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Pit Stops

Recipes from Cooking Class in Hoi An, Vietnam

This little piggy went to market

Hoi An, Vietnam, is known for its food. In a country that has outrageously good food from top to bottom (my round-up of Vietnamese cuisine is here), the singling out of Hoi An prompted us to sign up for a cooking class there. Our class was at the tiny restaurant, Huu Nghi, whose name translates to Friendship, and our contact was the charming and feisty Min, who helped and translated as Chef Nga took us through each recipe, step by step. Here are the recipes. We can testify that all are tasty. Sorry for the mix of metric and US equivalent. I was writing as fast as I could.



Grilled Fish in Banana Leaf

T Tbsp Garlic

2 Tbsp Lemongrass

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp bullion, minced

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp canola oil

½ tsp pepper

1 Tbsp oyster sauce

3 spring onions

1 Tbsp ginger chopped from super thin slices

Slice garlic thin and mash with mortar and pestle. Slice lemongrass thin, then blend/mince together with garlic.

Mix together the garlic/lemongrass blend with the remaining ingredients above.

Place half the mixture on two layers of banana leaf. Lay the cleaned fish (about 400 grams for two) over the mixture, and then spoon the remaining mixture on top.

Wrap all tightly in the banana leaves, and let stand to marinate at least 10 minutes.

Bake on covered grill for 30 minutes.

Cooking Companions

Vietnamese Shrimp in Clay Pot

3/4 pound small shrimp, cleaned, with tail on

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp lemongrass

2 Tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp sugar

1 Tbsp oil

Mix together the above ingredients and combine with the shrimp – enough to cover the bottom of the clay pot.


½ Tbsp fish sauce

1/8 – ¼ tsp “Five Aromas” spice (a pinch or two is plenty)*

Bring all to boil on high fire, then turn fire to low, stirring. Cook until liquid releases and then slowly as liquid begins to reduce


3 spring onions, chopped.

¼ C very thinly sliced onion

Toss onions on top for last 3-5 minutes to finish.


Squid with Pork

Vietnamese Squid with Pork

200 grams pork

3-4 mushrooms (flat, Chantrelle? Portobello?)

1 tsp flour

Squid, cut in 3/8” rings

2 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp garlic and lemongrass mix, minced and then blended together

2 Tbsp soy sauce

Pinch of Five Aromas Powder*

½ tsp sugar



Slice pork and mushrooms very thin; mince together in blender. Fold in the teaspoon of flour. Spoon the pork mixture into the squid rings.

Heat pan over high heat. Add oil, and place stuffed squid rings gently into the pan. Cook until the liquid releases and garlic turns yellow, turning midway through.

When the Squid/Pork rings are almost done, add the garlic/lemongrass mix, soy sauce, Five Aromas, and sugar. Toss to finish.

Serve with cucumber and tomato garnish, spooning the liquid over each serving.


*Five Aromas Powder: (This might be available in your local Asian market. If not, Google Translate offers some help, but not much. “Bald, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, State Repatriation”)  Bald = Garlic, but I can’t say much about Repatriation.

Hói, Dinh Huong, Tháo Quá, Qué, and Tiéu Hói Huong


One Response to “Recipes from Cooking Class in Hoi An, Vietnam”

  1. This is a great article. This site is very helpful for the people who have interest in cooking and want to learn recipes of different types of cuisines. This site provides details of cooking class in Hoi An, Vietnam and recipes of different dishes such as grilled fish in banana leaf, vietnamese squid with pork.

    Posted by Cooking classes | May 29, 2012, 12:39 am

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