I've cooked in a wok for a number of years, with admittedly middling results. But then, throwing in a few veggies, spices, and bits of chicken and hoping for the best is probably not the most scientific approach.
I figured it was time to step it up, and signed up to learn how to 'properly wok' in a day.
Before cooking, our chef/trainer, Jeremy, took us on an extended stroll of Chinatown to see and taste. We had yummy, oven-fresh buns I never would have tried without his explanation that it was a bit like crusty brioche. We had equally delicious dim sum in a small, uninviting restaurant I never would have found, but when we tucked into their dumplings, I was glad I did. (And fresh watermelon juice to wash it down, what a concept!) Then we inspected a Chinese shop. It's amazing the things you can get there, and as it's mostly marked in English, we could easily get these wonderful sounding vegetables ourselves. (Like morning glory, which is green and not flowery.)
Then finally our moment came, and we were 'prepping' the ingredients in the school's chic, light kitchen. According to Jeremy, prepping is 90% of Chinese cooking You only cook for 10% of the time, which makes it a great idea when you want to cook for friends. Just prepare things ahead of time, and cook when you are ready. What could be more convenient?
Jeremy, proved to be fun, knowlegeable, practical, and very patient. When he showed me for the third time how to properly slice with those giant knives I was so impressed. He seemed to actually enjoy teaching people like me!
So we did egg fried rice (I was blasé, too, but now I actually know how to make it well) and spicy Szechuan chicken, and Morning Glory. I won't go into detail about how to make the dumplings, which required a great deal of painstaking, fiddly work. But we were so proud when they were done! And sitting down together to our delicious, homemade meal and a cool glass of wine was the perfect end.
It's amazing what you can learn in a day, and I’ll never forget to run the garlic under the tap. Makes it a breeze to unwrap the clove!