In Luke NguyenGÇÖs Vietnam we take a culinary journey through the southern regions of Vietnam, from Saigon, through the Mekong Delta, and north along the coast to the World Heritage city of Hoi An. Seven towns are explored over ten colourful half hour episodes. Luke Nguyen, acclaimed owner and chef of the Sydney restaurant GÇÿThe Red LanternGÇÖ, returns to the country of his heritage and prepares dishes in locations that represent the real Vietnam, in all its chaotic vibrancy. With a huge extended family scattered throughout Vietnam, Luke is inspired to learn that they all have one thing in common, a love for food. On our journey we meet many of LukeGÇÖs relatives, who share with him the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine, and help him discover the tiny cottage industries that have been creating vital ingredients for many centuries. We travel with Luke as he demonstrates his passion for Vietnam and Vietnamese cooking. He shows us new and easy ways to discover the clean, fresh and fragrant experience of cooking and eating healthy and delicious Vietnamese food. In the first two episodes we enjoy the wonders and the hustle and bustle of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Luke demystifies the exotic range of street food to be found on the city sidewalks, and demonstrates the recipes his family has kept secret for generations. In the Mekong Delta we experience the abundance of food grown in the fertile region, the wonder and colour of the famous Can Tho floating markets, and share a special meal with relatives in a remote village. In the highland city of Dalat the influence of French colonialists is evident in the stunning architecture and variety of produce. This cooler region is the vegetable-growing centre of Southern Vietnam, and the hills overflow with lush market gardens and glorious flower markets. As we travel north along the eastern coast, highlights include watching at dawn the fishing markets of Phan Thiet, where local women crowd along the shoreline to buy and sell all manner of fish and shellfish that have been caught that morning. On reaching Nha Trang, Luke cooks up lobster on the beach, with the help of Miss Lan, who spends her days cooking fresh lobster on a portable coal fire right there on the sand. The variety of shellfish in this area is enormous, and Luke shows us simple and delicious ways to cook up a seafood feast. In a small village outside Quy Nhon we watch tofu made from freshly ground soy beans, boiled in copper pots over open fires then squeezed in muslin cloth to be sold fresh to the markets that same day. Another example of what this wonderful country dishes up. Finally we reach the beautiful and ancient city of Hoi An. Here, the specialty of the town is the Cao Lau noodles, which are made to an old and very secret recipe by just one family. Having operated for almost 400 years, the only way to learn the recipe is to marry into the clan! In Luke NguyenGÇÖs Vietnam, fresh and delicious cuisine is cooked and served in locations that are colourful, noisy and vibrant, the essence of Vietnam itself. With his expert culinary knowledge and simple cooking skills, Luke prepares recipes for the home cook and anyone who wants to try this magnificent cuisine in an easy to follow style that he displays with confidence and passion.
Luke Nguyen's Vietnam
A culinary journey through the southern regions of Vietnam