Behind every beautiful dish served in Hoi An is a wealth of wonderful stories. Communities of growers, hardworking vendors, dedicated cooks, and many other people are part of Quang Nam’s amazing food culture. Hoi An’s half-day cooking tours will give you a taste of the delicious world of local cooking, as well as insight into the places and stories that make it unique. Here are three recommended cooking classes to try in Hoi An.

Best for families and health enthusiasts: Caman Village

If you love gardens and growing, you will love the cooking class at Caman Village. Here’s a chance to see, touch, smell and taste the many plants that grow in Hoi An’s tropical climate and fertile soil. More than 50 plants, including jasmine, butterfly pea, peppermint, pandan, chili, turmeric, starfruit, and kumquat grow in the organic garden at Caman Village.

Read more: Hoi An’s gorgeous vegetable and herb gardens

The cooking class begins with herbal tea and a walk around the garden to harvest leafy produce to cook. Mrs. Hang, a nutritionist and organic farmer, will share information about the health benefits and uses of each plant. Pick and pluck countless varieties of herbs, edible flowers, fruits and vegetables, straight from the ground or the stem.

When your basket is full, a local chef will guide you through the cooking class. Cooks of all ages will enjoy steaming rice noodles over a wood fire, listening for the sizzle of banh xeo in the pan, and dicing garlic and chili for dipping sauces. When your dishes are ready, sit down to sample them along with other local dishes in a hearty lunch.

TIP: Caman Village offers aprons and chef hats, sheets for taking notes, and cute class certificates for every person in the cooking class.

Best for amateur chefs and foodies: Red Bridge

Considered one of the top cooking schools in Hoi An, the half-day class from Red Bridge begins with a tour of the historic Hoi An Market. Check out the outdoor stalls selling raw cinnamon and coconut, poke around the bustling fish and vegetable vendors, and learn about Vietnamese cooking utensils in the dry goods section.

From the market, hop aboard a wooden boat for a scenic ride on the Thu Bon River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. You’ll have time for a walk through the on-site gardens to sniff and smell the many herbs used in Vietnamese dishes. When it’s time to cook, an expert chef will demonstrate the steps for each dish for you to copy at your station.

The class at Red Bridge will show you how to prepare classic dipping sauces, fresh rice noodles, and local specialties such as Mi Quang. The steps are easy to follow, and printed menus make it easy to get the measurements right. Afterward, you’ll have a chance to taste your dishes in the school’s beautiful garden restaurant.

TIP: Red Bridge offers half-day, full-day, and evening cooking classes for travelers who want a deeper understanding of Vietnamese cuisine.

Best for eco-conscious cooks and nature lovers: EMIC Travel

If you’re interested to see how food is grown and sold in Hoi An, this cooking class from eco-friendly tour operator EMIC Travel will take you into the countryside for an authentic experience of Hoi An’s food culture. The experience begins at Cho Cam Chau, a colorful rural market with a wide variety of fresh produce from nearby farms.

Explore the market to see buckets of fresh fish, fruits of all sizes and colors, bushels of just-cuts herbs, and many fascinating local ingredients. An electric buggy will bring you to Thanh Dong Organic Farm, where one of the farmers will explain its eco-friendly growing practices, and help you pick a few ingredients from the vegetable plots.

After the farm, take a basket boat ride on a quiet canal, past nipa palms and families of ducks, to The Field Restaurant. Here, you’ll learn to cook simple Vietnamese dishes in an outdoor setting surrounded by organic rice fields. Peel, chop, and fry under the guidance of a local chef, then enjoy your cooking along with the lovely views.

Read more: An authentic DIY food tour of Hoi An

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