Hoi An’s Best Cooking Class

Vietnamese food ranks number one on our list of best foods we’ve eaten on our year + journey through Asia and we couldn’t wait to find a cooking class! That said, picking a class is often tougher than you’d expect. As tourism has flourished in SE Asia, so too have the numbers of restaurants, small eateries, and you guessed it… cooking classes!

Delicious do-it-yourself vietnamese pork spring rolls over lemongrass

With so many options (even with the help of Trip Advisor) it can be overwhelming to try and make the right choice. But don’t worry, you don’t have to look any further. We’ve got you covered! You’re about to cook with leaping flames, the best ingredients, and have a little “extra spice” in your culinary adventure.

What Cooking Class Should I Take In Hoi An?

If you’re searching for the answer to this question you’re in the right place. So, strap in because we’re about to inspire you to take an AMAZING cooking class with Hoi An Eco Cooking Class.

Travel Couple Cooking Banh Xeo At A Cooking Class in Hoi An Vietnam

For starters, this spot does half day courses (8:30am-1:30pm) for $32/person. They offer hotel pick up, a stop at the local market, the opportunity to make 7 different dishes, and a fantastic ride in a Thuyen Thung — a traditional Vietnamese bamboo fishing boat shaped like a basket. We loved this class because of a few different things:

  • The incredibly fun, helpful, and informative family that runs the classes.
  • The market tour is the perfect blend of picking up ingredients and learning about the culture and customs of each one.
  • The open-air pavilion and beautiful scenery where you’ll cook alongside new friends.
  • The breadth of dishes you’ll make (and how delicious they are!).
  • Racing down the small canal in the traditional boats (the “extra spice” in this class). Plus fishing for small crabs.
  • And playing with fire – you’ll cook with some enormous flames!

Woman selling crab and other seafood at a local market in Hoi An Vietnam

After meandering the marketplace and learning all about the delightful ingredients we were about to cook with, we arrived at the kitchen where we were greeted by a beautiful open-air pavilion and some lovely tea.

Shortly after getting settled, we climbed into Vietnamese fishing boats and set off down the canals, donning traditional conical hats, in search of tiny crabs to catch and release. Catching crabs on a makeshift fishing pole was quite fun but nothing compared to the laughter I experienced a few minutes later.

Travel Couple in traditional Vietnamese fishing boat searching for crabs amongst palm fronds on the river
Fishing For Crabs Along The Shore

All of a sudden, TJ and our boat captain rowed us down the waterways lined with palms at as fast as they could yelling “Faster, Faster” as we raced our fellow classmates. I was laughing so hard my eyes streamed with tears and my abs felt like they were on fire.

Travel and adventure couple racing a traditional Vietnamese basket fishing boat down a small river before in lifejackets cooking class

It was such fun to learn about the boats and the tradition of fishing in Vietnam; meet local fishermen; and have a wonderful icebreaker with our fellow classmates. This certainly was some extra “spice” – even before the cooking began! Upon our return to harbor, we set out to cook a myriad of delightful dishes.

Vietnamese fisherman casting his net on the river by spinning in a circle and launching it in the air

Check Out The Vietnamese Delicacies You’ll Cook

  • Sweet & Sour Fish Sauce – Try your hand at making Vietnam’s traditional dipping sauce. You’ll find it in almost every restaurant across the country and it packs a punch with flavor and spice – if you want it to!
  • Round Rice Paper – Instead of simply making spring rolls in pre-made rice paper you’ll have the opportunity to make your own papers in the traditional way. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it looks!

Traditional method of making rice paper with fabric stretched over pot of boiling water

  • Goi Cuon – Once you’ve completed your Rice Paper get ready to make a delightful snack filled with herbs, veggies, and some meat if you like.
  • Grilled Eggplant – Tie your hair back and get ready for an adventure. This eggplant dish comes with a flaming tomato sauce that’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you cook it.

Couple cooking with leaping flames so high they obscure their face at a cooking class in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Pho Bo – A breakfast staple in Vietnam, this popular beef noodle soup dish was a blast to make and oh so yummy.
  • Nom Hoa Chuoi – Banana Flower Salad – Salads in the US typically include greens of some sort, but this one is different. Instead, its base is banana flower (yum!) and it’s paired with: carrot, mango, cucumber, grilled pork/shrimp, and delicious herbs.
  • Banh Xeo – You’ll know this is Alli’s favorite if you’ve checked out our list of Must Try Foods in SE Asia. This savory moon crepe, that sizzles when it touches the pan, is full of pork and bean sprouts and is perfect dipped in your homemade sweet & sour fish sauce!

We had a wonderful time learning about Vietnamese cuisine and trying our hand at cooking these delightful dishes. We can’t wait to cook for friends and family with our new cookbook when we return home!

5 dishes prepared after completing the cooking class, banana flower salad, grilled eggplant with flaming tomato sauce, pho bo, banh xeo, and fish sauce
We’d Already Eaten The Spring Rolls! Yum 🙂

If your mouth is watering too much to wait for our return, try making something on your own 🙂 Huy, from https://www.hungryhuy.com has some delightful dishes to get you going.

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3 thoughts on “Hoi An’s Best Cooking Class

    1. We had such a blast! The trick is keeping yourself from spinning around in circles as you paddle haha


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