Vietnamese Cooking Contest

What could a school possibly organize for Women’s Day on a Friday, when there are so many rooms but no students? Sure, a cooking contest! Especially a Vietnamese school, as food is one huge part in Vietnamese daily life. I didn’t write down all the full recipes, few ingredients though and how they cooked it. But I definitely wanted to make a big post out of this for this site, because it gives you a real nice insight into what they cook for occasions like this, how they are simply talented when it comes to food and how they enjoy an event like this, with so many smiles and so much happiness and a great atmosphere. It is a piece of Vietnam, a little ordinary life story, and I am happy I attended this event and I am also happy you’re reading through this. If you haven’t stopped yet ;).

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The contests had at least 5 groups participating. Each subject formed a group, I wrote down the following:

1) chemistry teachers prepared fried chicken.

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2) Physics made art out of fruits and cooked huge snails. They made a boat out of the empty watermelon, and to get all the nice little fruit balls they used a spoon to make scoops of ice cream.


3) the literature group prepared a curry strong lemon grass and coconut milk curry to be eaten with baguette.

4) English teachers made Spaghetti ‘Bolognese’, containing a lot more Veggies than we are used to. Including aspargus, carrot, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, oily shallots. Seasoned only with some salt, and seasoning powder made of sugar canes.

5) and the politics concentrated on fried rice. In a frying pan they simply started frying shallots, the plain steamed rice, corn, peas, carrots and little pieces of ham! To be eaten with Soy Sauce!

Other groups prepared a wonderful fruit salade made with papaya and pig’s ears (yes), the famous nuoc mam (fish sauce) and chili powder and prawn crackers (check out in the pictures how they do them! small little compressed circles deep fried for 30 seconds, i had no idea.).

The most spectacular thing about all of this cooking was, I have to say, the presentation. It was so much fun to watch them cook, everything happened relaxed and without any pressure, equipment was kept as simple as possible and the final presentation was beautiful. Of course everything was commented by the host threw a microphone, accompanied by two judges: one testing the food and another one judging the look. Winner of the day were the physics, getting a lot of points for their fruit presentation, and the taste of their snails.

Doesn’t that look like so much work? I tell you, it’s all inborn skills, these people know how to use there hands, look at the pretty flowers they made out of the tomato peel! Freaking awesome. Clumsiness is not a Vietnamese thing.

Thanks to all my great colleagues for inviting me and also my friend Colombe to this event! You’re friendliness will not be forgotten.

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