Al's Asian Adventure 2006 travel blog

Hoi An market

Chef Alex

with her assistant matt

Well it was a lovely 23 hours on a bus whose air con didn't really work. We had a 5 minute stop in Nha Trang after 12 hours- just enough time to buy a dinner of baguette and vache qui rit! The reason we went back in Hoi An was toget across to Laos from Hue nearby...and we liked Hoi An so much we decided to spend a few nights in the old town, rather than down at the beach! We found a great little guesthouse just on the edge of the old town. As we arrived at 7am we went off for breakfast and went to a cafe who happened to do cookery courses, so we booked for the following day.

It turned out to be a great day- we met early to be shown around the market- and told about the various typical Vietnamese ingredients. Hoi An market is manic- mopeds going down the narrowest of paths and plenty of old women selling vege, fruit, fish or meat. Then we took a boat trip down the river to the Red Bridge cooking school. the school itself was in a bamboo gazebo by the river. We sat and watched the chef prepare the dishes first...Matt did a Keith Floyd by having a glass of chardonnay at 10am! Then it was our turn. We first had to make the rice paper which is so commonly used in Vietnam. It was interesting to see just how easy it was to make although Matt had a bit of trouble with his (Much to my amusement- not that we're competitive!) We followed this with Fresh shrimp spring rolls, an aubergine dish, Hoi An pancakes and then vege decorations which went a bit to pot- I'll stick to a sprig of corriander in future i think! The chef also showed us a few more dishes which we would had for lunch. All in all very good fun! Lunch was delicious- sat by the river witha cold glass of vino and the food we had cooked. Shame we had to sit next to a 10 year old Aussie kid who wouldn't eat a thing!

So Hoi An was a great little break between our long journey from Saigon to Laos (And we managed to do some souvenbir shopping and post it all home! Guess what people are getting for Xmas!)

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