Vietnamese cooking is light, fresh, colourful and perfect for summer meals. if you like Thai cooking, you will like Vietnamese even better. The Vietnamese use little oil, and always serve a plate of green leaves, herbs and sour fruit to complement the dishes and clear the palate.
Vietnam is a long thin country with three distinct areas all historically, culturally & climatically different, these differences are reflected in the cuisine. The north has a cold winter, uses less spice, more noodles and richer dishes. In the centre and the Imperial heart of Vietnam the old Imperial capital Hue has a unique cuisine with a vegetarian tradition from the long line of Buddhist monks from the Mahayana tradition of strict vegetarians. In the hot tropical south they use more chillies and make spicy coconut curries.
We will start in the north with a traditional Pho noodle soup, travel down to the centre and make our banana leaf sticky rice parcels, we will wrap fresh herbs and tofu in Banh Trang wrappers, stir-fry tofu with lemon grass and braise vegetables with nuoc mam, then to the south to make Bahn Xeo which are lacy Southern Vietnamese pancakes and to finish with a Coconut Tapioca and fried sweet bananas.
We show you how to identify unusual ingredients, and where to source them, how to make vegetarian alternatives to the ubiquitous fish sauce and how to adapt dishes, which are traditionally made with meat and fish.
For each course we choose the recipes that fit the season, depending on time of year and the availability and seasonality of produce. The day is a mixture of demonstration and hands on cooking.
We will taste and cook throughout the day and finish with a shared three course meal which we will have made together, accompanied by Organic wines or juices. You will receive a recipe pack full of tips and ideas at the end of the day.