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 Personal Chef • Food Consultant



World Cuisine Stories


I have to confess: I love to travel. Always did. As I was still living in Europe, working as a journalist, no distance was too small or too far for my passion. Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Mali, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, Japan, India, Italy (it was "just around the corner" from Munich where I lived at the time), you name it, I was there.

This year, I went to Vietnam. And as usual I signed up for a cooking class. Is it not one of the best ways to discover a new culture? What a pleasure to stroll at the open markets, inspect carefully fruit and vegetables you have never seen in your life, sniff herbs, condiments and spices, learn how to prepare daily meals with somebody who shares the same passion for good, home-cooked food.

My cooking class in Hoi An in Central Vietnam was just delightful. Trinh Diem Vy, owner of the Morning Glory Restaurant and Cooking School, is a true professional. Everything was perfect: the organization, the location, the menu...  I prepared, cooked (with the help of a talented young Vietnamese chef) and inhaled (it was lunch time) the food I made with gusto and curiosity. It was flavorful, light and so easy to prepare. Cabbage leaf parcels with shrimp mousse in broth (yum!), rice paper rolls with pork and shrimp and sweet sour sauce, green mango salad with fresh herbs and BBQ chicken and lime leaf, a simple marinated chicken dish I would like to share with you. Perfect for the summer. The dish is better marinated one day in advance.


BBQ Chicken and Lime Leaf

Serves 4 as a main dish

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1/3 cup lemongrass, pounded

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Five Spices

4 lime leaves, sliced finely or 1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons garlic, pounded

2 tablespoons shallots, pounded

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

8 short wooden skewers soaked in water 1 hour


Cut thighs into 16 pieces. Place in a bowl. Add sugar, salt, pepper and the Five Spices. Mix well. Add turmeric, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, chili, lime leaves or zest, sesame oil and fish sauce. Mix well with the chicken. Marinate at least 2 hours before grilling.

Thread 4 pieces on each skewer. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side on low heat. Check the chicken to make sure that it is properly cooked!!  

Note : you can purchase fish sauce, lemongrass and Five Spices in Asian supermarkets.


Ms Vy is the author of "Taste Vietnam, The Morning Glory Cookbook" to purchase at www.restaurant-hoian.com (see cooking classes). The book is delightful.










Everyday Bistro
Personal Chef • Food Consultant
 Arlington · Massachusetts