Baipai Thai Cooking School
Bangkok Yai, Bangkok, จังหวัด กรุงเทพมหานคร 10600, Thailand
Learning to Cook a Real Pad Thai in BangkokYesterday we were whisked by minibus to the outskirts of Bangkok to a Thai Cookery School called Baipai—when in Rome, right?
I'd always wanted to know how to cook a proper Pad Thai, one of my favorite dishes, not as easy as you'd imagine considering it's basically a stir fried noodle dish. I've had so many versions of this dish in many Thai restaurants all over the place and have tried to cook it myself plenty of times, restaurants nearly always and my efforts certainly always, disappointing. I wanted to make it the way they cook it in Thailand: Its name, after all, means 'noodles cooked in the Thai style.' Simple enough, it would seem.
Much hinges on the sauce—getting it right makes the difference between a real Pad Thai and a basic noodle dish. When you've mastered that, and you get all the ingredients right, it actually is simple enough. Baipai has really got it down. Everything runs like a well-oiled machine, considering the logistics of getting eight people to cook with equipment they have never used before. The school makes it a great experience. The Japanese style kitchens are set in beautiful gardens. The school uses local produce and grows all their own herbs. Including holy basil, something not readily available where I'm from. Apparently the Buddhist monks used to boil this herb because its intense aroma was thought to enhance meditation.