On his trip to Vietnam, guest blogger Michael (toeightycountries) enjoyed a cooking class in the charming town of Hoi An.

During my trip from the Mekong Delta in the south up to the north along the coast of the South China Sea, I learned to admire the Vietnamese cuisine. I often ate fresh fish, either from the delta or from the sea, fresh vegetables and herbs, wholesomely cooked.

View of Hong Phuc restaurant in Hoi An.
Hong Phuc is located in the mesmerizing old city of Hội An.

Cooking Class at Hong Phuc Restaurant

Yesterday, in the beautiful old town of Hoi An, I had dinner in a restaurant at the shore of the Thu Bồn River. The food was very tasty and I enjoyed the evening there. A note in the menu caught my eye: “Cooking class every morning 10 a.m. – minimum attendance 2 persons”.

I asked for registration, but I was the only one for today. An Australian woman at the table next to me spontaneously decided to join me.

This morning I went to the Hong Phuc Restaurant in time. Unfortunately the Australian didn’t appear, but the owner decided to give me a one-to-one-lesson anyway.

Cooking class ingredients Hoi An
The ingredients for my cooking class - fresh fish and vegetables.

Vegetarian Spring Roll

On the table I had ingredients for two different starters.

For the “Vegetarian Spring Roll”: 10 spring roll wrappers, rice noodles, several vegetables, mushrooms, and lettuce leaves. Moreover ingredients for the whole menu, like vegetable oil, fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, garlic and spices.

First I chop the rice noodles, mushrooms and the vegetables finely. Then I place all of it on the rice paper in a long thin line like the shape of a thick cigar and roll it twice. I make three other rolls and slide them into the pan with hot oil and fry them till they are crispy and light brown. All this while it’s sweltering hot in the kitchen.

Michael chopping vegetables
Chopping away vegetables during cooking class at Hong Phuc in Hoi An.

Deep Fried Wontons

For the “Deep Fried Wontons with Vegetable and Sweet and Sour Pork” I need 6 wontons, a small portion of finely cut pork and shrimps, vegetables, 3 black ear mushrooms and a quarter of a pineapple. I fry the wontons till crisp, put them out of the oil and drain. I heat the other ingredients in a pan with 3 teaspoons of oil and put all on top of the 6 fried wontons.

Now I am ready for the two main courses, while I break out in a sweat.

Fried Squid with Lemongrass, Garlic and Chilli

For the “Fried Squid with Lemongrass, Garlic and Chilli” I have 400 grams of squid and vegetables. Now I grind lemongrass, garlic and chilli sauce into a paste and cook it in a pan with hot oil for 2 minutes, then I put in the mix of squid, spring onions, ginger, celery stalks, sugar, pepper and salt and cook it for another 3 minutes. I put everything on a plate – that’s it.

Cooking fried squid
For the main course, I made fried squid with lemongrass, garlic and chilli.

Red Snapper in Banana Leafs

For the “Red Snapper in Banana Leafs” I have 400 grams of fish, 7 banana leafs, vegetables and spices. First I prepare the stuffing and fill the fish with it. Then I roll the fish in the banana leafs and put it for 10 minutes on the grill. Meanwhile I mix the lemon sauce.

Grilled fish in banana leafs
The fish is wrapped in banana leafs and then grilled over charcoals.

Now the work is done, I get a cool BGI-beer and I am allowed to taste my dishes. Delicious! At the end, I take a printed version of the original recipes:

Plates of fried squid grilled fish and spring rolls
Enjoying the fruits of my cooking class with a cold beer.

About Hong Phuc

You can take a cooking class at Hong Phuc restaurant in the old town of Hội An. Register for a class the day before.

About Michael

This is a guest post for Foodiepackers by Michael. 

Michael is Chris’s father and blogs about his travels in German on his website toeightycountries.com. He was a travel agent and has helped thousands of customers plan and fulfill their dream vacations.

You can find the full report  of his trip to Vietnam [in German] on his website www.toeightycountries.com: Vietnam – Von den neun Drachen zum Wolkenpass

For Michael’s recipes contact us or leave a comment.

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