The day we deep fried everything: A Chinese cooking class

The day we deep fried everything: A Chinese cooking class

On Saturday, the unthinkable happened: We cooked for the first time since moving to Shanghai! It was at a cooking class, but it still counts 🙂

The class we took was called “Saturday Chinese cooking class + wet market visit” at Cook in Shanghai. After signing up, we got to choose a recipe from the website, the other 2 participants chose another one and when we met at a metro station, we chose a third recipe together. With the plan to make Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin and Long been fried with Eggplant we went to a wet market.

Our guide Amanda explained to us that wet markets are where Chinese typically get their meat and vegetables. They have the freshest products and usually you go there every day to make to buy what you need. The one we went to had fish and meat on the ground floor and vegetables at the second floor. They had a ton of vegetables I’ve never seen before so it was interesting to go.

Buying meat there is not for the faint-hearted. Most of the fish and sea food is still alive, there are whole chickens (dead and plucked) and just generally lots of animal parts that are not as pleasant to look at. Hi, chicken feet! I was a little scared we’d have to take apart the entire chicken but thankfully we only bought chicken breast and pork tenderloin.

The cooking class was very home-style as it took place in someone’s apartment. First Amanda served some Jasmine tea to us (look at the cute little cups!) and then we got outfitted with some stylish aprons and chef’s hats.

The chef at the head of the table demonstrated everything, Amanda translated if necessary and we each prepared our own dishes. After everything was cut and marinated, each dish was first prepared by the chef and then we got to make it ourselves in a wok.

The first step for each dish was to deep fry everything: the veggies, the pork strips and the chicken cubes. I was glad that the chef did that for all of us because I found the whole “lots of oil boiling over a big open flame” thing a bit intimidating. After that, for each dish we fried some garlic and ginger (more oil), and depending on the dish added some spices, soy sauce, vinegar, cooking wine, sesame oil or chili oil.

While definitely none of it was healthy, it all tasted really good and we had a fun afternoon cooking and eating. Thanks Jacqueline and Til for the voucher!

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