Before we left for our trip around the world, we had decided that we would love to take some cooking classes while we were traveling. Ideally would be one in each country. Until this Thursday we hadn’t taken any classes yet. This Wednesday we arrived in Kanchanaburi and we found a lovely place called On’s Thai Issan, and we simply couldn’t resist any longer. Miss On serves only vegan and vegetarian Thai-food, and that is also what she teaches at her cooking classes. This sounded perfect to us, so we booked a 2 hours long cooking class with her.
About On’s Thai Issan
Miss On is the owner of On’s Thais Issan. The restaurant is located in the middle of Maenamkwai Road, which is the busiest and most popular area among tourists and backpackers.It was opened in the summer of 2012 and since then it has become very popular among Thais as well as foreigners.
You can easily tell that she cooks with love and only uses high quality, fresh, plant-based ingredients. The portions are huge and just by the look of it you know for sure that it’s going to be yummy. The prices are very reasonable as well. The main dishes are 70 baht each and drinks are 40 baht each.
During the day this place is both a restaurant and a cooking school mixed into one. Miss On cooks food for her customers at the same time as she’s holding a cooking class. This is done with such a grace that as a student in a cooking class, you barely notices that she’s doing other things at the same time as she is being your teacher.
The one thing that she kept on telling us during her class was that happiness and love makes the food taste good. This is a philosophy she truly lives up to.
Info About her Classes
Duration: Each class goes on for about 2 hours. This includes a quick introduction, cooking your food and time sit down and to enjoy your creations.
Price: The price for a cooking class is 600 baht/person.
Number of participants: If she’s not fully booked, then you get a private class for only the people you book for. This is great since all focus is on you, to teach you how to properly cook delicious Thai-food.
Opening Hours: The cooking classes runs from 10am to 6pm everyday.
Booking: It seemed as if it’s usually fine to book a class rather spontaneously. But if you want to be sure to catch a spot, you might want to book a class in advance. It is possible to book by sending her an email or call her. We went to her restaurant and talked to her instead. We took a class at the same day, a couple of hours later.
Each participant gets to choose three main dishes and one dessert from the restaurant menu, that he/she wants to learn how to cook. If you’re two people, this means you can choose six different mains and two desserts in total.
We chose to cook Panang Curry, Pad-Thai, Curry fried rice, Red Curry, Som Tam and Tom Yum for main dishes. For desserts we chose a banana pancake (YUMMY!) and mango banana sticky rice.
Before your class starts, Miss On will prepare everything for you. When you arrive she has printed every recipe (which you get to keep!), chopped and pre-boiled vegetables, pre-fried the tofu and measured all the ingredients for you. This way you’ll spend less time on doing tasks you already know how to do, and more on actually learning how to cook the dishes you’ve chosen.
More than just learning how to cook, you will get to eat everything you cook as well. This is not as easy as it sounds, it is a lot of food. We tried and tried and tried and we were about to explode when we left and we still had to save two of the dishes until dinner.
One bottle of water each and as much rice as you can eat (trust me, it won’t be a lot) is included as well.
Thai-food is one of our favorite cuisines, so we were really excited about taking a cooking class and to learn how to cook vegetarian/vegan Thai-food! Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Miss On turned two ordinary hours into two extraordinary hours that day.
During our cooking class we got to learn several tips and tricks that are useful while cooking Thai-food. Before each step she explained what we were doing and why, which gave us a better understanding. She encouraged us to taste our food every now and then so that we’d be able to adjust the flavors if we’d like. We also learned about substitute plant-based ingredients to non-plant-based ingredients that are common in the Thai cuisine. This was really good since we didn’t know what to use instead of, for example fish sauce and oyster sauce.
Miss On is a lovely, happy and energetic lady. It’s obvious to anyone that she loves what she’s doing and she seems to truly enjoy holding cooking classes. During our class, she kept on singing and dancing and telling us to join her. She explained that her secret to good food is happiness, love and having a really good time while cooking.
We had two amazing hours, cooking and eating lots and lots of delicious food. Finally, we know how to make a delicious, all vegetarian Pad-Thai. We recommend to take a cooking class at On’s Thai Issan to everyone that visits Kanchanaburi, vegetarian/vegan or not; you’ll love it!
Hot tip: Don’t eat before your class! We made this mistake and we really struggled to eat everything that we’d cooked. If you’re not totally useless (and I mean really, really useless) in the kitchen, your food will be amazing and you wont’ want to stop eating. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go there with an empty stomach and lots of space for delicious food.