Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cooking in Vietnam

Cooking in Vietnam.
Khanh is a keen cook and really comes up with the goods for our tours.
His favourite part is the cooking class we include in all our tours at his family home.
First there is the market and shopping- it is so fresh some of it is still quacking!
Bamboo shoots in all shapes and sizes

[at one hotel up north we could hear some of it squealing at 5.00am before all was silent – and there was fresh, fresh meat for sale in the market that morning- don’t worry that is the only time I have heard that experience]
Then the fun a preparation, we took turns with the various tasks, and then had a feast together. His sister-in-law Thru also helps out.
Some of our lovely ladies working in the kitchen

These little morsels are a great starter. Called Hanh Cuoh [Onion Rolls]
Take a fresh lettuce leaf, some basil, mint of a few varieties and a piece of cooked pork [Chinese BBQ pork, chicken, omlette or seafood would be equally nice], wrap them together in a steamed spring onion [steam long enough to make it soft or poor boiling water over it]- just tie it around and they hold together, dip into Noc Cham sauce- delicious!
Here is a recipe for Noc Cham from a recent newsletter
To a good Aussie you can’t go past ‘dead horse’ [tomato sauce] as an accompaniment to almost everything- ask my sons.
In Vietnam that pride of place is held by
Noc Cham- dip your spring rolls into it, sprinkle it over salads, it is so delightful I am sure you could even dap it behind your ears!

3-6 fresh red chilli [steam them a few minutes it makes the heat more mellow, less fiery]
2 garlic cloves---grind in mortar and pestle
7 Tablespoons fish sauce
7 Tablespoons sugar
7 Tablespoons water
Juice 1 lemon or lime

Stir together and sprinkle over everything.

NOTE a good noc cham has the chilli and garlic floating on the top…all prospective mother-in-laws like to see a prospective bride has mastered a good noc cham so they know their son won’t starve.

Would you make good marriage material?

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