31 In Culture/ Food Envy/ Thailand/ Travel

Thai Cooking Class with A Twist – Expique’s ‘The Market Experience’ – Bangkok, Thailand

The Bangkok-based tour company Expique opened up a whole new adventure for its clients earlier this year called The Market Experience. Located in the heart of the Flower Market, they offer tours of the flower market and cooking + design classes with materials that come from the flower market. The Market Experience hosted us for the morning for their Thai Cooking Class with a Twist. Let me tell you all about it! 

Getting Started

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The Market Experience is located on the second floor of the flower market. If you enter from the main entrance on Chakphet Road, it’s very easy to find. You just walk straight back and there will be a flight of stairs to your right; take those stairs and turn right at the top. This will lead you right to The Market Experience’s door. Inside their air-conditioned office, our Chef/Guide Alyssa and her assistant Tum were waiting to greet us with a welcome drink (made from butterfly pea flowers, of course). Alyssa gave us a little run-through of the course.

After our introduction we started off our class by making an appetizer called Miang Kham. It’s a salad that you make for yourself bite by bite. Typically, it’s done in a leaf, but because we were in the flower market and it’s Thai cooking with a twist, we used a lotus petal.

Left: Alyssa Setting Up // Right: Tum and Matt getting started.

 

Check out this little video to see what all goes in it!

After the appetizer, we headed down into the market to get the grand tour from Alyssa.

The Market Tour

Although it’s The Flower Market, if you walk through you’ll also find loads of fresh cooking materials as well. Veggies, rice, tofu, roots, herbs, fish and more! Walking through the market is an experience in itself.

 

How cute are these teeny tiny pineapples?! Alyssa says they’re super sweet, but it takes a lot of work to get to them. 

This man and I bonded over his delicious-smelling produce.

Left: Kissing Fish // Right: Kissing Wunders

Alyssa bought noodles from this lady to use in our pad thai we were about to cook! 

This is chrysanthemum tea. Alyssa explained before 7-Eleven came to Bangkok, you would find small pharmacies like this one, with a woman selling fresh drinks. Of course, we had to try one.

After our wonderful tour, it was time to get down to business and fix our lunch!

The Cooking Class

The Market Experience’s menu changes depending on what’s in season or what the chefs are wanting to help you cook up!

Fruit Salad Starter

We started with a nice fruit salad. This fruit salad has mango, dragonfruit, a homemade dressing and pork. That’s right, a fruit salad with minced pork. I was skeptical, but it was AMAZING! We topped them with peanuts and chilis! (I skipped those chilis; I’m not all about that spice!)

 

Red + Green Thai Curries

 

We made curries from scratch – which is really cool to be able to say I’ve done. Matt made a red curry, since he likes a little more spice and I made a green one. Neither Matt nor I are big on fish sauce or fish flavor, so Alyssa gave us a great alternative to the shrimp paste by using these beans! How perfect is that?

Pad Thai

It seems like a cooking class wouldn’t be complete without this Thai staple. It’s the number one food most foreigners can recognize, and for good reason: it’s delicious! We made shrimp pad thai and the twist for this dish was the noodles! Of course, Alyssa and Tum added a little something special to our noodles so it would be rainbow pad thai! They dyed the noodles with flower petals.

Then, we feasted!

My Review of The Market Experience

 

The Market Experience was by far my favorite activity we did in Bangkok. It was my very first cooking class and I loved that it was so much more than that. Alyssa’s tour of the market gave us a more detailed, local insight into the experience that we would’ve missed out on had we just strolled through the market ourselves.

Both Alyssa and Tum were great chefs and their passion for sharing Thai cuisine was apparent. They made the recipes easy to follow and left us eager to recreate them and share them with our friends and family at home. In addition to sharing the cuisine we got a little insight on the history behind certain foods – like the Miang Kham’s royal origins.

I also feel like I walked away from this class with a better understanding of Thai food. Now, I recognize the contrasting sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavors in the Thai foods that Matt and I have bought since the class. I truly feel that anyone who takes this class will walk away having learned something new and interesting.

Disclaimer: Although we took this cooking class courtesy of The Market Experience, all opinions, as always, are my own. 

Photos taken by Matt Wunder Photography

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Erma
    September 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    It will be interesting to try some of this food when you & Matt get home

  • Reply
    The Thought Card
    September 19, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I love that this cooking class incorporated a flower market tour, what an awesome idea. It’s like getting two experiences in one. I love your heart shaped fish too so cute!

  • Reply
    Claire Sturzaker
    September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    This looks amazing! I love cooking classes, but the market tour adds a whole new perspective to it. The pork & fruit salad is definitely an interesting combination!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    September 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Really the Market Experience sounds fascinating. The cooking class with a twist is really interesting. The use of flowers is something so unique. Pad Thai of course is something one must taste in Thailand. Hope to experience this off beat activity when we get to Thailand next.

  • Reply
    carmyy
    September 19, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Those fish couple picture is so cute! I love the photos taken here, Matt is such an amazing photographer. I’d love to take a local cooking class to get to know the local cuisine better.

  • Reply
    Tania Mukherjee
    September 20, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Using flower petals in salads and dying noodles with flower petals sounds so intriguing! I would love to experience the same. Not to mention the pineapple is so cute! This is such an offbeat experience to have!

  • Reply
    Ozzy
    September 20, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Its something interesting to explore on my next trip to Bangkok for sure. The flower petals in food – never actually thought about it. The picture of Pad Thai makes me hungry!

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 20, 2017 at 10:33 am

    If there’s one thing I miss most about Thailand, I would have to say it’s the food! My partner and I took a cooking class last year and definitely used a few recipes last year when we lived in New Zealand! It’s so great to go to the market and see the hustle and bustle and then chill out by cooking and, better yet, eating the meal. I’m hungry now!

  • Reply
    Sarah Kim
    September 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    That’s so cool you used a lotus flower to make your salad. That’s definitely not something in my everyday ingredients. I love that your cooking class went to the market beforehand to get a full experience. I’d love to try this.

  • Reply
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits
    September 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, I haven’t been to Thailand yet, and with this cooking class that you have shown us, you made me excited to visit Thailand very soon. I truly love that you personally select all the ingredients that you need for your cooking class. The foods are actually tempting to look at and seemed to be very luscious. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Candy
    September 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I am so jealous you got to do this! I love cooking and being able to learn how to cook the local food on top of a tour of the market is the perfect way to learn how to cook. I loved watching the video. I had no idea you can eat those petals 🙂

  • Reply
    Ami Bhat
    September 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I like the fact that you started with the shopping for ingredients bit. That must have given you a good sense of the culture and local life there. And then to actually make those yummy dishes. I can so sense through your post that you loved the experience.

  • Reply
    Eating Our Way Through Bangkok - An Evening Food And Tuk Tuk Adventure by Expique - For the Love of Wanderlust
    September 24, 2017 at 7:11 am

    […] Kham salad (which we learned to make in The Market Experience’s class) / cowslip flowers, which were delicious / stinky pea soup… it’s appropriately […]

  • Reply
    abcdefghizzy
    September 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Cooking classes are my favorite “kill two birds with one stone” activity. I love that you can eat while learning about the culture and especially with the market experience, it seems like you got to sightsee a little too by acquainting yourself with a local marketplace. This one seems really unique as it incorporates flower edibles from the local marketplace. Love the little video clip you put together, you’re such a cute presenter! And the kissing fish pic with you and Matt is sweet! Love that he is now a predominant facet of the blog… travel couple blogging seems to be the new chapter for ‘For the Love of Wanderlust’ eh? 😉

  • Reply
    London-Unattached.com
    September 30, 2017 at 11:29 am

    What a great experience. How often have I wandered through a market and wanted to buy and cook – but of course, for the most part you can’t do that if you are travelling as you have no kitchen. The perfect solution!

  • Reply
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    September 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I love the Bangkok flower market and it looks like you had such a fun experience. Exploring it with a local guide and then learning to use the ingredients you buy in the kitchen is such a great way to bring your travels back home with you. I loved hosting a Thai food dinner party for friends at my apartment back home.

  • Reply
    Eric Gamble
    September 30, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Where do I sign up cause that looked totally awesome. First of all I had no idea you could eat Lotus petals. Very intrigued. Then to have her take you through the market and explain so much would have been an awesome experience by itself, even with the creepy kissing murder fishes.
    Then the FOOD so yummy looking

  • Reply
    Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats
    October 1, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I love love love both tours of markets, especially unusual ones such as this one combining flowers and fresh product, and cooking classes like this. We are heading to Bangkok for the first time later this year, so am bookmarking!

  • Reply
    Aleah
    October 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    It’s been almost a year since I was in Thailand, and I miss the food SO MUCH! I’m not so interested in cooking – though I did take a wonderful cooking class in Sangkhlaburi – but the food there is soo good. I haven’t eaten any of their flowers (lotus?? how did it taste), but I bet they made it taste delicious too. I’ll check out Expique next time I’m there. Seems they provide one of the best cooking classes in Bangkok.

  • Reply
    lucywilliamsglobal
    October 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    This looks like an amazing experience! I would love to do this, as I love cooking. The fruit salad looks yummy! I tried dragonfruit for the first time this year. Making a pad Thai sounds just up my alley! I need to go back to Bangkok to do this cooking class!

  • Reply
    Anna Johnston
    October 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    AMAZING! I love doing cooking classes when I travel, even more the class that includes visiting the markets to collect your ingredients first. Being a chef by trade, it has helped me tremendously to create authentic style dishes to share on menus in my restaurants in Australia. Could go a plate of the fruit salad with pork right now. 🙂

  • Reply
    amit
    October 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Looks like a fabulous experience you had with this cooking class, I took part in one cooking class when I was in Thailand but it was nothing like the standard you had here. I think when I go back to Thailand I will have to try this out…P.S, I love Thai food 😀

  • Reply
    travelscoutadventure
    October 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I want to do this! That cocktail sure looks different. Cooking is so much fun especially learning to cook regional dishes. I love that you go to the market and pick you own ingredients – that’s an experience in itself!

  • Reply
    travellingslacker
    October 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

    This was a lovely experience. I have no culinary skills. But this was much more than just cooking. I loved the fact that you also paid a visit to the market. Knowing where the food comes from makes a whole lot of difference and gives you new ideas while cooking. Similarly, I think it will also be great to visit real farmers and then cook from the stuff directly procured from them.

  • Reply
    Adelina
    October 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    What?! Pork in your fruit?!?! I’m skeptical but if you say so… Otherwise everything else looks amazing. What a wonderful experience

  • Reply
    Jenna Kvidt
    October 4, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Sounds like such a fun experience!! We love taking cooking classes when we travel, and it’s so much fun when they include a market visit. This looks like an excellent experience! I would be a bit skeptical about the fruit salad with pork, too, but glad to hear it was delicious! Everything else you made looks wonderful, too. Will have to check this out when we make it to Bangkok!

  • Reply
    Arnav Mathur
    October 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    What an amazing experience it must have been ! I am a foodie and simply love Thai food, which makes this class just perfect for me. Definitely going to check out The Market Experience, the next time am in the area.

  • Reply
    Natasha
    October 4, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    How fun is this?! I love that you got to learn all about the food before making it. I LOVE LOVE taking food tours and cooking classes when I travel because it’s such a great educational opportunity! 🙂

  • Reply
    carla
    October 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Love Pad Thai, its my favorite Thai food! I learned how to prepare it from youtube though. Tried it once but doesnt come close to how its prepared in Thailand. Pad Thai is one of the things that makes me excited everytime I have a layover in Bangkok.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 4, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    The market tour looks amazing. I would love to have a local guide show me the secrets of the market and lead me to the best spots for local ingredients. Plus then I hope you get to cook with those ingredients.

  • Reply
    AllGudThings
    October 11, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I feel this would have been one of the amazing experiences. You got to spend ample time with the local, learning so much about their cuisines, tradition and culture. I would love to try this out once back to Thailand. Thanks for sharing.

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