BLUE LOTUS COOKERY SCHOOL: DISCOVER HOW TO PREPARE PLANT-BASED CUISINE
My growing interest in following a plant-based lifestyle, had me looking at Thai cookery classes in Hua Hin and conveniently I came across Blue Lotus Hua Hin. The cherry on the top was that it’s located in an adjoining building within the Blue Lotus Hua Hin Resort, our hotel base during the stay.
Blue Lotus Hua Hin
Blue Lotus is essentially a learning centre for plant-based cuisine delivering intimate classes in a state of the art teaching facility. Classes are headed by instructors who are chefs, who am to provide you with the knowledge of plant-based foods in a professional setting by means of three hour workshops and also masterclasses from visiting chefs.
Worry not if you’re not the cooking minded kind, the chefs will guide you through a complete cooking process from raw food preparation, to the knowledge behind cooking technique such as knife work, peeling vegetables, right up to cooking and plating the final dish to perfection. Trust me, you’ll feel like you’ve got the knowledge and execution abilities to prepare restaurant quality.
Dr C and I attended two, three hour workshops at Blue Lotus; Green Thai and Pure Brunch. So without further ado, let me allow you to visualise this plant-based immersive experience…
The Cookery Class
Classes are laid back and very interactive. The Blue Lotus team comprises of the Director, Chris, three instructors, Ivor, Ivana and Laura, two assistants, Khun Keng and Khun Kruawa, a cooking help, Khun Earth and a coordinator, Khun Pla.
Each class is headed by an instructor, in our case it was Ivana and assisted by a local Thai chef, we were lucky enough to have the incredible talented Khun Keng.
To start, the basic principle of Thai cooking were explained to us, where each dish incorporates crunch, sweet, sour, fresh, salty and spicy. Armed with an apron and a defined work station, you are then invited to the demonstration station at the front, after which you’re let loose on cooking your creations. The chefs and assistants are on hand to offer help all throughout the class and once you’ve done, a photo station is set up outside so you can capture those all-important Instagram shots of your dishes. The best part though is that you get to eat all your dishes at the end!
Green Thai Cooking Class
Green Thai is undertaken in cooked foods kitchen and commenced with a demonstration on how to make the staples as it were of the class. These were demonstrated by the instructor and entailed producing coconut mylk, coconut cream, peanut butter and coloured vermicelli using red cabbage.
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Khun Keng gave us a fantastic knife lesson and guess what? I most definitely haven’t been holding the knife properly , maybe that’s where my vegetable Juliennes have been going wrong!
A selection of plates are provided so you can chose to be as creative as you like with the colours and ingredients provided.
I give you fresh vegetable spring rolls. Probably the prettiest plate of food I have ever made!
Tom Yam Soup
One of my favourite soups, I was excited to finally learn what the Thai translation is. ‘Tom’ meaning boiling and Yam, refers to a spicy and sour Thai salad.
I watched intently as Khun Keng gave us a demonstration of how the soup is prepared and how traditionally the soup is served in a coconut. We had the option of coconut but also a more refined version in a bowl.
Khun Kengs version of Tom Yam soup below:
All chopped and ready to go!
My turn at making Tom Yam Soup! Easy right? No, wrong!
After all that skilful cooking and decoration with careful tweezers placement, here is the final article!
We are the proud parents of Tom yam soup!
Mushroom Stir-Fry with Cashews and Forbidden Rice
Black rice, also called forbidden rice is well known for its high levels of antioxidants and superior nutritional value. Forbidden rice earned its name as it was once reserved for the Chinese Emperor, for whom it was meant to ensure health and longevity. The whole-grain rice is rich in anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments that give the rice its unusual colour. Forbidden rice is high in protein and iron; and in Chinese medicine it is considered a blood tonic.
A little more on familiar territory with the stir-frying.
The final product – fit for an Emperor!
On to the dessert, and we were attempting Pang Ji, which are essentially a Thai version of bite-size pancakes. ‘Pang’ means flour in Thai and ‘Ji’ means to sear on low heat. The recipe we were using originated from central Thailand and contains forbidden rice.
Pang Ji contained rice flour, forbidden rice, shredded coconut, coconut syrup, coconut cream and a little water and really were the simplest pancakes I’ve attempted to date. A three prong champion; quick, easy and delicious!
The proof is in the tasting right?! Of course at the end of the class you are able to eat your Plant-based Green Thai feast of four courses!
Pure Brunch Cookery Class
Our second cookery workshop was Pure Brunch. This workshop is undertaken in a different kitchen set up as the dishes we were preparing were raw, meaning they are unprocessed, organic and uncooked as opposed to Green Thai class.
The idea of the the workshop is an introduction to the benefits of a raw whole plant diet for active people. It explores ingredients, techniques with easy to make post-workout smoothies and breakfast recipes to plate for a colourful brunch. Just what I needed!
Again, Ivana, who incidentally is also a Nutritionist, explained the mornings drill to us and we started with learning how to make cashew Mylk, which was far easier than I ever thought!
Three delicious smoothies were first on the list for brunch. These were Sun Salutation (cashew mylk, banana, date paste and vanilla powder), Tropical Green (coconut water, banana, spinach and fresh ginger) and Purple Rain (coconut water, red berries and banana)
Khun Keng demonstrating a cashew-chia brunch yoghurt
Non-Baked Fruit Tartlets
An almond crust, filled with cashew cream and fruit. I could only envisage this as a dessert but I can vouch it works as brunch too!
Time to add the fruit and make things look pretty!
Banana Oat Pancakes
The final touch was making an accompaniment of banana and oat pancakes and some mango, lime and ginger sauce!
Voila! Brunch is ready. Nut-based fruit tartlet filled with cashew cream and fruit, accompanied by banana and oat pancakes, mango, ginger and lime sauce, edible flowers and a pretty sprinkling of beetroot powder.
I could eat brunch all day long if it looks as colourful as this!
Blue Lotus Hua Hin
Prior to attending the workshops at Blue Lotus, I admit I had some background knowledge about plants-based lifestyles and cuisine preparation, however I was not aware that so many options, ingredients and techniques are used in this type of cooking. Cooking raw is something that I’d like to get into more and now I have the confidence to go out and explore more vegan options. I come away from the course with a good grounding and understanding for plant-based fare.
Blue Lotus Information
- Blue Lotus is a developmental kitchen, so the chefs are constantly creating new and innovative dishes using plant ingredients. If you are staying at the Vlue Lotus Hotel you can try out some of their creations at the bar and also at Coast, where they have a small portion of their menu to showcase their dishes. I thoroughly recommend!
- Professional Chef classes run week long courses as well as retreats for those wanting to learn or consolidate their knowledge of a plant-based lifestyle.
- 3 our Cookery Class Price: 2,500 THB per person/£60.
Blue Lotus Hua Hin. 9 Moo 5 Paknampran. Pranburi. Prachuan.Khiri Khan 77220. Thailand
Tel. +66 3262 2111 Website
Booking can be made via email: email@example.com
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Blue Lotus Hua Hin however all options and views are honest and my own along with photography and therefore a copyright of be-lavie
I’d be really interested to know if you’ve tried a plant-based/Vegan cookery class and what your experiences of this were? Were you surprised of the culinary options available?
Related Recommended Reading
- A Guide to Authentic Things to do in and Around Hua Hin
- The Evason Six Senses Spa: A Review (Now Blue Lotus Hua Hin)
- Evason Hue Hin/Blue Lotus: Sustainability & Social Responsibility
- Top 12 Things to do in Hua Hin