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Cookery experience, Ho Chi Minh

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 12 December 2018 | Views [114] | Comments [1]

Nothing starts a good day better than a stop on a fancy toilet. Very Asian thing, this seat is heated, it’ll wash your innards and give you a nice hot blow dry. It’s not something we are accustomed, not sure I could get used to it.

Early morning, we headed down for a light breakfast and headed to the market. It is about 1.5 km and was a busy morning. We signed up for a cooking class, something we would love to do on every trip, but only our second after Thailand.

We met our guide at the Ben Thanh market and while we waited for others to arrive I bought some nice pants. Tim was checking the weather in Hanoi, our next stop and it only had a day high of 15 degrees C today. Bit chilly for what I brought. It is supposed to be highs of low 20s but will likely be chilly in the mornings and evenings.

Our guide took us through the market, explained the different spices, vegetables, fish and meats. It was an interesting experience.

Meat from the whole pig (brain, lunges, kidney, uterus, and intestines).

In case there is a zombie apocalypse? Brains!





After a very short taxi ride, we arrived at the Vietnam Cookery Center. The space was very clean and had a nice vibe.


They served us tea and candied ginger.

We were on course with 2 other couples. Patrick and his girlfriend from Germany and Mathew and his girlfriend from Vietnam. We couldn’t remember the girls names…

The prep for the meals was done and looked very pretty.

We started out making ginger rice. After a quick wash then rice is fried with ginger and some oil; just like the start of risotto. Patrick was tasked to stir and was doing fine until he bumped the boiling pot of pho broth, threw some rice all over the place.

Next we charred some ginger and shallots for the pho broth.

After a quick demo, we were dispatched to our stations to make our appetizer. It was a mustard leaf with noodle, beef, egg and shrimp on the inside, wrapped with a blanched green onion and shrimp. There was a set menu and to add variety, I did a vegetarian option. Mine was pretty much the same, but with tofu instead of the beef and shrimp.

Both were very good, the sauce we made for it was fish sauce with some spices. Yum!

The second course was chicken pot that was eaten with the ginger rice.

Mine was an assortment of vegetables with tofu. It was amazing and so much that I had to share around the table!

The final course was pho, both vegetarian and beef. They made 2 huge pots and I assume there is either enough stock of the next course and/or some for the staff to take home.

Although we were stuffed, we attempted the pho. It was marginally good.

Finally we made the desert. It was a tapioca starch the was cooked, extruded into boing water and chilled. It was eventually eaten with coconut milk, peanuts and ice. The ice gave it a very refreshing feeling, nice after all that food.


Overall, the course was fun, informative, but with most courses way too much food for a morning class. Our only complain was that all the prep was complete and they really babied us through the process.

After a quick nap we headed to the Ho Chi Minh Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The gardens were stunning and filled with very old bonsai trees. (Hard to photograph).

The animals were close, but didn’t seem all that happy.



White tigers.





And many many more.

It was a long day and we decided to get some food and go relax at the hotel. Tim got 2 Bánh Mì from a spot he was eyeing all week, less than $1 each! Store backed French bread, it was Packaged up with a wet-nap and toothpick, everything you need for finger Food! Delicious!

I opted for wine, pate and crackers. I love the French influence of this country!




Thanks for sharing! Great photos! I am in love with the cute little goat=)

  Kyle Naylor Dec 15, 2018 1:30 AM

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