A Cooking Class is a Saigon Must.

Let’s be clear. I am no cook! I burn water and normally any dish that I even glance at will be destined for the dust bin. I am the kitchen Grinch.

It’s not actually that I don’t like cooking, it’s just that I’m bad at it. It’s a detail thing. I loathe details. Always have and always will. Recipes and I have never gotten on. Turns out replacing 300 grams with “that’ll do” doesn’t end well.

So when I learned that I was to take part in a cooking class in Saigon with some colleagues boy did I start sweating! And it had nothing to do with the oppressive mid-afternoon Vietnamese humidity!

Saigon Cooking Class. Could I actually do it?

We arrived at our cooking school an excited gaggle. Well not all of us! We climbed the stairs to our kitchen, come dining room and I scanned the room for the rubbish bin. I’ll be needed that soon I thought.

We then met our cooking pilot. I think he’s called ‘a chef’ or something. He was beaming a smile warmer than the temperature in our 2nd story kitchen. That won’t last long I hypothesised.

And then it began.

Saigon cooking school
Side view of a very, very patient man.

The menu.

We were going to be cooking

  • Beef Salad with Lemongrass
  • Sour Soup with Prawn
  • Vietnamese Pancake with Prawn and Shallot

Yeah right! I almost left right then. But this was a work activity so of course I didn’t.

However almost immediately, and under the expert tutelage of our instructor, I began to smile. I was having fun cooking. Ye gads, can this be possible I thought?

Sour soup with prawn ingredients
Ingredients for my Sour Soup and Prawn.

We just had to follow-along with the precise and patient direction of our private chef. Furthermore all the delicious ingredients were there right at our fingertips. We just had to slice and dice a little. It was incredibly enjoyable. Cooking and chatting. Chatting and cooking.

It was like a Vietnamese Ikea. Everything was included. We just had to put it together.

People cooking at Saigon Cooking Class
Plenty of concentration mid cook by my pals

The results.

As you will be able to see from my photos I was actually able to create food that was not just edible but divine. Me!

The meals were fresh, flavoursome and authentic. This Saigon cooking class delivered an oasis of calm and a melting pot of aromas and tastes. Outside Ho Chi Minh City is chaotic. But in here eating delectable food that you yourself have cooked quite the opposite.

Spicy sauces matched with quenching ice-cold beers matched with conversation over lunch with friends.

To me this was truly fine-dining!

Vietnamese Pancake cooking
Vietnamese Pancake under way
Vietnamese Beef Salad
Finished Beef Salad. Yummo!

 More Information.

If you are visiting Vietnam consider adding a cooking class to your itinerary. There are numerous schools through-out the country. The costs are low and the rewards outstanding even if you are a kitchen Luddite like me!

My experience was at the Saigon Cooking Class.

All photography copyright Thirty Summers. All rights reserved.


Travel is my passion and also my career. Iโ€™ve spent my entire working-life in the travel industry with roles as diverse as tour guide, travel agent and marketing manager for some of the worlds largest travel brands. My favourite city in the world to visit is NYC and France is my most beloved country to explore. I travel to learn and observe to understand always with camera in hand.

12 thoughts on “A Cooking Class is a Saigon Must.

  1. Vietnam was never originally on my bucket list. However a few friends have raved about its beauty. This, combined with your blog – has stirred in me a desire to see and experience this country now. The cooking class experience actually sealed it! I love the notion of learning to cook in the countries I’ve been to, be it casually or professionally. I wanted to do this whilst in Thailand but it was booked out the times we could’ve attended.


    1. Hi Katrina. Friends are ‘normally’ right aren’t they ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is a truly special place and now that I’m not cooking anywhere near the country an incredible place for cuisine too! Hope you do visit!


  2. This looks like so much fun. I love Vietnamese food (all Asian food actually) but I’ve never been very confident in cooking it. I usually leave that to the hubby who makes a really mean Thai chicken green curry!
    Years ago I had some Italian cooking classes in Tuscany when I was in Italy which was an amazing experience and reignited my love of cooking. Vietnam’s long been on my bucket list of places to visit. If I make it over there I’ll definitely consider a cooking class. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We did a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai as a family activity. It wouldn’t have been my first pick, but my sister was keen and I went along with it. We had a great time, and eating the results was delicious. I have to say though, I never once attempted any of the dishes on my return!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was only in Vietnam for 4 days and didn’t manage to fit in a cooking class though I wish I had. I love lemongrass anything!

    This post would make a great addition to Our Growing Edge, a monthly blog link up just for new food adventures. Itโ€™s a fun way to share your new food experiences with other foodies. This monthโ€™s theme is TRAVEL which includes any recipe or food experience inspired by travel or another place.

    More info including how to submit your link here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Genie. Love that your rabbit gets mentioned before your husband on your bio. You and my wife would get on ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the link. Not really much of a food blogger me. But thank you very much for the heads up. Hopefully other folks can check it out via your comment too. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

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