Saturday, November 19, 2011

Work that wok!

Last Friday, a great group of friends and I went to a Chinese cooking class (to celebrate the farewell of our wonderful friend Nyree), nestled down a typical alleyway in Beijing.

A courtyard property oozing of old China, purpose built for the likes of us, i.e, excitable foreigners keen on learning the charms and bygone-tested recipes of the Middle Kingdom. 

check out that cleaver - serious stuff!
Armed with cleavers and all manner of funky looking condiments - white wine vinegar, dark soy, slightly less dark soy, lighter than light soy, we set to work making Beijing Style Braised Beef with Soy sauce and Spices (so scrummy!!), Sweet and Sour Pork/Fish (loads of flavour, go easy on the oil and vinegar and add pineapple), Spicy and Sour Green Bean Salad, (my new favourite way to eat green beans) and lastly, not for the faint-of-heart Water Chestnut Cake (gelatinous and unappealing to say the least, but hats off to those who gave it a crack!)

This culinary adventure was made all the sweeter by great friends, lots of laughs, perfectly in-tact fingers (despite many close calls !!)... and all washed down with Beijing's finest green tea, beer and's to you Nyree. I'm going to miss you girlfriend! "Go West!"

The beef and spices before being braised - so delicious

Love these ridiculously long beans

Trying not to burn my chillies - did not succeed!

Spicy and Sour Green Bean Salad
Margie focussing on her sauce
Chopsticks at the ready - used both as a stirring tool and to eat with
Sweet and Sour Pork served up by our wonderful teacher
work that wok!
Our beloved Nyree - farewell!
I'm going to share one of the recipes - it was so good!

Sweet and Sour Green Bean Salad


  • green bean 250g
  • dry chili few pieces
  • Salt  3/4 tsp.
  • Light soy sauce, 2 tsp.
  • Sugar 1/2 tsp
  • white vinegar 2tsp
  • dark aged vinegar 2tsp
  • sesame oil 1/2 tsp

1. Chop green bean into 6cm long sections. Put into boiling water, when water boils, cook for 1 minute. Take out, rinse with cold water, put in a bowl.
2. Put all seasoning onto the green beans.
3. Cut chili into sections, cook 2Tbsp oil in wok, when oil begins to smoke, turn off flame, put chili inside. Deep fry chili until turns to a light brown colour (this only took 10 sections or less for me - very quick!). Pour oil with chili onto green bean. 
4. Mix well and voila!


1 comment:

  1. Such a fun day and I'm going to make the green bean salad again - YUM! Just maybe a little less salt.