Well, I already had a “jiggety-jig” post, so I couldn’t resist the title!
One of the tastiest and most enjoyable things we did in Vietnam was a cooking class in Hoi An. We took a half-day class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. The class began with a tour of the central market in Hoi An.
Produce is sold on the outside of the market.
The small purple fruit is mangosteen. These have white fruit shaped like tangerine inside and are very sweet. The red spiky ones are rambutan, which are like lychee, but we didn’t try them on this trip. The big green ones are pomelo, which our guide says is good for weight loss. And the bright pink ones are dragonfruit. Inside, they’re white with small black seeds.
This seller also had grubs (silkworm?). You can eat them raw, but our guide said these had been out too long (several hours), so you should cook them before eating them. There are also cookware and clothing stalls on the outside of the market. I bought a conical hat, because my hat from home was too HOT. (A familiar refrain.) These hats are very lightweight, and cool. And you can use them as a fan, too.
Inside the market, everything is pretty tightly packed together. Here are eggs: chicken, duck, quail, fresh, preserved…
You know this fowl is fresh!
And these ducks are destined to be dinner. They’re still quacking, here.
Boats pull up at the dock with fresh fish.
After the tour of the market, we boarded a boat for a 25 minute trip down the river to the cooking school.
All the boats have eyes!
We saw lots of fishing nets like these. And lots of ducks on the islands. Ping, where are you?
The cooking school and the bridge for which it’s named.
We toured the herb garden, and then began class. Our instructor had a Aussie accent on top of his Vietnamese one.
We made rice paper (like you wrap on salad rolls), salad rolls, Hoi An pancakes (with shrimp and scallions). And of course, we got to eat all of these things. We also made garnishes: cucumber fans, and tomato roses.
Our final dish was eggplant in clay pot.
We ate the eggplant with rice for lunch in the restaurant, and it was fabulous.