Vietnamese food embodies everything that I love about eating. It is all about layering: temperatures, flavors, textures, food groups. It is complex, nuanced. It is very interactive. It involves loads of fresh herbs and many different sauces. You get to prepare each bite just so – it’s like playing with your food for grown ups. I love that.
So, today I took a cooking class. Hoa Tuc is a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant housed in an old opium refinery in the heart of Saigon. On the menu for our class: Canh chua tom/ Sour prawn soup, Mi xao don/ Crispy noodles with calamari and vegetable, Banh Xeo/ Vietnamese pancake (my favorite Vietnamese dish), and Passionfruit custard. YUM!
Incidentally, this was the first time I ever used a wok. I remember that my mother got a wok at some point when I was a child (as a gift, perhaps?). It sat in its box in our pantry, unused, for as long as I can remember. As I discovered today, it is heavier than I imagined, but not nearly as scary.