Hopefully they’ll remind you of a super trip (or part of a super trip for you) that involved some YUM foodage.

Note: Red Bridge is the cookery class we didn’t quite make it to – although think we went to the restaurant.

1. Vietnamese Eggplant in Claypot

Serves 4

Cooking Dressing (Mixture)

Modern Method

Add 2 cups of water to the clay pot, add the crushed lemongrass and 1 teaspoon of salt (this removes the bitterness from the clay pot), and bring to a boil. Add the eggplant and continue boiling for 3 more minutes. Drain all the water from the pot, then add the cooking mixture and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until tender.

* The tradional method uses a lot of oil, so if you have low cholesterol, give it a try as well.

Traditional Method

In a wok, deep-fry the eggplant in vegetable oil for 3 minutes. Drain well, and then add to the cooking dressing, and bring to a boil Continue boiling for 3 more minutes, removing the oil on top as you go.

Tip: Serve hot with steamed rice.

2. Perfect Summer Rolls

Makes 8


For the dipping sauce:


Put the pork belly in a pan and cover with water. Add 1 tbsp salt and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool, then slice thinly.

Bring a small pan of water, with the lemongrass and 1 tbsp salt added, to the boil. Add the prawns, turn down the heat and poach for two minutes until pink. Drain and cut in half.

Put the noodles in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Add ½ tsp salt, leave for about four minutes until al dente, then rinse well in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Set out all the ingredients within easy reach of a clean, dry chopping board. Half fill a bowl big enough to fit the wrappers in with cold water, and then dunk one in and keep patting until it’s pliable, but not completely soft. Lay flat on the chopping board.

Arrange two crossed chives, if using, horizontally towards the bottom edge of the wrapper. Top with four prawn halves in a horizontal line, and top these with a line of herb leaves. Add a pinch of carrot and a few cucumber sticks, some of the sliced pork, then a small clump of rice vermicelli. Finish with some shredded lettuce and a line of crushed peanuts.

Bring the bottom edge of the wrapper tightly up over the filling, and then fold the sides in over it. Continue to roll up tightly and place on a plate, join-side down. Cover rolls with lettuce leaves to keep them fresh.

Once all the rolls are made, make the sauce. Whisk the sugar into the lime juice to dissolve, then add the remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste if necessary.