Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vietnamese food

Morning Glory Cooking School class in Hoi An

I did miss eating homemade whole-grain bread, real cheese, potatoes, and brown rice, but with the delicious diversity of fish, fruit, and green vegetables in Vietnam, I can hardly complain about food while traveling there.

It's totally delicious.

My gardening companion is a rice and noodle lover, so he's happy with breakfast pho, noodle dishes, and even the barely passable white rice normally served up.

The diversity of greens used in Vietnamese cooking was underscored by a trip we made to a market garden outside Hoi An, but was really made apparent by a cooking class at the Morning Glory Cooking School there.

A diversity of ingredients

My fresh spring roll

Our instructor Ms. Lu, a delightful young woman, described characteristics of different herbs that are used in fresh spring rolls, added to banh xeo (a delicious rice pancake), chopped up for chicken marinade, etc.

Hmm, it sent me to look for seeds to order ASAP after returning home. (Tom, I'm willing to share!)

Lemon basil, amaranth, Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, culantro, etc. were on the list, and I've bookmarked sources of fresh galangal and tumeric to grow in the warm season here in the SE US.

Making rice paper wrappers is much more of a specialty item; they're normally purchased dry, then rehydrated, but seeing them made (on a Mekong Delta bike ride) encourages me to think about trying that (uh, if I had any free time!)

And, I do wish we had sources of green papaya or green mango, not to mention fresh ripe ones, in our small Southern college town. But, that would hardly be focused on local food, hmm. There are reasons that global trade developed...

Papaya salad and grilled chicken (with an amazing marinade mixture)


  1. A mouth watering article! I love Vietnamese food, particularly the 'herby' fresh tasting spring rolls.
    I'm envious...

  2. How nice to go to a cooking school and really get inside the food. That spring roll looks wonderful.


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