The unique and delicious Vietnamese cuisine has made this country a popular travel destination for the culinary tour. A 1 or 2-week culinary tour is perfect for the travellers that wish to combine their love for travel with their love for food. Traditional Vietnamese food is an appetizing blend of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy flavours, while making use of fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs and savoury spices.
By signing up for a hands-on cooking class with a friendly and experienced chef, you get to learn the traditional techniques and methods for Vietnamese cooking and recipes. Plus, the teaching isn’t just restricted to the classroom; this type of culinary tour can include dining at unique restaurants and historic homes, exploring fresh food markets, visiting a few local villages to taste their specialties, and an evening experiencing the street food scene.
The travellers on the Vietnam tour packages that aren’t familiar with local Vietnamese food are certain to be in for a treat. Plus, the culinary tour is easily combined with the must-see historic and cultural sightseeing trips to create the more all-inclusive travel experience.
The hands-on cooking classes teach the basics of preparing several of the delicious and authentic dishes, such as:
Crispy spring rolls with vegetables, pork and shrimp
Grill giant prawns with a mouth-watering garlic and wine sauce
Vietnamese savoury fried pancakes (Banh Xeo) with pork and prawns
Lemongrass and beef wrapped in a betel leaf
Once the cooking class is finished it is possible to sit down with others in the class to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Vietnam Culinary Tours
A holiday to Vietnam can easily become a foodie’s paradise when it is possible to taste the varied range of cuisines served in the north, central and south of the country.
The north of Vietnam has been influenced by its nearby neighbours, including China. Plus, northern Vietnam is a region of the country that enjoys the more varied seasons. This means with a four season climate there are certain dishes that are only available during a particular time of the year. In general, the dishes served in northern Vietnam are lighter and milder than what can be expected in other regions of the country.
Cooking in Hanoi
Hanoi is a perfect place to start the culinary experience with dishes that put a lot of emphasis on fresh herbs, greens and spices. A visit to the local Chau Long Market makes it possible to buy everything needed for a cooking class from tapioca flour to garlic. Many of the locally grown ingredients like fresh salad greens, herbs and vegetables are rarely sold in western countries, which can make the culinary lesson that much more interesting. There are several cooking schools in the capital city with the Hanoi Cooking Centre a popular choice and found near the old quarter district. With an experienced chef to give guidance it is possible to prepare a few of the local dishes using the ingredient bought at the market. Plus, most of the cooking schools offer recipe cards to make it that much easier to recreate the local dishes after arriving home.
The cuisine in central Vietnam is seen by many as the most culturally authentic with the dishes generally well-seasoned and spicy. Plus, the food in this region of the country is heavily influenced by Hue’s culinary traditions and imperial court cuisine.
Cooking in Hoi An
Hoi An is a popular place to see while travelling in Vietnam and has the ability to cater to all tastes. With cooking courses becoming more popular as a travel activity, it is now relatively easy to find a cooking school that teaches the local culinary experience.
A great place to attempt cooking Asian food in Hoi An is at the Red Bridge Cooking School, which includes learning the secrets of specialist dishes in an informal atmosphere. This ancient town is well-known for dishes like Mi Quang (noodles with boiled quails eggs, fresh herbs, shrimp, and pork) and Cao Lau (noodles, pickled hot peppers and pork slices).
Even though there are short cooking classes that last 1 or 2 hours, there are also the more in-depth classes that run from 8 am to 3 pm which gives plenty of time for sourcing fresh ingredients and cooking a variety of dishes.
A visit to the south of the country on the Vietnam tours is certain to result in the more varied cuisine. Many of the dishes are rich in seafood, rice and vegetables, while also incorporating Thai, Cambodian and French influence. The style of cuisine is distinctively unique to the south and is spicier, sweeter and more heavily seasoned compared to the alternative choices in the north.
Cooking in Ho Chi Minh City
A great place to visit for a hands-on cooking lesson in Ho Chi Minh City on the Vietnam travel packages is the Mai Home cooking class, which is located in a traditional home. The food prepared is simple and healthy and makes full use of local fresh vegetables, spices and herbs. This cooking class aims to provide a lot of fun with personalised attention from the designated chef. A typical cooking class helps to teach a variety of dishes using a clay pot or preparing fresh spring rolls or similar.
This type of cooking lesson starts with an early morning visit with a guide to the lively Ben Thanh Market, which is seen by many as the heart of this city. This market has stalls ready to sell everything from raw fish to blue jeans. Tourists are directed to the produce section of the market to select the fresh ingredients that will be used later in the classroom. Complete guidance is given on what to pick to make sure the right herbs, vegetables and other ingredients are chosen. Once the dishes are prepared it is possible to sit down and taste the freshly cooked food.