Cooking class started with a tour of the various prep stations at the restaurant below…and yes we got to sample.
They had a “weird and wonderful” area featuring dishes which, while common among locals, are outside the experience of most westerners. I sampled the jellyfish salad (tasty with a curiously crunchy texture) and the pig’s ear salad, but passed on the silkworm dish and a couple others I just didn’t feel the love for.
Upstairs we settled in for our cooking seasion, beginning with a “mother in law’s soup”. It is the first dish a bride cooks for her husband’s family. This soup has packages of shrimp wrapped in cabbage, cooked in the soup. It is not hard to make and it is super-delicious.
The next dish we made was banh xeo – sizzling crispy pancakes with shrimp and pork wrapped in rice paper. This is finger food. You dip it in the ubiquitous Vietnamese dipping sauce – fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, garlic and chilies.
We learned so much today and as a bonus we ate everything we cooked. The class was very professional, thorough aand a lot of fun. If you ever go to Hoi An and you like to cook, I highly recommend this class.