Chef Wang at work
They started this series of cookery lessons with Chef Wang the week before I moved in. I have therefore missed the fried fish with sweet and sour sauce - a tragedy. Have no idea how to slice fish to make it look like the fish they serve in good restaurants.
Fried Fish Cutlets
But I haven't missed any of the remaining 11 lessons since. Even through my unpacking I would make time to attend the class. In fact, my movers arrived on a Thursday morning - the day we usually have our cooking class. The service centre sent one of their staff to my house (to keep an eye on the movers) so that I could attend lessons that morning. Hub was pissed off with me for that...
Crab Roe Tofu
Chef Wang works for the "model" Chinese restaurant in our hotel. He has learnt from famous Chinese masters and has served many very important Chinese politicians in his career. But learning is 2-way as we know, after 12 lessons with us he finally learnt not to add msg and/or too much oil in his cooking demonstrations.
If you had seen the amount of oil and/or msg being used in Chinese restaurant cooking you probably would stop eating out. My most memorable was the fried vegetarian goose that Chef Wang made - literally steeped in oil and more oil even before it was fried. Of course it tasted heavenly - but think of the oil and I lose some of my blood pressure.
Making the egg dumpling wrapper in a ladle!
Most of the recipes he shared with us were meant to familiarise us with basic Chinese cooking techniques so that we would be able to cook most simple dishes at home. Marinating meat, chopping, slicing, boiling tofu before cooking with it, how to decorate a plate etc. Measures were always approximative as taste is personal and his favourite word during his classes probably was "gu ji" or estimate.
Meat-filled Egg Dumplings
I haven't taken many pictures of the dishes as half of the classes fell during my unpacking period and I barely had time to rush to and back from the lessons forget remembering to bring along the camera. We have done dishes as varied as cantonese oyster sauce beef, fried vegetarian goose, shanghainese shaomai, hot and sour soup, seafood soup, black pepper beef, mapo tofu, cold noodles with peanut sauce, yuxiang egg plant, curry crabs, fried fish cutlets, sanbei chicken, salt and pepper prawns, egg dumplings, gongbao chicken...
Prawn & Egg Dumpling Soup
Most of the other tenants who turned up were Chinese or of Chinese origins e.g. from USA, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia...We actually have quite a fun group and have taken to doing things together outside the cookery classes.
Chef Wang said that he would probably start another series of cookery lessons at the end of summer when we return for the new school year. In the meantime I better try cooking some of the dishes myself before I forget everything.