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Vietnam (Day 7) Hoi An: My Grandma's Home Cooking

Welcome to the Chic Family Journeys Cooking Show! Hahahaha - just kidding. Today was another day of special moments and life memories made as we experienced a wonderful day in the countryside with a unique tour dedicated to the art of Vietnamese cooking. 

We walked to the nearby main office for our 7:45am meet time.  Nobody else had booked, so we were informed that we would have a private tour! We began our morning with a 5-minute boat ride across the river to a local market for our 1-hour market tour to purchase and learn about our ingredients as well as all of Vietnam's exotic fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices. 

In Vietnam, motorbikes rule the sidewalks.

This happy lady with her teeny tiny river clams warmed our hearts. Raise your hand if you think we tried some. WELL OF COURSE WE DID!! My favorite thing to do when traveling is sampling foods from the local market. Do you have a favorite market memory from your travels? Keep reading to find out what we thought of the river clams.

Heading back to the boat, we found ourselves stopped by this kitchen vendor. Our guide assisted us as we bought EVERY single one of her clever gadgets for cutting veggies into cute shapes. For some reason, we also purchased a back scratcher and a single-cup drip coffee filter.

Then, we reboarded our boat for a 35-minute ride to an island where we made a short walk to a private residence to begin our day of cooking. 

Fishing nets dot the riverside landscape

Feet on land, our ride pulling away.

Shrimp farm

We have arrived!

We learned all about the harvesting and preparation of rice and tried our hand at the old tools that are today advanced with automation. The grandma of My Grandma's Home Cooking even came to meet us and show us some techniques.

It was great fun making fresh rice paper. Each of us took a turn. We could quite easily open our own rice-paper business with these skills. Hahahahaha. Maybe some more practice first. Like LOTS more.

Finally, it was game time!! We nearly tripped over each other in with excitement after getting the go-ahead to our own cooking stations. Everything was set-up perfectly, including beer for the parents!  We made 4 dishes: Grilled Pork (Thịt Nướng), Papaya Salad (Gọi Du Du), Rice Pancake (Banh Xeo), and Fish Claypot (Ca Kho To). We took a vote and our favorite was the grilled pork, which we ate wrapped in rice paper with fresh herbs.

Fanning the flames to char the pork.

Hard work pays off!

Remember the teeny tiny river clams from the market? Here, we got to try them in a salad and eaten on a crisp. They were delicious!!

River clams in salad

Try some river clams? So tiny, you can barely see them.

Papaya salad

Banh Xeo

Caitlin and Molly want to teach the dishes when we get home. Will you want to take their class? Our return boat ride was delayed due to engine problems, so our hosts put out hammocks for us to siesta. This setting was so very peaceful and calming to our full bellies. 

After we returned back to the mainland, we were gifted with a recipe book of all the dishes we cooked today. What a real treat of a day in Hoi An, Vietnam! 

Molly remains in Hoi An with her own business!
There are lots of market tours and cooking classes available in Hoi An, but we really made the best pick with My Grandma's Home Cooking. Such a special experience to do this outside in the countryside.  The location can't be beat! I liked that it wasn't a restaurant. The local character and personal touch of the entire adventure is what we will remember. 

I pre-booked this tour online at their website  It was $136 total (2 adults, 2 kids) with the optional add-on morning market tour.  Cash-only and paid at the meeting point, which was super easy to find using Google maps.

Up Next: Hoi An Heaven & Earth Bike Tour


  1. What an amazing cooking adventure. My husband would love this!!

    1. It was a very special experience! From now on, I'm going to find a cooking class on every trip :)