Monday, December 13, 2010

The Market

Howdy, and sorry for the hiatus! I came back from a trip to Vietnam and Hong Kong last week, and wanted to share photos of the Dong Xuan market in Hanoi. I took a Vietnamese cooking class with the chef of the Blue Butterfly restaurant, and the class started with a trip to the market, a feast of produce, some of which I'd never seen before.

 The large orange-red fruit in the front of the photo above, I were told, is called dog fruit (it has a bright red flesh interior with huge edible seeds) though, after I got home to research dog fruit, I must've heard the name wrong, because I can't find anything about it...

Our chef/teacher, Viet, bought rice paper rolls and green papaya at the market.
The class was fun - my hubby and I were the only students. We made green papaya salad w/ shredded dried beef (basically like spicy jerky, only more delicious), fried pork spring rolls, and stir-fried chicken w/ veggies.

Chef Viet, demonstrating mad knife skills

I also learned how to carve fancy vegetable garnishes, like a flower carrot (fairly easy) and a tomato rose (much more challenging and I mauled two poor tomotoes). I managed to not slice a finger off, so that was a bonus.

And the finished products - my fave was the green papaya salad, which I'd love to make as part of Christmas dinner this year, with the hope that I can find green papaya somewhere (it's simply unripe papaya).

Green papaya salad