1. Hanoi Cooking Class - Hanoi Cooking Centre
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. Hoi An, 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. Ho Chi Minh 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 cooking.
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. Every one 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!
Travel tip shared by Ha Nguyen