Cooking up a storm in Bangkok

6 Apr

After my two lovely holidays to Zanzibar and Jordan it was time to get back to work. I eased myself in to things with a nice Bangkok flight that I managed to swap for an Australian multi-sector trip.

I’d fly to Bangkok, stay for 24 hours, do a “shuttle” flight to Hong Kong and back, and then get another 24 hours in Bangkok!

It’s been a while since I went to Thailand, so I was looking forward to the trip. The first day was spent getting a lovely massage and some delicious street food for dinner.

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It was an early start the next morning for our flight to Hong Kong and back. At around 2,5 hours each way it can be pretty rushed getting the service done, but we managed! The plane stays on ground for a while in HKG so we have a chance to go to the airport lounge and grab a bite to eat and use the wifi – vital for cabin crew πŸ˜‰


Here’s a picture I don’t post very often on the blog – me in uniform! πŸ™‚

Watching the world (and plenty of aeroplanes) go by in Hong Kong airport.


Once were back in Bangkok it was straight to bed for us – we needed to be up bright and early the next morning for our cooking class!

Myself, Fiona from Ireland, Olivia from France and Ali from the US all walked down to our meeting point – the first stop was a trip to the market to pick up our ingredients for the class.


Our lovely chef (whose name I have forgotten!) took us around the market, explaining which ingredients were used for which dishes.

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I gave up meat for Lent, so I was sticking to fish, and the class was very well catered to vegetarians, and even vegans like Ali.

Once we had all of our ingredients, we headed back to the cooking school ready to whip up some delicious Thai food!


Thai food uses very little or no dairy – however something that is used in lots of dishes in coconut milk. It’s actually made by shredding the coconuts (which was done at the market in a huge machine) and then adding water and squeezing. Then squeezing some more!


We made a big batch of coconut milk ready to use throughout the morning.

Everything was prepared beautifully for us, and we each had our own little stations to work from.

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First on the list was a Thai classic – Tom Yung Soup. I have to be honest and say that although I love Thai food, I don’t handle spice very well and even the mildest of chillies makes my eyes water!

For the soup we needed the “flavoursome” ingredients which make up the base – lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai ginger. All deliciously fragrant and of course fresh from the market less than an hour ago!

Then come the “filler” ingredients – the ones that bulk out the soup but can be interchanged, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, and some kind of meat or prawns.

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After we made each dish we popped into the little room next door to sample our work. Whilst we did that the washing up fairies came and prepared the next lot of ingredients for us!

Pad Thai – one of my favourite dishes (probably because it’s not spicy!) and one that I get pretty much every time I’m in Bangkok! Our teacher told us that actually local Thai people wouldn’t normally make it at home, as it involves around 12 different spices, and it’s cheaper and tastier to eat out! Well, the mission is on to make a delicious Pad Thai fit for a street food stall on the side roads of Bangkok πŸ˜‰


Next up were some simple fishcakes. Made with ground up fish and some freshly chopped herbs, we also whipped up a sweet chilli sauce to accompany them. The sweet chilli sauce actually involved a whole lot of vinegar – not to mention a ton of chopped up chillis!

One of the next main dishes was a red curry – usually made with chicken, but I substituted that for prawns and the vegetarians/vegans used tofu. To make the red chilli paste which forms the base of the curry we had to grind up absolutely loads of fresh and dried chillies in a pestle and mortar. Supposedly the faster and harder the Thai woman can pound the chillies to a paste the better a wife she’ll be!

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A rather large amount of red chilli paste makes for one spicy curry!


We added some of the coconut milk we’d made earlier, but even that didn’t stop my eyes from watering whilst eating it!

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A delicious – if very spicy – red Thai curry.

And of course we can’t forget dessert, the Thai classic of Mango Sticky Rice. Since the special rice (the dish doesn’t work with any other type of rice – so no basmati!) has to be soaked overnight for at least 12 hours we couldn’t prepare it ourselves, but luckily our chef had thought ahead and prepared some earlier. Once cooked, you cover it with coconut cream/milk and leave to soak whilst chopping up the fresh mangoes.


What a delicious treat to end a lovely morning of cooking! It was done so well, and we really cooked all of the dishes (well, other than the sticky rice) ourselves. Often cooking schools will just show you how to do everything and not let you do any of the actual cooking, but we really got stuck in! Best of all, we got to eat all of our delicious food and have someone else do all the washing up! πŸ˜‰

The cooking school we went to is called Silom Thai Cooking School, and offers a variety of different dishes each day of the week. Even better news – there’s a cabin crew discount, so get cooking! πŸ™‚

P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter to see more of where I am in the world and what’s going on in my life!


29 Responses to “Cooking up a storm in Bangkok”

  1. danish April 6, 2015 at 16:46 #

    have you ever been to malaysia

    • The Dubai Diaries April 10, 2015 at 18:19 #

      Yes I’ve been to KL quite a few times and also to Penang on holiday πŸ™‚

  2. Mari from South Africa April 7, 2015 at 21:51 #

    Interesting read. I just love Bangkok! And not to mention the Pad Thai and Mango Sticky rice. Keep up the good work with your blogging. Beautiful selfie with your uniform!

  3. Anonymous April 8, 2015 at 18:36 #

    Hello Rachel,
    I recently discovered you blog and I must say that it was love at first sight. Such a wonderful pictures and perfect writing style. I very like your posts! Fantastic work. I hope at one day I will be a cabin crew too. I’m working on it.
    Have a nice day! Veronika

    • The Dubai Diaries April 10, 2015 at 18:22 #

      Hi there! Glad you found my blog and enjoy reading it πŸ™‚ Hopefully one day we’ll meet in the skies πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous April 12, 2015 at 23:49 #

        It will be fantastic! But first I need to improve my English more. I’m not British, American, Canadian or Australian girl. And second a bit corrected my body. I think that standard size is not 40-42, but smaller. So little diet :D. Veronika

      • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:17 #

        Haha don’t worry, there are sooo many nationalities here! πŸ™‚ Haha I’ll join you on the diet πŸ˜€

  4. RAVI April 9, 2015 at 18:01 #

    As usual entertaining report.This is the only blog which keeps me waiting for the next post!!!!
    btw does emirates employ Arabic speaking cabin crew to assist the local passengers ??Did u face any language barriers in work till date?

    • The Dubai Diaries April 10, 2015 at 18:23 #

      Thanks for reading, glad you like my blog! πŸ™‚ Yes we have lots of Arabic speaking crew. There’s been plenty of times where there are language barriers, luckily we can usually manage though!

  5. Nora Nemeth April 9, 2015 at 19:01 #

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m the girl from Instagram (noraa97). I couldn’t find the dm option, sorry πŸ˜…. I don’t think I have this option maybe it’s an iPhone thing or something or I’m blind πŸ˜‚
    I really like your blog!
    I’m from Hungary and I will graduate this year. If I get good final exams and enough points I will go to university.
    I would like to get a job in Dubai maybe as an Emirates cabin crew member :). I spoke with a flight attendant from a different airline and she suggested that if I would like to improve my English skills I should go to abroad with an au pair program.
    I just wanted to know what do you think about it. How much chance do I got as a hungarian? Can you find jobs easily in Dubai ( or in the UAE)?

    • The Dubai Diaries April 10, 2015 at 18:25 #

      Hey Nora! πŸ™‚ So obviously I can’t tell what your English is like just from writing but it seems to me it’s pretty good! There are plenty of opportunities regardless of your nationality, we started flying to Budapest not so long ago so you’ll definitely be in with a good chance πŸ™‚ It depends on what kind of job you are looking for but there are plenty in Dubai πŸ™‚

      • Nora Nemeth April 10, 2015 at 22:21 #

        Thank you for your answer!
        I have been learning English for 7 years and I took a language exams in English last month.
        I’m sure that I want to try to become a flight attendant for the Emirates.
        If I get into university I will study Sales & marketing. It would be really good if I could find something in this area.
        Have a good day! πŸ™‚

  6. Greg April 10, 2015 at 00:25 #

    I didn’t liked Bangkok last time I went to this city, but this cooking class is something that I would surely do if I stop by someday. Btw very interesting article, your pictures are amazing and they’re not all taken by you so don’t be too proud please πŸ˜„ !

    Once again it’s a pleasure to read your blog keep going !! don’t forget it’s all for the love of the wine haha.

    • The Dubai Diaries April 10, 2015 at 18:27 #

      The cooking class was great, definitely recommend it if you’re ever back in Bangkok.
      All photos are mine, taken by me (or the crew I was with if I’m in them). I have a new camera, maybe that’s why you would think they’re not mine. I would not post photos on here that were not taken by me without crediting them.

  7. Kaity April 10, 2015 at 07:46 #

    Hi Rachel! I just found your blog and am really enjoying seeing what life will be like when I join emirates in a couple months! I have a couple questions I was really hoping you could help me out with!

    How does the cell phone situation work with flying to so many different countries? Did you get a new plan in Dubai or keep one you had prior? Any advice on that would really help me out!

    What are dress code standards for women at the gym?

    Finally, does emirates provide a winter jacket with the uniform for cold winter destinations?

    Thanks so much in advance and hopefully we will make it on the same flight one day πŸ™‚

  8. Amy April 15, 2015 at 14:11 #

    Love the blogs, you lead such an exciting life. Out of curiosity how many hours do you spend working per week? A post on the things you find difficult about your job would be interesting too. 😊

    • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:18 #

      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚ Don’t be fooled it’s not all exciting, I only post the good bits, haha! Well I fly around 80 – 100 hours a month, so it varies week to week! I’ll definitely keep that pst in mind, thank you πŸ™‚

  9. Margarida Santos April 15, 2015 at 21:33 #

    Hi Rachel, i must say i LOVE your blog! IΒ΄ve always wanted to be a flight attendant since i was a little child, and lately Emirates is getting more and more my attention… If you could, would you answer a doubt i have? Does Emirates pay you guys like the 13ΒΊ month, i mean, like an extra month like for summer vacations?

    • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 13:07 #

      You find all information about the cabin crew income on the Emirates Website for cabin crew applicants. Feel free to do a little research on your own πŸ˜‰ But if being a flight attendant is your dream since you have been a little child, the question of having a 13Β° month income, should be your least concern. SIA

      • Margarida Santos April 16, 2015 at 15:10 #

        Yes i do know everything else there is to know, but i thought about that the other day and where in doubt… Do you know if wearing glasses is a problem in Emirates?

      • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:20 #

        No wearing glasses is not a problem. They just have to fit uniform standards.

    • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:19 #

      Thank you, glad you like my blog! πŸ™‚ No we don’t get a 13th month, however depending on how well the financial year has gone there could be a profit share each year. Hope this helps!

  10. Liz April 17, 2015 at 10:10 #

    Hi Rachel, just curious how many sets of uniform do cabin crew get? Do you send it for laundry after every flight?

    • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:24 #

      We get 5 shirts, 4 skirts, 2 jackets, 3 waistcoats, 1 hat with 2 scarves! I usually wash it myself but some other crew send it to laundry!

  11. Dasa April 22, 2015 at 15:51 #

    Hi Rachel!
    I found your blog few days ago and I’m really happy for that! I’m joining the same airline in 4 weeks time and to read all your adventures is great! I read the blog from the beginning till the last post in few days! I would like to ask you some questions.
    1. I’ve seen you have almost every month few days leave, sometimes you bid for it but sometimes not. Can you ask for a specific days off and to have them for sure if you wanna plan some family holiday or only if you’re group has the highest chance to get what they bid for?
    2. How does it work if you wanna get promoted to business class? Is there some specific criteria you need to reach or you just need to work hard and then apply for it ?
    I’ll be waiting for your answers and I hope to see you one day πŸ˜‰

    • The Dubai Diaries April 29, 2015 at 17:29 #

      Hi! Glad you enjoy reading my blog πŸ™‚
      Well you get 30 days leave per year, so you can bid for it either spread out (e.g. 5 days at a time) or try and ask for say 15 days at once. Once you have your leave approved it’s fixed so you can plan things/holidays etc. You can also bid for a maximum of 5 days off at a time, and I like to travel if I get those as well.
      To get to business class it’s a matter of time, for me it took around 1 year and 9 months. If you have lots of sick days or absents it can take longer!
      Good luck πŸ™‚

  12. bananastravels May 7, 2015 at 17:55 #

    really great Blog!! ❀

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