During my trip to Luang Prabang, I booked a cooking class with Tamarind Cooking School.
Meeting up at their restaurant, I was served a herbal drink while waiting for all those who had booked for the day to arrive. Once everyone was ready, a van took us to a local market where the cooking instructor showed us some of the herbs used in Laotian cooking.
After our walk around the market, we were taken to the cooking venue amidst paddy fields. There, after donning our aprons, we started with cleaning the sticky rice and placing it in the basket to steam.
We then proceeded to make a range of dishes. We started with Mokpa, fish steamed in banana leaf and Laap, a salad made of minced chicken and herbs.
We were given the option of choosing one of two types of dipping sauce to make. I chose to make Jaew Mak Khua (eggplant sauce). This delicious dip was basically roasted eggplant mashed with herbs and spices. We ate it with the sticky rice we had cooked.
We also learnt to make Ua Si Khai (stuffed lemongrass). This was minced chicked mixed with herbs and spices and stuffed in a basket cut into lemongrass stalks. The stuffed stalks were then dipped in egg yolk and deep fried. I had trouble cutting the lemongrass stalks and needed help with it.
Our group was then invited to eat the food we had cooked for lunch.
From the food I had cooked, I enjoyed best the eggplant dip with sticky rice and Mokpa.
After we had finished our main meal, we were invited to cook our dessert which was black sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and served with cut fruit topping and tamarind jam produced by the cooking school.
The Tamarind Cooking School experience was a lovely and fun way to be introduced to Laotian cuisine.