Sizzle, squirt, burrrrn!
How’s that for some kitchen action? On Dec 1, I was cooking in a VNese kitchen! After realizing that my culinary skills are all Western and in great need of the oh so wonderful toaster oven (which is still one of my very best friends), I decided that my Asian flavour skills needed some improvement….well, actually, one of my colleagues was semi-incredulous at my lack of frying/seasoning/quick meal-making talents and pulled out the guilt factor: well, a gal’s got to know how to cook if she wants to get married. I can cook but just not like the ladies in VN.
Relaying this story to another colleague resulted in an offer to get down to frying business in her kitchen. How could I refuse? I do really want to learn how to cook VNese dishes and this was the perfect opportunity.
PROBLEM: We must start at 9am on Saturday which means no sleeping in…on the only day that I can…boo!
PERKS: Market shopping with a local means I learn how to pick good shrimp, veggies, and meat (and not freak out at the meat juice flying everywhere).
Normally, I don’t buy meat in the market because I am scared, but with a guide, everything’s better and so I saw how to bargain and choose tasty cuts w/o getting dirty or pushed around or swindled.
MORE PERKS: I got to drive her her kids to school and they are cute, cute, cute. It was the first time that I actually had VN children on the back of my bike so I had to be very careful but it was totally fun. And children speak such rapid VNese that I just have to concentrate and still, I can’t understand it all.
the menu: canh which is broth-based soup (I’m going to put accents on all these words once I get the software!)
ca va thit kho = braised/stewed fish and pork
thit bo xau ca va thom = fried beef w/tomatoes and pineapple
We were supposed to complete all this in half an hour but with the normal distractions of a Vnese neighbourhood (construction, dog chasing, I bought a back scratcher), we were done in about an hour. Then we had lunch with the kids.
So fun and so easy too….I can definitely replicate these meals at home for my roommate to decide whether the cuisine tastes VNese or not….in any case, a totally great couple of hours learning smthg useful! Yah for VN cooking class and I hope that I can keep it up.