One of the things I have been anticipating the most on this trip is to take some cooking classes. Today was our first official lesson, at the Red Bridge Cooking School.

Our day started out with a tour of the market, which was nothing new, except that this time we were guided around by Chef Luna. For the tour we were put into groups of four. We met a very nice couple from Southampton England and had great conversation with them all day. Phil and Jane. It even turns out that her maiden name was Jane Miller, so what are the odds of that?

After the market tour we took a boat ride out to the restaurant and cooking school, and had another brief tour of their herb garden. We are getting lots of ideas for things to plant in our own garden next summer that we hope will grow in the Iowa summer.

Then its time for the real lessons to begin. We each get a clipboard with seven pages of recipes! Luna demonstrates how to make our first course. This is a rice flour pancake with shrimp and pork and green onion. When its done we wrap it up in some rice paper with herbs and salad. Then you make a quick dipping sauce to accompany the rolls. After the demonstration we are told to leave our recipes at our seats and to find a station. Now it is time to cook!

Here I am getting ready to make my pancake.

I'm really getting in a lot of healthy eating this trip. You just can't avoid adding in all of the delicious vegetables to your dishes, and I have to admit they really do taste good. Who knows, this could be the start of a whole new relationship with vegetables for me.

The pattern set in the first recipe was repeated several times. Our full menu includes:

  • Seafood Salad served in a Pineapple boat
  • Fresh rice paper rolls of shrimp. Yes we learned how to make our own rice paper!
  • Vietnamese Eggplan in clay pot. I can't believe I ate eggplant and actually liked it.
  • Steamed ocean fish on a bed of fresh vegetables.

It was so fun to make everything, and we can't wait to recreate this cooking school experience for our friends back home.


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