Cooking Up a Storm

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yesterday we attended a cooking class by Hoa Tuc for an introduction to the Vietnamese culinary arts. Set up in the former opium manufacturing quarters of Saigon, "Hoa Tuc" translates to opium poppy an establishment to honour the once legal trade of opiates in Vietnam. With a different menu on offer for each day of the week, you can guess why I choose today to go!

 Our menu for the day.

It was a nice intimate class with our reasonably well English spoken chef Nhu Luyen. She took us through step by step preparations of the dishes, also explaining where we could find the ingredients and what to look for when purchasing, quite insightful. I made a mental list of all the things we needed to get in Vietnam before we left for Bahrain as we still haven't managed to find the Asian grocers yet, number one: rice paper for rice paper rolls!

 Action shots of Ari and Linda working hard for our meals.

After each course we sat down to sample the delights we had each prepared, served with the traditional accompaniments and iced tea. An overall relaxing (and filling!) way to spend the afternoon, it was well organised and professional and we even got printed copies of the recipes to take away with us. I would highly recommend the course, although maybe a bit too basic for die hard masterchefs but fun nonetheless :) They also offer a guided market tour with their morning class where a chef will take you through Ben Thanh Market, we didn't get to do that but it did sound interesting.

Our creations: Saigon spring rolls, banana blossom salad with chicken and beef noodle soup (pho).

Picture with our chef Nhu Luyen.

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