One of the top TripAdvisor reviews on Thai cooking is “Cooking with Poo & friends”.
It for those looking to learn something about basic Thai cooking and experience a typical Thai kitchen in a community.
The place is run by Saiyuud Diwong, affectionately known as Poo, who is a long-time resident of Klong Toey, a district with the largest slum in Bangkok.
In late 2007, as the price of rice in Thailand doubled, she found that she could no longer make a living selling food from her house.
One of Poo’s neighbours and customers was Anji Barker, an Australian with Urban Neighbours of Hope who had been living and working in the slum for many years. She heard about Poo’s situation and, together with some friends, helped Khun Poo to start her own cooking classes.
For more than 5 years now Khun Poo’s cooking school in Klong Toey has been teaching tourists as well as local residents the art of Thai cooking.
Matthew M from Sydney says: “This is a slickly organized, uplifting experience. Having spent a lot of time in Asia, the market tour was not a highlight but I know others found it fascinating. At Poo’s home I really got the feeling I was a welcome guest and it was a privilege to be there. The dishes are simple and easy, and for a novice cook like me, thoroughly enjoyable and delicious. It was a wonderful revelation that even I could create these lovely Thai dishes...”
AfghanHound based in Thailand writes: “Signed up for this on a whim. Thoroughly enjoyed it. The trip around the market was interesting (even though I have lived in Thailand for 3 years) and the staff informative. The cooking itself was fairly basic and a lot of the preparation work had been done by the staff. But it was quick, and fun. The class was basic and was good for beginners. Don’t eat a large breakfast - you will start eating your own cooked food by 11 am! Overall an enjoyable experience and good value for money with excellent staff.”
Marie September S says: “We were brought first to the Klong Toey market for an educational trip and Poo and Noi introduced us to the different ingredients and variety of fruits and veggies in the market. Afterwards, we headed to Poo’s humble abode for the cooking lessons. I felt at home and relaxed in her place with a makeshift area (tables and one burner stove) set up for students like me who want to learn from Poo and her friends. My son enjoyed what he cooked and surprisingly gobbled up almost everything from the papaya salad to the pad thai! I can say that Poo’s recipes are simple, easy to follow but very tasty! I also learned a lot of her cooking techniques which she shared with us during the hands-on class. (Hint: you cannot find this in her book, so better sign up for her classes!) And after eating all the spicy dishes that we cooked, what is better than ending it with a variety of fruit tasting (my new favorite is snake fruit!) and mango sticky rice dessert that they have painstakingly prepared for us. It was an amazing experience my son and I will never forget!”
Christopher W from Boston said: “Cooking with Poo was one of the highlights of our honeymoon and definitely one of the best things we did in Bangkok. My wife and I went on our first day in the city and enjoyed the entire experience. Once picked up you get walked through the market where Poo and her staff not only give you a great tour but they buy most of the things they need for the cooking class. The market is incredibly interesting but if you are a vegetarian you may find a few things disturbing. Once you get to the class Poo and her staff make all of the dishes very easy to make and help you step by step... and they’re all delicious.
“Make sure to book in advance as our original preferred day booked up early and we needed to pick another day. Our only other regret was not buying the cookbook!”
Kerry N writes: “Fun Cooking Class. This is not an in depth cooking class, but I did learn a few tips and had a great time. I thought it was well organized and very personal. It supports a good cause as they also help other people in the slums find sustainable employment.”