Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 47:Ni chifan le ma?(Have you eaten yet?)

First thing this morning, Chef I opened the class by showing us a clip from Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. I haven't seen that movie in years, but the opening scene of the father preparing Sunday dinner is still as remarkable as the first time I saw it back in 1996, a year before I would actually travel to Taiwan and live just a few meters from the Wendy's they used to film the scenes involving the youngest daughter. 

When we watched the banquet scene, there was the Grand Hotel shot! Sitting high on the little mountain where we used to climb past the numerous badminton courts and hidden temples to take in the views from the top.

It was within this comfortable little fold that we began our first day of Chinese cooking. Starting with a long line of sweet, sour, salty and spicy condiments on the North Wall, carefully taking notes on the ones we liked and more importantly, the ones we disliked, along with preferred brands and any inspiration that might have hit us as we tasted.

So our dishes. I have never cooked lotus root before today. It's an interesting veg, one that appeals to my sense of design. If you haven't had it, it doesn't taste like much raw, but cooked it takes on a different flavour, still mild though. It always remains somewhat crunchy and I don't mind it.

Busy at work!

Black Bean Clams with Ginger and Garlic
I loved the sauce on this, and will try it again on white fish.

Finished lotus root.

Cantonese Style Steamed fish with Ginger and Scallions
This was steamed by rigging up a steamer consisting of
 a wok, a small ring, a pie plate and a really big bowl 
and steamed on the stovetop.

Twice-Cooked Snake Beans with Shrimp
Also good, although I love any kind of green bean.

Even though inside the warm envelope of our cozy school we spent the day discussing stepped rice paddies, fiery hot chili peppers and night market street vendors; outside was quite another story. Snow-miser took one more kick at the can....


  1. The weather is crap here too. Where are the dumplings with soy sauce and julienned ginger? Make it so!