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Monday, 23 March 2015

Hue to Hoian

Banana benders

After arriving in the ancient city of Hue and exploring the citadel, we were ready to learn a little more
about their cooking style. The markets in this beautiful old city are superb. Locals buy everything here twice a day so all produce is in abundance and so fresh. Cooking utensils, serving bowls herbs and spices, also a bit of jewellery, footwear or sunnies for those who desire.
Starting the day with a little culture
We love the history of Hue and its predominately Chinese influence. Amazing Citadel and Royal Tomb. Food here is slightly different with emphasis on vegetables and seafood. On to the beachside Palm Gardens Resort in Hoian. The wonderful cooking school Morning Glory was our destination for our next class and we also enjoyed the ground floor street market style food.
Expert noodle maker

Fresh as
Birthday girls wear pink

Attention in class

Jardins Carambole for dinner.......... delicious
Birthdays are better in Vietnam, dining at the Les Jardins Carambole.
Dong si dong

Trying to convince us that this is yum........... spicy frog
Very happy with our dishes at Ancient Hue Cooking school
Perfect spring roll ... top of the class

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Vietnam Trip Hanoi to Ho Chi MInh 2015

Hanoi Cooking Centre .......... Who said rain puts a dampener on a market tour !!

Happy Chefs at the Hanoi Cooking School
As we began our tour Hanoi greeted us with fine misty rain and cooler temperatures. It didn't deter us one little bit. Our market tour led by the one of the chefs from the cooking school helped make the venture lots of fun. Sensory and visual overload for those who have never visited an Asian food market.
Armed with understanding of the Vietnamese cuisine, together with their wonderful sense of humour,
was the perfect combination to embark on the first cooking class. Just the beginning .............

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Lemongrass Pork Vietnamese Style with Papaya Salad

Just getting excited about Want Food Ideas upcoming trip to Vietnam. Fifteen of us jet out on March
5th for what promises to be another informative fun filled adventure.
We begin our adventures in Hanoi and travel south through Hue and Hoian into Ho Chi Minh.
It is interesting to see the influence of the French and the Chinese on their cuisine.
I decided to get in the mood with some Vietnamese cooking on the barby this time.
A very traditional pork dish, but again so easy, with all the ingredients readily available to us.
Being a climate similar to ours the food of Vietnam is so suitable to our lifestyle.
This recipe is for 500 gram pork which is probably enough for 4 depending on what cut you use.
Pork leg steaks or scotch fillet steaks are suitable, something with a little fat so it doesn't dry out on the barbecue. You could also marinate the pork and thread onto skewers before cooking. Purchase from an Asian butcher if you can.
 Serve as part of a barbecue banquet, if entertaining

2 tablespoons minced or finely chopped lemongrass
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons chilli sauce or to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper
2-3 pinches five spice powder
2 tablespoons oil
500 grams pork

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Add the pork and make sure it is covered. Leave to rest at least 15 minutes but longer is preferable.

Barbecue until the colour is golden brown.

Papaya Salad

1 whole green Papaya
2 red onions finely sliced
2 carrots julienned
Vietnamese or Thai basil
1 red capsicum finely sliced
200 grams finely sliced red cabbage
40 grams fried sliced garlic ( you can purchase at an Asian supermarket pif you don't want to do it yourself)
80 grams fried shallots ( purchase at an Asian supermarket)
80 grams roasted peanuts
Chopped Mint and coriander

Shred the papaya with a vegetable peeler or a Vietnamese peeler( they have a wider cutting edge and you can find them here).
Do the same with the carrots or julienne them in your food processor.
Add all the ingredients together on a decorative plate leaving some of the nuts and herbs until last, after you have applied the dressing


8 tablespoons orange juice you may use pineapple or any other citrus. The Vietnamese use cumquat.
8 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons minced red chilli
pinch of salt

This dressing may be more than you need but better to have too much, than not enough !
Mix into a lidded jar and shake until combined. Will keep in the fridge.