I love Vietnamese food, so when my friend Jeff and I found ourselves with an extra day in Hanoi, we signed up for a cooking class in Hanoi. Because of the positive Tripadvisor reviews shared online, we booked with Blue Butterfly and lucked out with a private morning class for just the two of us.
After starting our day off with complimentary tea and coffee at the Blue Butterfly Restaurant, we walked with our guide Tinh to the local market to pick up a few ingredients for our meal. It was interesting to navigate the streets of Hanoi with a local. He spoke good English and was very knowledgable about all the different produce types available at the colourful markets.
We grated carrot and papaya on the street, tasted some fresh fruits, and had the opportunity to ask all the questions we wanted about Vietnamese cuisine, culture, and tourism. The ingredients that Tinh purchased would later on be used during the cooking portion of our class.
Back at the restaurant, the cooking class with the chef was very hands on and interactive. We were responsible for doing all of the slicing and dicing of herbs and vegetables, the mixing and measuring of the ingredients, the frying, and the plating. We made three dishes: a green papaya salad, spring rolls, and a chicken stir fry. We also learned how to make a flower garnish out of a carrot and a tomato. After we plated our creations, we took photos and ate our own dishes for lunch. It was more than enough food for two people – there were at least a dozen spring rolls!
Throughout the experience, both the tour guide and the chef were very encouraging. This is a no-fail class and I liked how the recipes are practical enough to bring home, although I have to admit, to this day, I still haven’t re-made any of the recipes yet…maybe one day!
See photos from our Vietnam cooking class experience in Hanoi:
If you like the cuisine flavours of the country you are in, I definitely recommend looking into a local cooking class as a half-day experience. Based on this positive experience with the Vietnamese cooking class in Hanoi, on my next destination the week after — a family vacation to Indonesia — I did another cooking class in Bali.