Learning To Cook Vietnamese Food At Ho Chi Minh Cooking Class

HO CHI MINH CITY | We love Vietnamese food. The use of fresh ingredients and fragrant herbs gets us every time. When in Ho Chi Minh recently to celebrate Jetstar’s new direct service from Melbourne/Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City, we were taken to Cu Chi, just outside of the city, to learn how to cook some simple Vietnamese dishes. As avid home cooks, we jumped at the opportunity to learn some new things.

Ho Chi Minh Cooking Class is run by Luong Viet Tan, a Vietnamese native who trained as a doctor before moving to Australia and deciding to become a chef. After spending 13 years in Melbourne, and opening his own Vietnamese restaurants, he returned to Vietnam to establish a farm and cooking school. His aim is not just to run classes that teach visitors how to cook, but to also advance sustainable and organic farming practices in Vietnam, and to promote healthy food. His farm, on which the cooking school is located, is 100% organic, in a part of Vietnam where he was told nothing would grow.

Tan is a really interesting guy, and our small group was lucky to have him show us around the farm and tell us about the ingredients we’d be using, and his own story, peppered with a keen, cheeky sense of humour throughout. After walking around the farm, learning about the farming practices, the ingredients that we were harvesting, and their flavour and other properties, it was time to cook.

The cooking station is located in a shaded outdoor area in the middle of the farm. All the ingredients and utensils that you need to cook are there, and everything apart from a few of the sauces is made from scratch during the course. We started with tasty prawn and pork rice paper rolls, before moving on to a simple Vietnamese salad, then chicken pho. For dessert, it was surprisingly light flash fried banana spring rolls with coconut cream. The pho was particularly impressive – Tan designed the recipe so people could make a quick version at home that’s still packed full of flavour like the traditional one that sees stock simmering for several hours. If you’re looking for the recipe, we’ve been given permission to share it with you here.

Do note that Tan doesn’t run many classes himself these days, as he is busy with the business side of things, and also has a lot of commitments as a bit of a celebrity chef in Vietnam. He teaches all of his staff how to cook and run the classes however, and doesn’t let them run classes until he is personally satisfied that they are up to the task. At the end of the class, each guest is given a full list of all the recipes used. These aren’t cut down versions of Tan’s recipes – he’s genuinely happy to share his recipes if it means more people will be interested in cooking and eating Vietnamese food at home. Tan believes that “happy food is happy life”, and that’s a motto we’re happy to get behind.

Ho Chi Minh Cooking Class is a great activity for anyone with a passing interest in Vietnamese food, and its location just up the road from the famous Cu Chi tunnels means you can make a good day combining both activities.

Ho Chi Minh Cooking Class

275 Tinh Lo 2
Phuoc Vinh An
Cu Chi
Vietnam

Telephone: +84 837 942 175
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

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