06 May 2007

Cooking Class in Hoi An

One of the highlights of our trip was the Cooking Class we attended in Hoi An. We started at 8:00am with a tour of the local markets and a lesson on buying typical Vietnamese ingredients and utensils. We were surprised to hear that the busiest time of the day at the seafood markets is 2:00am - yes that's right, 2 hours after midnight!

The two sections of the seafood markets indicate whether the seafood has been fished from the local river or from the nearby ocean. It was busy when we were there at 8:30am so I couldn't even imagine how busy it is at opening time.

After a demonstration of how to use some of the Vietnamese utensils, I took the opportunity to take a snap shot of a gorgeous local woman who loved posing for the camera. I loved her cheeky smile.

After the market tour we cruised the Red River for 25 minutes. This gave us an opportunity to view the local river life and the fishing techniques used. Did you know they use huge nets lowered by a pully? It's a different take on the nets pulled behind fishing boats out in the ocean.

We arrived at the cooking school by boat and were shown through their herb garden. There were close to 20 people attending the class and most were Aussies.

The Chef, a local guy with a witty sense of humour and knowledge of the great Australian slang, was very entertaining. He demonstrated how to cook something then we cooked it. We had a go at cooking Vietnamese eggplant in a clay pot; making fresh rice paper from rice batter; using the fresh rice paper and making rice paper rolls with shrimp; and Hoi An pancakes - these were completely new to us. We also were given the opportunity to try some food decorating.

After the cooking class we all sat down to lunch - what we cooked up was served up and the restaurant provided us with some extras. Our menu consisted of warm squid salad served in a pinapple boat; Vietnamese eggplant in clay pot; fresh rice paper rolls of shrimp; Hoi An pancakces; and steamed ocean fish on a bed of fresh vegetables. All delicious!

You can read more about the Cooking School and Restaurant by clicking here.

We ended our holiday with a massage and a facial - both of us. I came home with a sprained ankle but at least it happened on the last day of our Vietnam adventure, not the first.

Feel free to check out photos from our cooking class in Hoi An in my online photo album - click on the link below.
Cooking Class in Hoi An Album

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