In October 2018 we travelled to Lanta island and spent a fantastic evening learning cooking Thai at the Time for Lime cooking school. Koh Lanta beaches are unarguably awesome, and we truly enjoyed them after an intense itinerary traveling through Malaysia. However, after a couple of days of sunbathing we started looking for more things to do in Koh Lanta. And boy were we happy we’d found this Lanta Thai cookery school! Continue reading to know why the evening at Time for Lime was so memorable.
Time for Lime – the concept
The Lanta Thai cookery school was opened in 2003 by Junie Kovacs - a Norwegian Hungarian food and animal lover. Back then Time for Lime was the first cooking school on Lanta island. Over the years the school grew in popularity all meanwhile keeping its commitment to quality. This paid off and to date, Time for Lime has an impressive 5.0 review score on TripAdvisor. Having spent an unforgettable evening at Time for Lime we can absolutely agree with the high mark the cookery school has. A beautiful gem on Lanta island!
Lanta Animal Welfare - new home for animals on Lanta island
In 2010 Junie also founded a Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) – an organization which aims to support the unfortunate homeless animals on Lanta island. As you visit the Time for Lime cooking school you will see posters looking for volunteers to take one of the pets on the flight to bring them to their new adoptive parents. What an amazing thing to do!
Not in the position to bring a pet across the globe, but want to contribute somehow? By taking a class of cooking Thai at the Time for Lime cooking school, you indirectly support LAW as a part of the profits goes to the organization. You learn something new, you eat well, and you support animals in despair – a perfect treat for your mind, body and soul!
Time for Lime bungalows - a great accommodation on Lanta island
If you want to immerse yourself into this warm Lanta island atmosphere, pet some animals and try the delicious Thai dishes served in the restaurant, stay at the Time for Lime bungalows. The bungalows are located away from the Koh Lanta nightlife providing a very chilled and relaxing atmosphere. Click here or on the banner here below to check prices and book one of the Time for Lime bungalows on Agoda.com.
Cooking Thai at Time for Lime
We got picked up at our Koh Lanta accommodation about half an hour before the Thai cooking class in Time for Lime had started. In the songthaew – the typical Thai open-air truck, we met Olisia and Robin - two lovely young women who we would share the evening with. Already on the way we started laughing a lot, sharing travel experiences and our excitement about cooking Thai food. We were so surprised and grateful for only being the four of us for this course. That’s the benefit of traveling to Koh Lanta in October.
Sweet & spicy warm-up
Before we started cooking Thai dishes, we all got a refreshing cocktail and made ourselves comfortable on Time for Lime’s open-air terrace of the Klong Dao beach. Our teacher – Chef Mai greeted us with a huge heartwarming smile and a couple of cheeky jokes setting the upbeat positive tone for the rest of this beautiful evening on Lanta island.
With an inquisitive face Chef Mai asked us whether we usually ate every single thing in our Tom Yum soup. Afraid to disappoint the teacher or appear as weak Westerners who couldn’t eat chili, we nodded in agreement. Chef Mai then exploded in laughter inquiring how do we support each other’s farts. Ok, so lesson one in our cooking Thai class was thus embarrassingly learned– no, you are not supposed to eat the lemongrass in the soup 🤣.
Cooking Thai - bring it on!
In the hours which followed we learned how to use the traditional Thai spices and other typical ingredients such as lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chili. We learned what part of the plant to eat or not to eat, depending on how it is prepared. We even made our own homemade curry paste (which was quite a lot of physical effort to prepare!). All of that accompanied by an endless flow of laughter and aromatic smells. In fact, we laughed so much, we’re not even sure how we got anything cooked.
One of the most memorable techniques we learned at Time for Lime cooking school? Undoubtedly when Chef Mai lifted her huge chef’s knife and then smashed a garlic or a chili with the knife’s blunt side screaming in a high-pitched voice “Kill it!”. Bam! And a lemongrass lies totally flat on the cutting board. A bit brutal, but unbelievably fun - can’t wait to practice some more of this back home 😊
In the five hours we spent in Time for Lime cooking school we have managed to prepare a whole five-course meal. We were excited about every single item on the menu:
- Mieng Kham - Thailand in one bite (light Thai amuse-bouche)
- Poo Pia Tod - Crispy spring rolls
- Yam Krop Sawan - Crispy salad from Heaven (with deep fried seafood)
- Tom Yam Goong - Spicy and tangy shrimp soup
- Gaeng Massaman - Massaman curry with a homemade curry paste
Every single item on the menu turned out absolutely delicious!
Another fun tradition at the Time for Lime cooking school is letting every student choose their own crockery and decorate the dishes. We received no instructions and had to follow our own design inspirations. Besides more classic plates, we also got to play with polished coconut shells and sturdy banana leaves for a more... authentic effect? It may have turned out a tad too much and not the most elegant of food presentations, but we got to use things we don’t have at home and had so much fun! We haven’t laughed as much as on this entertaining Lanta island evening for a while!
Mieng Kham recipe
During our backpacking Southeast Asia journey we have learned a couple of excellent recipes, either through cooking classes or through meeting locals while traveling. Exploring various cultures through food has been a unique travel experience it itself, and a very yummy one if we may add. Dishes we learned on Lanta island were no exception.
We’re not going to be sharing all of the fantastic recipes we’ve learned, just a couple of highlights to give you a taste of our journey. Should we be in the same city one day, hit us up and let’s cook together 😊 In the meantime, check out classic Thai recipes Time for Lime has posted online.
Mieng Kham recipe is super simple and is a perfect healthy snack to serve while the dinner is getting cooked. We can’t wait to have a kitchen, share this yummy starter with our friends and family and bring warm memories from the Lanta island.
What you’ll need
- 3 tbsp red onions
- 3 tbsp diced ginger
- 3 tbsp diced lime with skin
- 3 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3 tbsp dried shrimp
- 3 tbsp roasted coconut flakes
- 5 tbsp runny honey
- 2 birds eye chilis cut in thin rings
- 12 wild pepper or spinach leaves
How to prepare and enjoy
- Take a spinach leave and create a little cone envelope
- Put all the ingredients in your envelope (according to your taste)
- Add some honey on top
- Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
A unique travel experience
Our class at Time for Lime cooking school finished at 21:30, but we stayed a bit longer unsuccessfully trying to finish all the food we had prepared and socializing with our fellow chefs. This happy evening on the Lanta island turned out to be a unique travel experience, a definite must on the list of things to do in Koh Lanta. If in the area and if cooking Thai is something you’ve always wanted to do, make sure to pay Time for Lime a visit.
You can book the cooking class online on their website or offline by stopping by Time or Lime or LAW.
Koh Lanta cooking class costs
The cooking class price is different between the high and low seasons. The low season discount applies to the period between the 1st of May and the 31st of October. The price may appear high but it is well worth the quality of products, the excellent chefs and the support you would give the mission behind the organization. In the table below you can also find what's included in the price.
|Time for Lime cooking course (low season)||1'600||42.08||49.65|
|Time for Lime cooking course (standard price)||2'000||52.50||62.06|
|Transfer to and from Time for Lime|
|Handouts with detailed recipes and shopping lists|
|Loads of fun!|
|Our spend on cocktails and beers (for two)||700||18.41||21.72|
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