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  • Writer's pictureDaniela @ Lettuce Bloom

Cook like a Thai in Chiang Mai - gluten-free and vegan

Gluten-free and vegan cooking class in Chiang Mai

My biggest objective when I arrived to Chiang Mai was to learn to cook as a Thai, so I will be able to enjoy the northern Thai kitchen also back home and be able to teach it in my workshops in Bordeaux.

My first home made Mango Sticky Rice with natural colouring

The choices of classes

The choice of cooking classes in Chiang Mai is enormous - you can choose between classes in town or on a farm, between carnivore or veggie/vegan classes though most offer both and simply replace meat/seafood with tofu.

My finalists were a specific veggie class at MayKaidee’s in town or a regular class at Mama Noi‘s organic farm outside of town - I chose the last one for organic and being in nature.

Great learnings around our meals - the class

For most classes outside of town you get picked up at your hotel and have a first stop at the local market to learn about ingredients that are typically used in Thai dishes such as galango thai ginger, sweet basil, panda leaves and lemongrass.

After we went off to the farm, had a walk through the farm and learned about plants - before our group was split up into Chinese speakers and English speakers. That day we were only 6 English speakers in a group, so we had 3 wonderful teachers all for ourselves.

We could choose between 5 dishes for a half day class and 8 dishes for the full day. The base of the Thai kitchen are fish, soy and oyster sauces for seasoning, which can be challenging on a gluten-free and/or vegan diet. Before joining any class on a gluten-free diet - equip yourself with your own sauces from Megachef that you can find in most bigger supermarkets. If you can’t find all of them get at least the fish sauce for gluten-free or the soy sauce for gluten-free and vegan cooking.

For the Pad Thai usually they would use all three of those sauces, I prepared mine with fish sauce only (didn't get the soy sauce the night before), without dried shrimps or shrimp paste and it was as delicious 😋. Generally you would be able to do all meals with only soy or fish sauce. If you are a gluten-free vegan and avoid soy products, those can also be replaced with a mushroom sauce.

In between our cooking sessions we had enough time to enjoy our cooked meals. We finished our class with my favorite dessert of a Mango sticky rice and I was amazed about the preparation behind and the wonderful natural coloring of the rice. I am simply crazy about coconuts 🥥 🌴

Only downsides from a holistic health point of view was the aluminium pots used in class and the soy oil for cooking - it’s hard to escape it over here and I barely have seen coconut oil being used for cooking...

All in all I am super happy about this experience and can’t wait to get back to my own kitchen to cook.

  • Pad Thai (Thai style fried Rice noodles) - Som Tum (Spicy Papaya Salad) and Tom Som (Sour and spicy soup)

No time for a cooking class in Chiang Mai?

For those of you who won’t have the time to join a cooking class in Chiang Mai you can also enjoy wonderful gluten-free and vegan meals at my following hot spots:

  • Vegan heaven - all meals are vegan and GF are marked on the menu - Tum Yum served in a young coconut - simply delicious - they have two restaurants in town.

  • Butter is better - not vegan but definitely gluten-free for those of you who miss a nice piece of cheese cake 🍰

  • MayKaidee’s - not just a cooking school but also has a restaurant just besides the school. You can also buy their cooking book if you can't make it to their classes.

Can’t make it to Chiang Mai anytime soon? No worries, you can also discover the delicious Thai cuisine by simply booking a cooking class in mine or your kitchen once I’m back in Bordeaux (locally only) or watch out my Facebook for upcoming workshops.

Do you have questions about Thai food? Just send me a message on or on below comments.

Kòrp kun ká,

Dani from Lbloom

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