Tamarind’s Lakeside Cooking School: a Hands-on Experience
Gourmet Magazine’s choice of Lao Cooking School
Tamarind runs four different cooking classes. Each are hands-on classes led by a passionate, friendly, English speaking teacher, in delightful water-side pavilions at our cooking school just outside of town. Please see below for details of each type of class.
Join-in classes: Daytime or evening options
Most popular choice
A cooking class with a difference! Join us in Tamarind’s picturesque lakeside pavilions. You’ll cook Lao food and learn about the habits and customs at the heart of Lao cuisine.
Fresh ingredients are at the heart of Lao cuisine, with some intriguing and unfamiliar flavours. We start with a visit to the major food market; explain what the foods are and what they are used for.
Then we take you to ‘Tamarind Gardens’ to cook and eat:
- Varieties of jeow: the fundamental Lao spicy dipping sauces
- Mok Pa, a popular dish of herbed fish steamed in banana leaves
- Tamarind’s speciality: lemongrass stuffed with chicken & herbs
- Laap/koy, a minced meat salad, fragrant with herbs
- Dessert course: a surprise!
- Of course you’ll learn the art to perfect sticky rice and its eating etiquette.
You’ll pound ingredients in a mortar & pestle, cook over an open fire, eat your fill.
- Vegetarian alternatives available, not just tofu!
- Recipe book
- Transport from our restaurant to the cooking school included
- Excellent photo opportunities!
Full day class: 9-3pm, 285,000 kip,
Monday to Saturday
Evening class without market tour, cook one less dish:
4.30pm-8.30pm, 215,000 kip, Monday to Saturday
Family Cooking Class: a hands-on experience suitable for all ages!
Come and join us in Tamarind’s picturesque lakeside pavilions for a fun and educational family cooking experience. Together you’ll cook Lao dishes and learn traditional customs and cooking techniques in a class of no more than 8 people.
Fresh ingredients are the heart of Lao cuisine, and there can be some intriguing and unfamiliar flavours. What appeals to children and adults can be quite different. So we’ve chosen popular dishes that can be custom-made for different tastes. They’re enjoyable and interesting to make, and you can easily recreate them back home!
We start with a guided exploration of the colourful major food market. There we’ll show you interesting and commonly used items, and explain how they might be used. There are bound to be some surprises!
Then we take you to our lovely waterside “Tamarind Gardens” to cook and eat:
- Rice paper rolls with peanut dipping sauce
- Marinated barbecued chicken, Lao style
- Mok mak len, steamed tomatoes stuffed with noodles
- Choose a dessert: purple sticky rice, or khanom kohk, local coconut “cakes”
and learn the fascinating art of cooking perfect sticky rice and its eating etiquette. Classes can be customised to your needs.
Our warm and funny teacher will create a safe, fun, and wonderfully memorable experience for your family. We’ll have staff on hand to help and support you at your cooking station.
We can cater to all dietary requirements. Just let us know!
- Transport to our cooking school
- Visit to the local market
- Welcome drinks
- Cookbook for each participant
- Excellent photo opportunities!
The fine print:
- maximum 8 people per class
- Hotel pick up at 9.30am
- Return to hotel (or drop off in town) around 1-2pm
- Cost: $50 per person (or minimum $200 per class)
- Children 3 years and under will need direct supervision from a non-cooking adult. Please email us to discuss this.
Are you seeking a personalised private cooking experience?
Do you have extensive cooking know-how and/or want something a cut above the standard cooking class?
Let us custom-design a private half-day class for you with Tamarind’s head chef and owner, Mr Joy Ngeuamboupha.
The class is held at our lush Tamarind Gardens cooking school, outside of town. Enjoy views of lily ponds and jungle-covered mountain scenery as you eat a lunch of the items you have cooked.
- Choose your local market experience:
- In depth market tour, or
- Brief tour with interactive shopping for your ingredients, or
- Skip the market tour; cook an extra dish instead.
At Tamarind Gardens in our open air ‘sala’ you will:
- Choose three dishes from the following list:
- Stuffed lemongrass or bamboo shoots.
- Mok pa – fillet a wild-caught Mekong fish, then steam in banana leaves.
- Orlarm – Luang Prabang ‘stew’ cooked in a bamboo stalk/pot.
- Papaya salad, a popular classic.
- Mok dok kae (seasonal): edible bitter flower stuffed with minced pork and herbs.
- Lao marinated chicken, served in roll-your-own rice paper rolls.
- Kanap: chicken or frog (seasonal) grilled with herbs in banana leaves.
- Any Lao dish by request – if you’ve tasted something amazing, or heard of a particular specialty, just ask!
As well, we demonstrate the art of cooking and eating sticky rice.
- Transfers to and from your hotel (or other central location, as agreed).
- Our exclusive Tamarind cookbook.
- One beer, soft drink or glass of wine, served with your meal.
The fine print:
- Maximum 4 people.
- Pick up from hotel at 8.30am, return after lunch, around 1.30pm
- Class cost for 1-4 people is $300