Looking for a cooking class in Siem Reap? We tried out Paper Tiger and learned to cook some tasty local staples.
Paper Tiger is located on the most famous road in Siem Reap, Pub Street. The restaurant is known for its cooking workshops as one of the first to start classes in the city.
Three time slots are available daily: 10am, 1pm and 5pm, running for three hours each.
Our cooking class experience
On arrival, we were handed a menu and got to choose a starter and main each plus one dessert to cook between us.
The class started with a food market tour, giving us some base knowledge of local fruit and vegetables. Upon returning to Paper Tiger, we were lead upstairs to the kitchen stations where some produce had been laid out ready to go.
Our teacher Sinuon explained each part of the dish and demonstrated the best way to prepare them. We decided at the beginning to make a chicken, pork, beef and fish dish between us to try a bit of everything. As for dessert, we opted for mango sticky rice as we had always wanted to try it since being in Asia.
For my starter, I selected the fresh chicken spring rolls. These consisted of a mixture of vegetables, rice noodles and chicken rolled in a rice paper wrap. The technique of rolling was tricky to master. The sheets were extremely sticky but Sinuon helped me get the hang of it. By the end, I was considering applying for the head chef position.
The main course I went for was fish Amok – one of the must-try dishes in Cambodian cuisine so I had read. Although not what I would usually go for back home, I was happy with the decision. I enjoyed trying something new and using ingredients I hadn’t come across before.
I chose to prepare deep-fried pork spring rolls for a starter and beef Loclac for main course. I was excited to learn about the main as it’s traditional to Cambodia and I’d never heard of it before travelling.
Sinuon was a lovely teacher with very good English and made sure we understood what we were doing every step of the way. At the end, we received a certificate and a promise of an email containing all of the recipes we created.
The only negative I can think of is that I was called Alice for the whole class. I didn’t notice at first but when I was issued with a certificate and asked what my email address was I felt it was too far gone to mention that my name was actually Lorna. It turned out to be more entertaining than an annoyance in the end.
Beef Loclac was my favourite dish which consisted of peppery beef strips marinated and fried with onion and garlic. My Angkor WHATTT? cocktail was also very nice almost like a gin passionfruit mojito.
With Sinuon’s help, we presented our meals beautifully. Being shown how to make a carrot flower was definitely a highlight.
We had a great afternoon with Sinuon who taught us a lot and helped us to make a banquet of Cambodian food. The market tour felt slightly rushed therefore we suggest asking questions to make the most of it.
We would definitely recommend visiting Paper Tiger for a cooking class. It was great making new dishes and learning about the cuisine. The class cost $21 per person for the three hours (as at December 2018) and can be booked through their website here.
We opted for the 1 pm class so finished just in time for happy hour. This meant $0.50 beers and just $2 for any cocktail on the menu – BONUS!