Vietnamese Cooking Classes
Does anyone know where one can take a vietnamese cooking class in Montreal? i just love vietnamese food so much and would love to be able to cook at home. Actually, would anyone be willing to teach me how to make vietnamese food?
The Home Cooking Board Cookbook of the Month did a couple of Vietnamese cookbooks in September. Here is a link to the main thread, with other links to specific chapters. I bought the Pham book, which I think is an excellent cookbook to introduce you to Vietnamese cooking. the instructions are clear, and the info on ingredients is excellent. I don't know how your French is, but if it isn't great, the courses might not be as useful for you.
The key is finding good ingredients and it is getting easier to do so in Montreal. FOr your best chance for one stop shopping, I recommend going to Kim Phat, either the one on Jarry or the new one in Brossard. The selection of ingredients and herbs is excellent at Kim Phat, and you'll be able to find all your ingredients in one place. I found it helpful to bring my book with me to the store. Marche Hawaii's selection has improved immensely in the last year, and you can probably get most of your ingredients there too. Kim Hour on Van Horne near Victoria also has a good selection if that is closer to you, but not as extensive as Kim Phat. You could probably get almost everything there too.
We are quite lucky, we have access to a lot of Vietnamese ingredients due to the large population of Vietnamese people we have here in Montreal. What I really like about this cuisine is the clean, light flavours. The recipes are simple, yet the flavours are complex and satisfying. This cuisine really is about quality ingredients, so it is worth searching out good quality herbs and vegetables. The herbs are key, and I have seem most if not all the herbs used in this cookbook at the above stores.
A couple of years ago when we got back from our last trip to Vietnam, I picked up "Vietnamese Food & Cooking" by Ghillie Basan at Indigo. I can say without reservation, this is THE best book of Vietnamese (and Cambodian) recipes I've ever used. Every single thing we make gets a post-it with 5 stars. Every time. This was a completely serendipitous find, as our cookbook shelves are already overflowing with SE Asian cookbooks, but this is the go-to book every time.