To market, to market…

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.


12 responses to “To market, to market…

  1. How cool to take a cooking class on vacation! That market is to DIE for! I wish we had more markets like that in the US (Well maybe not exactly like it- you know with live ducks for dinner and grubs hanging out).

  2. Thank you thank you thank you for such a great post filled with fantastic photos!

  3. That is an awesome market! I love that you took a cooking class while there. 🙂

  4. Like the secret ingredient on Iron Chef (the Japanese version) I would need introduction to many of those market ingredients. So many new foods.

    What a marvelous adventure you had!

  5. How cool! Great pictures. What’s the giant net thing for in the ducks picture?

  6. It’s a fishing net. I think they are lowered into the water, and then pulled back up. We saw a lot of them near the banks on our way to the cooking school. It was about 9 a.m., so all the fishing was already done. Things start early over there to beat the heat…

  7. Wow – Barbara Walters also went to Viet Nam for vacation. It’s something I never even thought about. The pictures are stunning. The colors are quite amazing.

  8. morewithles

    OMG — This is AMAZING! What an experience!!!

  9. That is amazing – what a great experience! Thank you so much for sharing it with us…

  10. Oh, how cool….I recently (last weekend) watched a marathon of NO RESERVATIONS WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN on the Travel Channel and in the episode they did on Vietnam, they were also in Hoi An… fact, the house on the OTHER side of the red bridge was toured, as it was for sale, and the host was considering purchasing it……so IRONIC!!

    Based on that episode and now your travel review, I can now add Hoi An, Vietnam to my PLACES TO VISIT BEFORE I DIE list! Thanks!!

  11. Pingback: Hoi-An » Hoi-An » Hoi An Accommodations: Hoi An Hotels & Resort, Old ...

  12. Way cool! I love the freshness of the open market….except for the grubs. Is that a nicer name for maggots? Wouldn’t eat them even if they were cooked. I’ll pass, thank you.