Vietnam is renowned for its fresh, flavoursome cuisine. Pho, noodle salads, and rice paper rolls are a few dishes you may have tasted before. But have you ever tried cooking them yourself? Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An, Vietnam invites guests to learn the local techniques in a lush jungle setting.

Even if you don’t have the opportunity to visit Hoi An, try cooking a traditional Vietnamese meal this holiday season. It might be a chance to discover a new favourite dish, such as banh xeo, Vietnamese stye crepes, or nuoc mam, fish sauce. Read below on how to make fresh rice paper rolls with delicious shrimp or tofu filling.

Fresh Rice Paper

  • 1 cup white rice (not Basmati)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 kebab stick
  • Water
1. Soak the rice in fresh water for 7 hours. Rinse the rice at least three times, draining the water each time.
2. Mix 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water, add pinch of salt. Place in a blender and blend for 7 minutes. Let stand for one hour.
3. Cover a pot of boiling water with a sheet of thin white cotton and secure it using elastic. Using a ladle (about 2 tablespoons), scoop rice batter and pour onto cotton. Use the bottom of the spoon to move the batter around to form a circle. Steam the batter for one minute and use the kebab stick to lift the rice paper from the cotton. When removing the rice paper from the pot, flight the paper over, so the top “dry side” of the rice paper is facing down.
Vietnamese spring rolls
Vietnamese dish

Wok Mixture

  • 100 grams of shrimp or tofu
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • Sugar and salt to taste

Filling Mixture

  • 1/2 cup grated green papaya or mango
  • 1/2 cup of grated cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of grated carrot
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 pinch of sugar and salt
  • Chopped fresh herbs- coriander, mint, and basil

1. Pour vegetable oil into wok, turn the heat to medium. Add the shrimp or tofu, one pinch of salt and sugar, and cook through.
2. Put cooked tofu or shrimp into bowl with the filling mixture. Stir and let sit while you prepare rice paper.
3. To roll, place filling mixture towards end of rice paper. Roll up the paper–taking care to tuck the edges of the paper as you roll.
4. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs and enjoy with soy sauce!

Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for next year to see the latest adventures, or our Vietnam destination pages for Vietnam cycles and treks.