Elisse Jo Goldstein’s most memorable food experience (and recipe) is from Vietnam…
“My husband and I recently took excellent cooking classes at both the Vietnam Cooking School in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An. We shopped at the local markets and farms, and then learned how to make a number of dishes, including tiny and delicate Vietnamese spring rolls, steamed rice-flour crepes and clay pot fish… but I also asked our chef-instructor in Hoi An for the recipe for the amazing “chili salt” served to us at the Dakbla restaurant in Kon Tum that I’d fallen in LOVE with – and he gave it to us! This condiment makes Anything wonderful!
Vietnamese Chili-Lemongrass Dipping Salt
Finely chop fresh lemongrass, dried hot (Thai) chilli peppers and shallots.
Saute the shallots in a bit of vegetable oil until toasted and light brown; set aside.
Saute the chopped chilli and lemongrass in the remaining oil, then put them in a mortar and pestle, and mash into a paste.
Mix the lemongrass-chili paste and the shallots with Kosher salt or large-flake sea-salt; the salt will turn reddish from the chilli and chilli oil, and be very pretty! Serve as a “dipping salt”.
I can eat this with nothing more than a bowl of rice and be very happy!”
Tour Vietnam with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Food Lovers Vietnam – 15 days Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
Flavours of Hanoi – 4 days
Vietnam Explorer – 22 days Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi