Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School Chiang Mai Review

Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School Chiang Mai Review 5

A cooking class in Chang Mai has always been something I had to do and this year I was finally able to cross it off my travel bucket list. There’s no shortage of options in the city however based on reviews and word-of-mouth we went with Zab E Lee Thai Cooking School and had a blast. Here’s my quick summary of my time cooking with Zabb E Lee Thai cooking school:

Market Fresh

We met up with bubbly and energetic Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School owner Ann at a busy market. There she went through the various fresh ingredients we were going to cook with. I had always thought that I made really good Thai food but I quickly realized ingredients count, and a lot of what we went through at the market I wouldn’t be able to find at home. Maybe that is why I purchased my weight in prepackaged curry pastes.

Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School owner Ann giving us the market rundown.


After the market tour we took a short ride to Ann’s house where she has an amazing little kitchen set up outside. The small size is perfect for getting more one-on-one time with the instructor – a refreshing change to some of the larger cooking classes we had taken in the past.  After explaining how to prepare all the ingredients and dishes we were allowed to pick from a few options to make and eat. My Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School menu consisted of pad Thai, Thai fresh spring rolls, Hot and sour prawn creamy soup, and Khao soiThe dish of the north that I had fallen in love with.

pre-prep at the Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School

Thankfully all the hard work of prepping at the Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School is done for you but awesome that Ann explained how to cut certain vegetables and why.

Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School outdoor kitchen


Ann quickly went through a demo of making pad Thai. It was literally over in seconds. She then barked that it was our turn and away we went. Ann was hilarious as she shouted orders at us while we cooked. I was frantic to the point of blacking out. All I remember is coming to and this beautiful dish of pad Thai was in front of me:

My Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School Pad Thai

Mash That Curry

Although we didn’t help prep ingredients we did get to make our own curry paste which was awesome and hilarious. The sexual innuendos flew as we all took turns working the giant mortar and pesto all. This gave us all a great appreciation on how the prepackaged curry paste is made.

We dined on the menu, cooking and eating one dish at a time. It was all amazing and oh so filling. Although rushed during cooking, our night at the Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School never felt that way. We relaxed and chatted with other guests over our meals and got to know our host and all about her life in Chang Mai.


Intimate and small groups at the Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School

For the quality of ingredients used and Ann’s charm and love of cooking I highly recommend Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School in Chang Mai. If my words don’t convince you maybe her flawless reviews on TripAdvisor will. Seriously, this cooking class is ranked as one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai. Not just the top cooking class, the TOP THING TO DO! It is that good.

Don’t forget to come hungry!


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22 replies on “Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking School Chiang Mai Review”
  1. I loved this cooking class! I went earlier this year and had a similar experience! Your photos are beautiful, by the way! Can I ask what camera and lens do you use to travel with?

  2. Avatarsays: Cookly

    Hey Shaun,

    Awesome post! Let us know when you are back in Thailand or SEA. We’d love to invite you for a cooking class! 🙂


  3. Avatarsays: Jordan Hall

    I did a cooking class on Koh Samui that was really good. I didn’t get to learn how to make Koh Soi though which I love!

  4. Avatarsays: Brenda Miller

    This looks and sounds great Shaun! I love Thai food and would be amazing to learn how to make!

  5. Avatarsays: Christy Jane

    I just took a cooking class in Chiang Mai and it was wonderful although a little crowded. I should have tried this one!

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