January is all about good resolutions and fresh starts, and what better way to get healthy and get active than with a very lively course in vegetarian Chinese cooking? We kicked off our spring cooking school by going totally woks, and very refreshing it was too, with lots of fresh garlic and ginger, and fresh, crunchy, stir-fried veg and tofu. Perfect for a cold january day!
Cooking leader Judy Wong took our lovely group of participants through some of the things that make a dish authentically Chinese, including how to successfully cook and cool rice to make the perfect egg-fried rice, how to seal and care for your wok, and how to use different chopping styles for different dishes. Judy demonstrated that real Chinese cuisine is all about the preparation: the cooking should take minutes and is all about super-fresh ingredients and a super-hot wok, so we had to have everything ready in advance. The group also learned a lot about traditional Chinese ingredients such as black mushrooms and oyster sauce, and how to balance light and dark soy sauce to get the flavour that you only ever seem to experience in good Chinese restaurants.
We made three dishes during the session, so the pace was fast, but as it led to delicious egg-fried rice, stir-fried tofu and vegetables, and mock “chicken” and green beans in lemon sauce, I don’t think anyone minded! This was a really lively session to shake us all out of our winter hibernation and get some really fresh dishes back on the menu… massive thanks to Judy, who is a fairly new guest cook to Cracking Good Food, and to Elizabeth and Janice, our amazing volunteers, who kept everything running smoothly.