May class of the month: you’ll love this Pho Sure!

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

Eureka, we’ve done it! We’ve been dreaming of a Vietnamese class, but couldn’t quite work out how to teach a super-flavorful pho in 3 hours time. We’ve nailed it! And (psst, did you know?) there is so much more deliciousness in Vietnamese cuisine in addition to pho. If you’ve never tried a Vietnamese crepe (banh xeo), your life is not yet complete. A kick-arse bun at home is faster (and tastier) than driving to your favorite restaurant. We’ll see you pho sure in this fun & flavorful class — don’t miss it!

Pho Sure!
Fish sauce & bourbon cocktail
Shrimp bahn xeo
Seared lemongrass beef bun with nuoc mam
Hearty chicken pho
Vietnamese iced-coffee mousse

The herbs are waiting for you! What I personally love about Vietnamese food is how fresh everything tastes with the abundance of bright green. Herbs like Thai basil, mint, cilantro, shiso all pack a punch — perfect to pair with the vibrancy of Vietnamese cuisine. A squeeze of lime, a crunch of cucumber or bean sprouts, a sprinkle of fresh chile will take it over the top.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

We start the class with a Fish sauce & bourbon cocktail. Yes, you read that right! At Hipcooks, we’re famous for turning the Fish Sauce Suspicious into Fish Sauce freaks. It’s so umami! Here, we turn even the most skeptical into fans by speaking your language: putting it into a cocktail. Think about the classic margarita. Now, sub the tequila for bourbon. Sub the simple for a spicy simple (in this case, with lemongrass and chile). You still with me? Now, sub the salt for fish sauce. Not such a stretch, is it? If you still have doubts, come to class and be transformed.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

The food opener: Bahn Xeo
The French introduced crêpes. The Vietnamese answered with their own spectacular version. Using rice flour and turmeric to color, these super-thin pancakes are cooked to crispy-edged perfection. Roll them in a salad leaf, in a rice-paper wrap, or over a salad.

 

Where have you bun all my life? If you never have tried bun, here’s the best ever: the one you make at Hipcooks! And then, of course, the one you make the day after class, and the day after that, and the day after that. Mix your cold noodles with your favorite amounts of veggies, herbs, meat and dress with nuoc mam, for the perfect balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

You come to class for the Pho. So here it is! This rich broth will not disappoint.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks
Everyone loves a Vietnamese iced coffee, but perhaps a strong coffee drink at the end of a meal might be too much for light sleepers. Here’s a quick version that we make with decaf coffee and lighten with cream to create a delicate and delicious dessert version of the decadent drink.
All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

 

A recipe for you: Nuoc mam

No Vietnamese feast would be complete without nuoc mam — the spicy, salty, sweet and sour sauce gets served with nearly everything. Make a big batch of it (doubling or tripling the recipe) and you’ll begin to do the same. Nuoc mam with your morning scrambled eggs? Yes, please!

The traditional way to make the nouc mam is using a mortar and pestle (as the recipe specifies). If you have a lot to make (like we do in class), you can cheat with a food processor or a blender using a pulse function.

makes about 2 cups

6 tablespoons sugar
½ cup hot water
20 garlic cloves
10-20 Thai chilies, destemmed
juice of 6 lime
1 cup fish sauce

 

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water.

Using a large mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chilies to a smooth paste. (You can give them a rough chop first to make this process faster.) Transfer to a bowl or small pitcher and add the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust for balance.

Because of the salty fish sauce, nouc mam should keep in the fridge for over a week.


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