An Authentic Chinese Lesson at School of Wok
I cook Chinese food often in my own simple way but when I got an invitation to attend an authentic chinese lesson from the School of Wok, I was excited.
School of Wok is an Oriental and Asian cookery school situated in Covent Garden, and here I joined an evening course along with two other people.
The dishes and the ingredients we would be using were introduced to us by our teacher, Stefan Lind. We were told about the ingredients involved, such as all the different types of fermented tofu available and most interestingly, the subtle differences between dark and light soya sauce.
After this introduction of the dishes and ingredients, we began our preparation of the first dish – slow braised pork in fermented tofu sauce.
The workstation was set for each participant with a chopping board, apron and cleaver. We used the cleaver to chop everything, and not having had much experience with a cleaver, I was quite nervous! However this turned out to be surprisingly easy and enjoyable, and turned into one of the highlights of the day. I’m even off to buy a cleaver to use at home!
Having requested a substitution for the pork, a chicken leg was ready waiting for me and I used this for the dish. The meat was fried lightly and then slowly braised in the sauce with spicy fermented tofu for about 2 hours until it was meltingly tender. While the meat was gently cooking on the hob we made the sauce and chopped the vegetables for our next dish, sesame aubergine with spring onion.
The aubergine pieces were slightly browned and then stir fried in a wok along with spring onion and garlic. They were then slowly cooked in the oven, and we were soon assembling our next dish, Sichuan style sesame chicken salad.
The chicken fillets for this were cooked and sliced for us, and so this dish mainly involved prepping lots of crunchy vegetables and making a dressing with spicy Sichuan pepper and black vinegar.
The class lasted three hours, during which we spent two and a half hours cooking and the last half hour spent tasting the food. The class was delightful, and it sure helped that the food we had prepared tasted wonderful as well
Slow Braised Chicken in Fermented Tofu sauce.
The meat was first lightly browned and then slowly braised in a soy and spicy fermented tofu sauce. The dish tasted wonderful when served with plain steamed rice.
Sesame Aubergine with Spring onion and Garlic Dressing
This was the perfect dish to practice cleaver knife skills and was definitely worth the effort.
Sichuan Style Sesame chicken salad
So light and simply delicious – this was my favourite dish of the day and is one of the first I am planning to recreate at home!
A huge thanks to our teacher Stefan for sharing a wealth of knowledge and expertise and making the evening a great experience. It was a very wonderful evening!
61 Chandos Place
London WC2N 4HG