And so last Saturday, I got my mum around and we did one with eight people in my kitchen. Six of them have already been to the supper club and so it was lovely to meet them again as if we were a bunch of girls getting together for a fun Saturday afternoon.
We had hot sake, cava, tea and a Pandan and Yellow Bean sweet snack ready for everyone who braved the cold to come all the way to my place in London Fields from all sides of London. I was so nervous. The first time I did something similar with the chef, (I was really thrown into the deep end then), but this was the first time I had people booking in for classes.
I couldn’t sleep the entire night, worrying… and making sure things were in order. But it all went really well, and I didn’t really have much to worry about because my mum was there and she is the master of the Vietnamese food. My mum is a real foodie, she is a real cook who pours all her love into everything she prepares because she always cooks for people she loves.
When everybody arrived at 1pm ish, we started with the basic ingredients you should have in your Vietnamese section of your larder, like the right fish sauce to buy, and essential items so that you can always throw something together.
I had to give a small introduction to Vietnamese cuisine and its principle philosophy of eating well and healthy but in the kitchen, its all about getting the right balance of sweet, sour and salty and then balancing hot and cold foods.
We had to start on the Beef Pho because that takes the longest time to cook, preparing the meat and the stock and then we also marinaded the crispy pork belly with five spice and char sui powder and baked it in the oven.
Meanwhile, we all got out coats and wellies on and went to the Vietnamese supermarkets around the corner from here where anyone can ask me questions about what things are and what to buy. This was really fun and useful to introduce people to the right brands and make them all feel less intimidated by all the things that the shop has to offer: which coconut milk to buy, what the different herbs are for, what is in the freezer etc.
Then we went back we started to roll up our sleeves and cook. As we finished one dish, we ate it…
We made and then ate the following:
-Spring Rolls with a Garlic, Chilli Sweet & Sour Sauce -Papaya & Carrot Salad with Chicken, Hot Mint & Corriander
-Summer Rolls with Vermicelli, Prawns & Pork Belly with Hoisin & Nutella Sauce
-Banh Cuon with Barbequed Pork Belly, Pickled Shallots & Dried Shallots with Sweet Soy Sauce & Spring Onions
-Lemongrass, Peanut, Chilli & Garlic Beef in La Lot Roll with Sweet Peanut Sauce -Beef Pho
-Banh Xeo With Pork, Prawns & Beanspouts in a Sweet & Sour Chilli Fish Sauce
The atmosphere was great, everyone was chatting to each other, everyone was taking notes and pictures and got into it.
At the end, I had eight little pot bellies sat around the table chatting over some wine and Green & Blacks chocolate – (amazingly we could still fit in chocolate! Haha – still got to get through the 12kg box). It was a big foodie feast!
Then everybody got a goodie bag of everything we cooked that was left over to take home for tomorrow’s breakfast or for hungry husbands. I always love how we think of our loved ones when we eat something we really like and where possible, we can take it back to them.
Really looking forward to the next ones in the new year. It was so great to spend time with everyone, eating and cooking and sharing knowledge.
SWEET SOUR SALT By Leluu
I have been writing a recipe book for the classes, so that everyone can go home and start cooking some typical Vietnamese dishes for people they love. I am printing it myself on Blurb.com. It will be ready before Christmas. If you would like me to order one for gifts or for yourself, please email email@example.com before 10th December 2010. After that, it will arrive in January 2011.
If you would like to attend one of my classes, please also get in touch at the email address above.
My lovely thank you notes:
@giginav29 Had amaze day @loveLELUU cooking class, she’s a star! X
@libbielush @fernandeznleluu Uyen what a fantastic cooking class. Enjoyed everything and thanks to your mum xx
@iloria Loved my cookery class @loveLELUU yesterday 🙂 Still feeling so full today….
Alessandra “Uyen, thank you so much again, I had a fantastic time at your cookery class yesterday, such a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening! You and your mum were great teachers, and the food was just sooo good, I can’t believe how much we all ate! Still managed to have some of the leftovers for lunch today thoug…h! Looking forward to other sessions with more recipes! see you soon”
Lynn “Hi Uyen, I might have to take another class cos I really enjoyed last night! Warm atmosphere and good company. Learnt a lot about healthy Vietnamese food. My husband wolfed down the food I took home after he said he had his dinner already. Gonna try the recipes out for friends next weekend. Got to get that fish sauce now. Thank u so much and your mum too. See u soon”
Raz “I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful afternoon. I could not have asked for a better set of teachers than you and your mom, and the amazing attention to detail both of you paid us.
From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, you took care of and made this an afternoon of fun and learning. I met some great girls with a similar passion for good food who I would love to keep in touch with them. I am also very grateful to you and your mum for doing a great amount of prep before we arrived and showing us all the ‘right’ ingredients to get, which made the cooking class a lot easier, much more fun and manageable…and which left us with a good amount of time to do the most important part…sample all of the yummy food that we had just prepared. 🙂
I would highly recommend this class to anyone looking for a good Vietnamese cooking class in London, and am most certainly returning in January for another one myself, so please do hold my spot for Jan 8. I can’t wait to come back! Best wishes to you and your mum”
Meggie “Thanks so much for a LEGENDARY cooking course! It was amazing!! I ate the leftovers today with a friend for lunch, delish!! Learnt a lot and had such a blast, thank you”
“Dear Uyen and all the ladies from Saturday’s class, Thank you for a gorgeous afternoon of food, fun, wine and wisdom. It’s inspiring to meet intelligent, passionate women from all cultures brought together by a love of cooking and eating! Hope to see you all again soon. Daniela x”