Sunday, June 16, 2024

Making Fresh Rice Milk and Cooking Our Own Banh Xeo - Part of Hoi An Village Experience Cycling Day Tour

Some of my friends would join cooking classes when they are overseas; an activity lost on me since I don't see the point of learning how to cook foreign cuisines when I barely know how to whip up local, Singaporean dishes!

This tour package was different though, as the cooking was just a small subset that took place right before lunch. It's the other components like cycling, water buffalo riding that enticed me to sign up.

Making Fresh Rice Milk - one of the key ingredients for banh xeo (known sometimes as Vietnamese pancakes / crepes), we shall be extracting the milk from the above traditional stone grinder! 

Pour the rice in, put some water and then work your arms to move the heavy stone top, and scraping the sides, until the rice grains were ground into a milky form.

Texture would still be a little grainy after the first grind. Hence, it's pertinent to go through a second round for a finer texture. Well, I can easily get some rice in Singapore but there's no way I can fit in that stone grinder in my small apartment! 

Alex giving it a go. Despite my reservations, I think it's educational, especially for urbanites, to understand how things are being processed from raw ingredients. I am not a true urbanite as I used to live in a village where live slaughtering of animals weren't uncommon. 

Video of Hoang, our beloved tour guide, teaching us how to work the 
traditional stone grinder. p.s. I remember seeing that device in the village when I was young, although it's mainly the adults using it. 

Making Our Own Banh Xeo - all the ingredients and "tools" to make it easier, and simpler for the clueless foreigners.  One set for each of us!

Step by step instructions were provided by the "teacher". First, switch on the fire to heat the pan, and remove the lid. 

Pour in the oil and wait for it to be heated up before throwing in the small shrimps and pieces of pork. I don't know why but fire will engulf the pan, making it seemed like a fire disaster! 

The above was a picture I took from a neighbouring class! Imagine the shrieks and screams when it happens, every single time.

Next up, pour in the batter made up of fresh rice milk, egg, turmeric powder and spring onions, wait for the concoction to be half cooked before throwing in some beansprouts. 

Cover the pan with the lid.
I think have to wait for a minute?

Remove the lid and use the chopstick to fold it in half for that iconic, banh xeo, shape. Seriously not that hard to make.

Enough ingredients to make two banh xeo from the small pan provided. Maybe because it was made using my own hands; the taste was better than expected. Okay, maybe this cooking lesson wasn't in naught as I think I should be able to manage making my own banh xeo at home! And to be frank, it was fun learning how to make it! 

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