Home Cooking in Hanoi


One of the reasons I was most excited for my Vietnam visit was for the food. And by the food, I mean the pho. As it got closer, a friend advised that I keep my mind open to more than pho. What? Girl, please. But every time I wanted to order [7 bowls of] pho for dinner, her Facebook comment nagged my shoulder and sent me elsewhere.

And she was right. The food in Vietnam is unreal. I figured the best excuse to eat more of it would be to take a cooking class, and maybe learn a little something along the way. After all, ordering street food through a language barrier is fun and all, but it rarely answers the question, “what’s in this?”


Where to start? Cooking classes are offered just about everywhere in Vietnam, but I was looking to make sure I really enjoyed it and booked mine through Tinggly Experiences, who took care of all of the details. [if you don’t know this company – they are about gifting experiences instead of stuff] Bonus, in this class, I would be picked up and dropped off and, had it all to myself. Which, after several days of group tours, I was so ready for.DSC05225

Chef Mai and her husband picked me up from the hostel and we headed off to the market for a review on the ingredients and to pick up the last of the provisions. As with most markets in Asia, it was bursting with colors, sounds and smells, but as a nice contrast, not with travelers. In fact, I didn’t see another one. Two points to the authenticity of the experience.

At Mai’s home, she showed me how she prepped ingredients and we went through all of the dishes. She showed me how to cut and chop, I showed her how to Snapchat. It was a mutual learning experience.


She had already done all the prep to make the class go smoothly and focus on the learning and the tasting. We made traditional dishes like Banana Flower Salad (made with a sour star fruit that is DELICIOUS). Keep on scrolling to see the ingredients and pictures, but be warned, I wouldn’t do it on an empty stomach.


Nộm hoa chuối

Banana flower salad with chicken and pork

Banana flower 150g
Sour star fruit 20g
Bean sprout 50g
Fish sauce 1.5 Tbs
Sugar 1.5 Tbs
Lime juice 3 Tbs
Salt ~ 1 Tbs
Chilli (not hot) 1/2 pcs
Chilli (hot) 1/3 pcs
Răm herbs 10g
Roast peanut 3 Tbs
Roast sesame seed 3 Tbs
Boiled chicken 50g
[or] Pork fillet 50g



Nem rán

Deep fried spring roll with pork

Minced pork neck 200g
Large onion 100g
Dry ear mushroom 20g
Sweet turnip 100g
Spring onion 80g
Bean sprout 80g
Pepper powder 1 Tsp
Fresh egg 2 Tsp
Dry rice paper 30 pcs



Gà xào xả ớt

Sautéed chicken with lemongrass

Chicken leg 1.25 kg
Large onion 250 g
Spring onion 150 g
Salt ~1 Tsp
Pepper powder 1 Tsp
Fish sauce 2 Tbs
Chilli (not hot) 2 pcs
Lemongrass 5 pcs
Turmeric juice 5 Tbs
Coconut Juice 5 Tbs


Canh thịt nấu chua

Clear sour soup with minced pork

Minced pork fillet 100g
Fresh tomato 3 pcs
Pineapple 100g
Salt 1 Tsp
Fish sauce 2 Tbs
Pork stock 2 lit
Spring onion 15g
Coriander 5g
Chop shallot 1 Tbs

So which was my favorite? It definitely was NOT the Vietnamese vodka. But the lemongrass chicken could have been bottomless and I would still be in Vietnam. What are your favorite Vietnamese dishes?



Note: This cooking course was sponsored by Tinggly and for that, my stomach and taste buds will be forever grateful.

2 thoughts on “Home Cooking in Hanoi

  1. Leo Olivarez

    Vietnamese it is for lunch today. LOL!

    Whenever you return, I want to sample some of that cooking. Happy New Year, stay safe!