By now you’ve probably gathered we like our food and we’d heard Hoi An was a great place to do take a Vietnamese cooking class. There were lots to choose from and after trawling TripAdvisor we settled on Thuan Tinh Island (USD 30pp) as they had rave reviews, the day included a market trip, boat ride and as much passion fruit juice as you could drink!
After getting picked up from the hotel we went round the market picking up our ingredients and being pointed out some local produce. The market was a lot more hectic than in Thailand and had a few crazier sites e.g. black tipped reef shark for sale and a big box of live chicks presumably also for sale.
From there we took a leisurely boat ride for about 40 mins before transferring to a smaller long boat and donning traditional Vietnam rice picking hats. We shared the boat with a couple of chaps from Liverpool and it was nice to talk about the homeland and football, again.
Arriving at the island we were shown traditional methods of shucking rice and making rice milk that’s used for pancakes. Both of these methods looked so laborious and we were encouraged to join in. I can’t imagine doing this daily!
It was onto the cooking. We learnt how to make pork and shrimp fresh spring rolls, pork and shrimp rice pancakes with fresh greens and herbs, ban bo nam bo (beef salad) and finally pho bo (beef noodle soup). We were instructed by a very cute old Vietnamese lady and our guide translated.
All of the dishes were pretty complicated, especially compared to the Thai ones we made, but the pho definitely looked repeatable. We had a great day out and would highly recommend a class, but we both agreed the Thai class was better mostly just due to the cuisine.