4 days in Hanoi is a long time, so we spent a day in Halong Bay and on the last full day in Hanoi, we took a cooking class at Old Hanoi Restaurant & Bar. We wanted to go with Exotissimo’s cooking classes, but I believe they are USD 50, and then when we called up the cooking classes that’s offered at the Metropole Hotel, they were USD 100! Here, at Old Hanoi Restaurant, the cooking class is USD 24 / person 🙂
We got there half an hour late so we weren’t able to go to the wet market to buy the food ourselves. Rather, the staff there had already prepared all the stuff and raw food for us to start cooking. The first was fish fillet mixed with turmeric, not unlike the Cha Ca dish we had the other night (in fact, I think it was a Cha Ca).
We started off making the Nuoc Mam sauce, which can pretty much be used for anything related to Vietnamese cuisine. You need to mix together the following:
- 2 spoons of sugar
- 6 spoons of warm water
- 1 spoon of fish sauce
- 1 spoon of rice vinegar
- 1 spoon of fresh lime juice
- 1 spoon of chipped garlic and chili
And there you have it … although, I’d go easy on the sugar … I don’t like mine that sweet.
I had forgotten to take photos of the making (and marinating) of the Cha Cha. In any case, the staff had taken our fillets into the kitchen to cook (no, we didn’t actually get to cook that one) … and then we were on to our next dish – the “Old Quarter Spring Rolls”
Chop and dice all of the ingredients: Carrot, Bean Sprout, Spring Onion, Onion and Auricularia (or “Wooden Ear” in Chinese / Jew’s Ear / basically, its [Botany] tree mushroom or edible tree fungus), crack the egg and get rid of all the egg white, throw the yolk and mince pork into the diced ingredients and mix. Add salt and pepper in the process and you should get something like this:
Split content into 3 chunks and get your spring roll paper ready:
Remember not to put too much water on the Spring Roll paper! Otherwise, it’ll look like the roll on the far left.
Remember what they say? Put a wooden chopstick (or spatula) into the cooking oil, if its bubbling, then the oil is hot enough to fry stuff with.
Place rolls on napkin to get rid of excess oil … leave until its a little cooler, dip in nuoc mam sauce and consume!
Right after we devoured the rolls, came the Cha Ca fish fillet we were making earlier and it looks something like this:
Roll fish together with shredded veggies, dip into the nuoc mam sauce (again) and consume.
Finally, we were on to our 3rd dish of the morning: Royal Rice with Shrimp. Basically, chop all of the ingredients below into dices and fry them together, like so:
Once ready, then this is what you’ll have to do:
- Place a whole shrimp in the bottom of the center of a standard rice bowl
- Put a thin layer of rice on top of the shrimp and apply pressure
- Put a layer of the stuff you just fried on the parameter inside the bowl
- Add another layer of rice, apply pressure
- Repeat Step 3
- Repeat Step 4
- Using a handle of a knife, knock on the outside of the bowl
- Slide knife in between the rice and the bowl
- Flip over on plate and you should get something like this
By the time we’re done with this, we were already full. I actually didn’t find this particularly good, partially (I think) because I was stuffed from the rolls and fish, and partially because there were so much rice packed in there …
And finally, to end our cooking lesson, our instructor decided she was going take things into her own hands and just deal with it for us. It was Diced Sweet Potato with Ginger …
Pouring the tapioca mix in …
This, unfortunately, also wasn’t very good … it was a little too thick!
And there you have it … cooking class in Hanoi … in a nutshell.
Old Hanoi Restaurant
106 Ma May, Old Quarter
Tel: +84 824525
Mobile: +84 913559096
Web: www dot hanoi-cooking dot com
Filed under: Asia, Vietnam | Tagged: Bar, Cha Ca, Cooking, Cooking Class, Ginger, Hanoi, Hanoi Cooking, Old Hanoi Daily Cooking Class, Old Quarter, Old Quarter Spring Rolls, Restaurant, Royal Rice with Shrimp, Saigon Beer, Sweet Potato, Tapioca, Vietnam |