Started the day with an early morning swim @ 6:30am, followed by a brisk walk to the Morning Glory Cooking School in the Old Town. This is by far the best cooking course I have ever done and I couldn't believe how amazingly good and easy it was to make!
Firstly, we were guided through the local Hoi An Market where we were shown many typical local ingredients and encouraged to try fresh fruit, herbs, spices and vegetables - most of which I had passed by before but had been to scared to try without knowing what they were.
Our cooking teacher demonstrated and then we each made 5 different Vietnamese dishes: cabbage leaf parcels with shrimp mousse in broth, Summer Rolls (see photo above of the one I rolled and recipe to follow), BBQ chicken with lime leaf, Banh Xeo Crispy Hoi An Pancakes and, last but by no means least, Green Mango Salad.
Vietnamese Summer Rolls
(recipe courtesy of Morning Glory Cooking School)
8 sheets of rice paper (special for fresh NOT cooked spring rolls)
3 cups mixed herbs: anise basil, mint, Vietnamese mint, butter lettuce, coriander, shredded morning glory stem, bean sprouts & chrysanthemum leaves
200g rice vermicelli noodles
8 slices of pork
12 prawns (cooked and sliced in half)
12 flat garlic chives (6cm lengths)
Sweet & sour sauce
Place a sheet of rice paper on a flat surface and wipe over quickly with a damp cloth on both sides.
Place a handful of mixed herbs at the edge of the paper closest to you and some noodles on top, then 2 slices of pork and 3 slices of prawns (pink side down). Take care to keep the sides even.
Roll over from the edge (keeping it quite tight) until you reach the prawns. Fold in the sides, place the garlic chives on the right hand side then finish rolling up.
Serve with sweet and sour sauce.
Makes 8 (serving 4 people as a starter).
Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (pref from anchovy)
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon garlic and red chilli (pounded)
Put lime juice and sugar in a bowl - stir to dissolve.
Add fish sauce, water and garlic/chilli mix
They REALLY are that simple to make! Yesterday at the beach shack, we tried a variation of this Summer Roll with fresh green beans so there's no limit to the greens you could add to the rolls. Mmmm, can't wait to try making these again.
By my calculations, most of my daily budget has gone towards transport and food. Our accommodation has cost, on average, approximately $10/night and it's been pretty decent, but we've definitely been splashing out on the delicious food.
Hoi An is definitely a culinary heaven for food lovers. I think it's because it is such an amazing agricultural and fishing epicentre that only the freshest quality ingredients are used and fused with a more modern palate to cater for western tastes. I would strongly recommend dinner at Morning Glory restaurant - the food is the best I have had yet in Vietnam!
Good weather predicted for tomorrow so I'm off to Cua Dai beach again! Unfortunately, Wendy got sunburnt yesterday so she'll stay indoors or by the pool to avoid the sun.