Green Bamboo Cooking Class in Hoi An

A couple of women chatting at the seafood area of the market.

While one would assume that on our first full day in Hoi An we would head straight to the beach, we did not. Instead we took a cooking class on how to make Vietnamese food. I love Vietnamese food and was super excited.  The first time we came to Viet Nam we took a class as well and the food was amazing so I had high expectations for this class and Green Bamboo did not disappoint.

The class started by us heading into the market to pick the ingredients for our recipes. Each person chose the meal they wanted to learn how to make but all would watch and taste, which with a group of 8 meant that we were going to have a lot of food. The market as always was full of sounds, smells, colors and goings on that are quick to distract the eye. While in the market I have to admit I was not the best of students as I was taking it all in. I think my favorite part was after purchasing the pork for the meals the lady proceeded to shave the pieces of meat to get rid of the pig hairs. Talk about fresh.

After the market we headed back to Van’s (our cooking instructor) house to start the preparation. The first step was to peel, chop, devein, etc. the ingredients so that they would be ready to cook. We then started the dishes that need a long slow boil period (like pho and cau lau) so as to maximize time. Then we watched everyone cook the dishes that took less cook time as we finished prepping ingredients for our dishes. As the class went on we learned about the dishes and got a chance to get to know the other students in the class as well as our teacher. The day as a whole was absolutely amazing and the food was impressive for a bunch of first timers.  Van was a great instructor.  We learned a lot about Vietnamese food and she even gave us a mini-language lesson.  It made for a great time to hang out with family and eat some good food.

Headed to the market wearing Non La.
Prickly cucumber. We didn’t eat these but they looked cool.
A woman peeling pineapple to sell.
Getting all the necessities or selling them?
Man walking through the market.
Meat for sale.
Woman selling vegetables while chewing beetle nut.
Fresh chicken anyone?
Sara chopping shrimp that were so fresh they were still squirming.
Bill and Gail deveining the shrimp.
Caitlin at the start of making pho.
Sara thinking something was funny.
Gail breading her eggplant in panko bread crumbs that were multi colored.
Gail learning to use cooking chopsticks.
The final result. They were delicious.
Caitlin and Gail tag teaming it. Notice the tongue out for concentration. Both of them make the same face when cooking, it must be genetic.
Caitlin and Gail.
Bill with his green mango, papaya, and shrimp salad.
My Cao Lau recipe. The noodles for this dish are only made in Hoi An and made by only one family. Apparently the recipe is a secret. The chips in front are fried flat noodles.
Van helping Sara with the Vietnamese pancakes. Probably the trickiest to cook of all the dishes.
As you can see it was definitely worth it. The pancake is rolled up in a rice paper. They were delicious.
Gail getting the hang of the Vietnamese pancakes. She is using a green onion as a brush and dipping it into oil to cover the pan and add extra flavor.
Caitlin finishing up her pho. She used the big spoon to fill with broth then dip thinly cut beef to quickly cook it. Also absolutely amazing.

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