Because it wouldn’t be fair to describe such amazing food and then not offer at least a sample, I’m sharing with you a Seafood Salad with Vietnamese Herbs recipe as per our cooking lessons at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An. (If you are visiting Vietnam Hoi An must be on your itinerary, its charming little town. The Red Bridge Cooking is a slick, professionally run cooking school on the banks of the Hoi An river. A must visit for any foodie!)
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of thinly sliced shallots
100 grams of shrimp (shelled and deveined) and thinly sliced squid
1 teaspoon of thinly sliced ginger
½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of grated papaya (it should be green still), green mango, lotus roots (use can use bean sprouts as a substitute) carrots, cucumber and onion
2 sliced red chili
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 limes or 1 lemon
1 cup of mint
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of peanuts
Add vegetable oil to the wok and stir in shallots until they are lightly brown. Next add the shrimp and cook for another minute. Add in the squid and the ginger and cook for another 3- 4 minutes. Once completed add in the black pepper.
Mixed the cooked ingredients with your salad ingredients, except for the mint and sesame seeds. Squeeze the lime/lemon juice over the salad.
Once you are ready to serve the salad, add in the mint, sesame seeds and peanuts.
And there you have it, a taste of Vietnam.
Words Melissa Govender | Images courtesy of Red Bridge Restaurant & Cooking School