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How culinary classes lead to cultural understanding: a food adventure through Southeast Asia

Dining on the plastic stools at a Southeast Asian street eatery is one thing, but going behind the scenes into the farm, kitchen and family table is the ultimate cultural dining experience. Follow along for a food adventure through Southeast Asia.


group of locals and travellers at a cooking class


When international travel was still a thing, my fiancé and I backpacked around Southeast Asia for two years. We visited twelve countries: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Since then, I’ve been uploading my adventures on my YouTube channel, Deanna Troy Travels. My latest series gives Malaysia travel advice as well as insights into the local lifestyle. One of these local experiences was learning how to cook in a Malaysian cooking class.



I highly recommend taking a cooking class in every country you visit, not only to enjoy delicious food, but also to learn more about the culture. For example, in the video above we learn how to cut a coconut. This comes naturally to the Malaysian locals, but it’s not something you do every day in the U.S.! During the class, we all bonded while creating delicious Sarawak inspired meals such as Sarawak Laksa Chicken and Nasi Ulam (Click here for recipes).


Some cooking classes even show you how to source your own food, from harvesting on a farm to bartering at the local markets. One cooking class we experienced in DaNang, Vietnam, brings you around the city collecting ingredients:



It was gratifying to sow the dirt and pluck the vegetables, and we were proud of the purchases we made at the Vietnamese market. I often forget to take pride in my cooking, so I was reinspired in my own kitchen after this excursion.


Overall, if you really want the best opportunity to open your mind and your taste buds when you travel, make sure you either take an official cooking class or let a local show you the ways of their kitchen!


Blog post by wanderer Deanna.

Find Deanna at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deanna_troy_travels/    @deanna_troy_travels

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