Sunday, April 12, 2009

Red Bridge Cooking School

Yesterday Betsy and I took a half day cooking course at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An.  It was great fun and we got to eat our creations so thankfully they turned out!

First we got a tour of the market which was nice as we'd walked through but didn't really know what a lot of stuff was so it was nice to have it explained.

After the market tour we hopped on a boat and went down river about 4km to the cooking school.  The cooking school is right on the bank of the river and you cook under a thatched roof that is open on all sides.  The class was a combination of demonstration and hands-on cooking.  The chef made a seafood salad consisting of squid & shimp along with shredded greens, papaya, chili, garlic etc stuffed into a hollowed out pineapple.

We then got to make homemade rice paper and fresh spring rolls out of the rice paper we had just made.  The next dish we made was a Hoi An speciality called Banh Xeo.  It was essentially a crispy pancake made of rice flour, water, shrimp, bean sprouts and green onion.  Once this was fried up, various Vietnamese herbs were put on top such as basil and mint and it was rolled in rice paper like a burrito.  It was then dipped into a peanut sauce!  Our last dish was stewed eggplant in a claypot.  We worried that it would be too mushy but it was delicious.  Eggplant, garlic, lemongrass, chiles, green onion, tumeric, salt, pepper  and sugar all stewed with some water.  It was all delicious and we had a great time.  We'd highly recommend the Red Bridge Cooking School if you are ever in Hoi An.

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