A Culinary journey through Vietnam

Document Sample
A Culinary journey through Vietnam Powered By Docstoc
					                        A Culinary journey through Vietnam
                                                  After arranging Vietnam cooking class for
                                                  thousand tourists, Vietnam Heritage Travel
                                                  Company would like to recommend some
                                                  places for learning how to cook Vietnamese

                                                  1. Hanoi Cooking Class - Hanoi Cooking

                                                Located in 44 Chau Long Street, nestled on the
edge of Hanoi's famous old quarter and close to picturesque Truc Bach and West Lake, Hanoi
Cooking Centre is a cooking school, and cafe. It offers hands-on cooking classes and short
courses in a relaxed atmosphere, designed by Chef Tracey Lister,

You can take part in:

• Vietnamese & International Cooking Classes

• Street Eats and Market Tours

• Corporate Team Building Classes

• Cooking for Kids

2. Hoian, Hai Cafe & Red Bridge Cooking School

Although the town of Hoi An, in Quang Nam Province on Vietnam’s coast, is best known for its
ancient architecture, bright silk lanterns and tailor shops, visitors often overlook its other
treasures. For most, this ancient town is just a 2-day stop on a whirlwind tour down Vietnam’s
sinewy coastline. But, it does have a specialty that makes it worthwhile to invest a few more
days—the food. And, there’s no better way to sample the culinary fare and experience the culture
than to participate in a local cooking lesson.

Hoi An was the site of the first Chinese settlement in southern Vietnam and as a result, the ethnic
Chinese population made a lasting contribution to Vietnamese cuisine. It is best known for cao
lau—a noodle dish only available locally because it uses special water from nearby Ba Le Well.
Other specialties are fried wonton and fish wrapped in banana leaf. In order to get an
introduction to the cuisine, I headed to Hai café, one of the 17th century merchant shops that
have been converted into an outdoor cafe, where Chef Hai offers Vietnamese cooking lessons.
Located in one of the pale pink and yellow shops that line the narrow dirt streets like faded
Easter eggs. The lesson is generally two hours long, depending upon the skill of the participants.
Chef Hai distributes the recipes at the start of the lesson. Then, once people are comfortable, they
are called up to help prepare the first dish: squid salad. Relatively easy to prepare but not for the
squeamish, it contains thinly sliced squid that is first sautéed and then combined with green
papaya, ginger, garlic, Vietnamese mint, and lemon juice. Vietnamese spring rolls are next on
the menu. This is where the going gets tough for participants.

While we struggle to wrap the thin rice paper around a mound of fresh market vegetables, Chef
Hai rolls up enough for a crowd. Then, the more intrepid students deep fry their own creations in
the sizzling wok. My egg roll disintegrated as soon as it hit the heat. Grilled fish in banana leaf
seems beyond the skills of most of the students. First the fresh fish is draped with lemongrass,
coriander, garlic, onions, sugar, and rum. Then it is supposed to be wrapped in a banana leaf.
Chef Hai rescues students who are caught in what seems to be a flapping green newspaper and
transforms it into tidy little bundles that roast on the BBQ for 30 minutes. While we wait, he
introduces us to his traditional cooking utensils.

Each performs miracles in slicing and can be purchased at the local market for just pennies. He
also points out a photo exhibit that lines the walls of his restaurant. The photos show his support
of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and their efforts to preserve forest habitat and assist ethnic
communities in central Vietnam. Soon, the grilled fish is ready and we sit down at our communal
table to enjoy our traditional meal.

Graduation has never tasted so good. When it comes to Hue cuisine, a large number of
Vietnamese hold firm to the belief that it is undoubtedly the best of the country In recent years,
Vietnam is regarded as the most preferable destination of foreign tourists who plan to enjoy
memorable culinary holiday. Vietnam cuisine is unique, distinctive and varies deeply from
region to region.

When it comes to Hue cuisine, a large number of Vietnamese hold firm to the belief that it is
undoubtedly the best of the country. There are three different strands of Hue cuisine namely
royal; fork and vegetarian cuisine but all three types have one thing in common which is the
simplicity in ingredients but the meticulousness in cooking and serving.

The traditional culinary or the fork cuisine is by and large the most popular strand in the teaching
program of cooking classes in Hue. For those who intend to explore more fully about the prestige
cuisine deserving world recognition, there are a great many options to choose from: at travel
agencies, hotels or restaurants.

3. Hue Cooking Class- Villa Hue Cooking Class
Attending cooking class in Hue Tourism College - a wonderful opportunity for tourists who are
keen to learn the Art of Vietnamese cooking during their stay in the imperial city of Hue.

The cooking class is an interesting, helpful and relaxable course that helps you get knowledge
about our cuisine. Moreover, you will have a chance to explore different kinds of local herbs and
vegetables before learning how to cook some specialities of Hue city and of Vietnam. The course
in kitchen, lasts in about 2 hours, includes brief introductions, instruction and demonstration by
the school’s chefs as well as your practical moment.


- Meet at the lobby of Villa Hue hotel and visit market with our chef.

- Come back to Villahue, relax and enjoy our special welcoming drink.

- Change uniform.

- Learn how to cook and prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes.

- Enjoy your fresh cooked meals.

4. Hochiminh Cooking Class - Hoa Tuc Restaurant

Vietnamese cuisine must be on one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Relying heavily on
rice, fresh vegetables and herbs, there is always an emphasis on proportions and freshness that
makes Vietnamese so healthy and tasty. I have lived on Vietnamese cuisines for the last few
years or so, and am still as slim as a fiddle.

And personally, I think Vietnam has some of the tastiest soups around, the most famous of these
being Pho, Vietnam's national dish. However if you are like me and prefer some thing with a
little more spice, then you might prefer Bun Bo Hue, a mildly spicy beef soup that originates
from the old imperial capital of Hue. If you are interested in learning how to cook some of these
Vietnamese dishes, there are a number of Saigon cooking classes around that you can attend
while in Ho Chi Minh City.

Even if you are only staying in Ho Chi Minh for a couple of days, not to worry, some of the
Saigon cooking classes listed below are organized for people who will only be in Ho Chi Minh
City for a day or so. A meaningful day at a Ho Chi Minh City cooking class

The Chef started the market tour by asking us such a question. It is not an easy-to-answer
question, though. Lots of people like Vietnamese food. But never before has one (in the class)
noticed if there exists such a difference. One cooking class with Saigon - Hoa Tuc Cooking Class
started that way, then with a tour around the wet market near by the center.
The Chef, also the class instructor, explained almost every kind of vegetables along the way and
how it will be cooked in Vietnamese gastronomy. It is an interesting, if not intimidating
experience for many class attendants to look at pig’s stomachs, brains, livers, kidneys, probably
for the first time in their life.

As new thoughts start soaking the minds of travellers, a taxi ride already take all class back to the
Center where fresh ingredients are turned into awesome dishes. The menus offered by the Center
vary by day, one of which included Saigon Spring rolls, Lotus Stems salad with prawn/pork and
Vietnamese beef rolls in betel leaf and lemongrass.

It took almost an hour to make a finished dish. Vietnamese food is a slow type of cuisines, in
both preparing and enjoying, and probably reflecting. As the class learned to make Vietnamese's
authentic cuisines, the Chef pointed out many interesting facts and funs about the arts of

For example, we all used the same ingredients to make the spring rolls, however, when dipping
them into the oil to deep-fry, there are some floating while the others stay firmly at the bottom of
the pan. The trick is if when one first dips the roll in the boiling oil and turns it around so that the
oil can cover evenly all sides of the rice paper, the roll won't stick to the pan anymore.

From important techniques how to make a pretty roll to small tip how to carve a hot chili into a
flower, many come to learn how much patience and attention Vietnamese food requires when
they are in the making.

After finishing making a dish, the class brought their common 'outputs' to the dining table -
which shared the beautiful set up as seen in Hoa Tuc restaurant. Everyone was happy to get the
first bite of their hard effort. It worked like a charm! The feeling of pride mixed with excitement
about learning new things are probably a lovely part of each trip abroad.

At the end of the cooking class, a recipe book is handed out to every participant as a small
reminder that one should practice what he or she learns beyond the class room. And to share with
friends upon coming back as well!

This article is written by Ha Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel Company for original article and more
picture, please visit

Shared By: