boil over
⁃ add a bit of lemon juice and salt for better flavour
⁃ boil the beans for about 10-15 minutes on low heat
⁃ once the soy milk cools down to 60-75 C, put raw rice vinegar to separate the water from the soy milk.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

One block of tofu is ready.

Preparation took us 1 hour and 15 minutes in total. To form one block of tofu, which was a fairly large portion for one person, it takes 15 minutes. In case you prefer firm tofu, you will need 30 minutes to form it, and you must compress the block down by putting weight on top, so any remaining water can drain away.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Slicing winged beans.

The next meal we prepared was Winged Bean Salad, a dish very easy to prepare, light and refreshing. We learned how to chop the ingredients the right way into small pieces, which affects the final taste radically. We learned that black sesame seeds contain more fibre and calcium compared to the white ones.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

The Winged Beans Salad is ready.

After we finished eating and refreshed ourselves, we followed the menu with 3 dressings and with the Firm Tofu Salad. All the ingredients and tools were ready for us at our cooking spot, and the tables had already been cleaned after the previous cooking. All of this was done by our teacher and her assistant. It definitely saved time, but we felt a bit weird that somebody had cleaned up the mess after us.

Although the next dish was based on fresh vegetables and fried tofu, it made us quite full. For one portion, we cut 100 g. of cucumber into thin slices, chopped 100 g. of tomatoes, 50 g. of onion, and 10 g. of coriander (which gave a fabulous flavour to the salad). We then added 1/2 of teaspoon of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and naturally, we fried our own tofu on a 1/2 of teaspoon of sesame oil. So delicious!

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Frying the firm tofu.

Here we could see the difference in our experimenting when we weighted down one block of tofu for 30 minutes and it became firmer and better for cutting and frying comparing to the other block that we just simply formed in the fridge without putting any weight on it.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

The preparation of tofu and sesame dressing.

The chickpeas and tofu dressings were absolutely amazing and we were encouraged by our teacher to customise them by adding more of any ingredient we preferred. Lessons learned while preparing this dish: 1. tofu and sesame go very well together. 2. you rarely peel off the skin of veggies and fruits according to the rules of macrobiotic cooking.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Firm Tofu Salad with three dressings (tofu, chickpea, ginger).

We continued with our menu, preparing Mountain Rice Paella made of brown rice, lotus root, carrot, onion, Shitake mushrooms, spring onion, soy sauce and sesame oil. So nutritious, filling and tasty!

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Preparing the Mountain Rice Paella.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

The Mountain Rice Paella.

While the paella was on the fire, we started to prepare veggie dumplings. The dough was made of rice flower, blended spinach and water. We filled them with silken tofu, chopped garlic chives, water chestnuts and soy sauce. Honestly, we were not crazy about the result. The dumplings were a bit tough, but the filling tasted very good.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Stretching the dough for the dumplings.

Macrobiotic Cooking Course in Chiang Mai

Filling the dumplings.

Macrobiotic cooking course in Chiang Mai.

Ready to eat.

The next meal of our feast was a bowl of Shitake Broth Miso Soup, which was heavenly. We had tried to prepare our homemade miso a few times before, but just at the cooking class we realised it was far from the correct, original taste: very light and not as salty as miso soups often are.

Macrobiotic cooking course in Chiang Mai.

The soy milk pudding.

The last dish – a dessert! To follow the macrobiotic diet, we prepared Soy Milk Pudding, where we learned to use the agar powder as a gelatin substitute. Although the whole procedure demanded a bit of skill to stir the mixture properly to make it solid, in the end our sweets turned out very well with the perfect, compact texture and pleasantly sweet taste.

Macrobiotic cooking course in Chiang Mai.

Ivana enjoying the soy milk pudding.

After we emptied all the plates and glasses, we were ready to roll down the streets back to our guesthouse. It was a lovely and hopefully useful experience. Now we just need a kitchen of our own!

Have you ever tried any macrobiotic dish? What do you think about the concept of macrobiotics?
We would like to hear from you.  

16 Responses

  1. Carmel

    Very different take on a cooking class! That’s really cool that you were able to prepare your own tofu. The dishes sound tasty and healthy!

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Carmel. We were actually very proud of our first blocks of tofu :) Great experience. Although is a bit time demanding, definitely worth to try it out.
      Have safe trips!

      Reply
  2. Audrey

    Everything looks so healthy and delicious, guys! I may have to sign up for this course once Sam’s parents arrive. :)

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Audrey. If you enjoy day of eating, cooking, tasting and eating again, then go for it :)

      Reply
  3. Kawe

    I love posts about cooking and eating :-) Are you also going to post the recipes? Would love to cook some of it :-)

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Hi, Kawe, happy to hear from you!
      For now we do not plan to post recipes, but if you are so keen on trying any dish, drop us a private message on fb and specify which meal you are interested to try so we can help you to prepare it.

      Reply
  4. Iñaki

    Nice photos and meals! So you now have no excuses to cook at home he he… You can buy a rice steamer (only 300 THB) and try to cook with it. It’s very helpful to cook a lot of dishes, not only boiled rice. We have cooked there some curries, pasta, bolied vegetables, lentis or chickpeas… For us it was a great discovery and since then we reduced a bit eating out as it’s good to avoid sometimes the fried stuff with not really healthy palm oil…

    Continue enjoying, best regards!

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Iñaki.
      I believe a rice steamer is a good option when you stay at any place for longer. We travel relatively slowly and move from one place to another after 2-3 months, so we try to cope with the accommodation without kitchen all possible ways, like preparing raw salads or buying some fresh take-away meals from the market.
      Who knows how long we go on this way till we buy any serious equipment :) For now, while travelling with 2 carry-on luggage of 70 l in total, having the rice cooker would be a small luxury.
      Many safe and happy trips :)

      Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      We can find the recipe and instructions from the class and send it over, Dale. It’s time demanding, but otherwise very easy :)

      Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      I’m sure you will find some vegan delicacies here, Yara :)

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.