The highlight of any trip for me is the different culinary delights you sample on your journey- China was no exception. BEWARE though excessive oil, MSG and the mystery meat may have a knock on effect, bubble bubble toil and trouble, queue the Chinese tummy churning. Also disclosure it is nearly impossible to be vegetarian in China from my experience and from tales of fellow travelers- luckily enough this is not a worry I have to contend with.
Eggplant (Aubergine) was a definite highlight for me, served with salty tempura batter or deep fried with pork i’m sold! For me learning how to make the food your eating when away is essential to keep the holiday memories and mood after returning to the daily grind. So we made sure to do a Chinese cooking course, and where better than in Yangshuo surrounded by beautiful mountains off the beaten track.
Yangshuo cooking school offered a personable and authentic cooking experience beginning at the local market where we were introduced to new and familiar ingredients in Chinese cooking. We were also taken to the live stock area where locals would come and select a chicken, rabbit or maybe even a dog (which we saw hung up on a rack, one of those surreal experiences but it really did look more like a calf than a dog without its fur) which would then be killed there and then to take home. There is also a live fish section, which when we walked past (me in my flipflops- rookie mistake) a fish was making a break for it- rather successfully I might add.
Following our introduction to Chinese ingredients it was back to the cooking school just out in the countryside in a local home where we began our Chinese cooking education. We had a nice group of just six so following each demonstration we each were set to work, chopping, smashing, stirring and steaming in our own little cooking space. Our dishes included Egg wrapped dumplings (delicious and such a simple lunch), steamed chicken with mushrooms, stir fried pork with vegetables and oyster sauce, eggplant yangshuo style and green vegetables with garlic.
Couldn’t recommend this cooking school more, Michelle was lovely, patient and enthusiastic and at only 180 Yuan for a rather substantial lunch we left full and satisfied.
Recipe to follow…