Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Soh Pek's Asian cooking lessons

Yesterday was the last of Soh Pek's cooking lessons: we have toured Thailand, Malaysian, Singapore and China through their cuisines. Every month, we paid 15€, Soh Pek bought the ingredients and we helped prepare the dishes. Our last meal included Garlic Prawns, family recipe Chilli Chicken, Spicy Beef with Brandy, Steamed Salmon and Chinese Fried Rice. It's been a wonderful way of learning new things and then sharing food at the end of it. Best of all, having to track down ingredients from Seville or Gibraltar has been fun and then trying dishes at home. My first effort was a disaster and had to go in the bin. I hadn't written down the quantity of Green Thai paste and instead of 3 teasps. I added 3 tablesp........completely inedible - it not only blew our socks off, but everything else as well! I eat salmon steaks regularly, cooked in the microwave.

What a difference when I used my Chinese bamboo steamer instead - sublime. The steamer had been sitting in the cupboard for the last 15 years as I wasn't sure what to do with it; then it got forgotten. Now it will be a regular feature.

The prawns, chicken, beef and salmon were all marinaded overnight. I learned that the light soy sauce is saltier than the dark, but the latter used more for colour. But most important of all, heat up the wok/frying pan/pot thoroughly before adding oil - oh, and it must be vegetable oil so as not to alter the "Asian" flavours: a disappointment to us in southern Spain where olive oil is first choice, but it really makes a difference.

Contact me is anyone wants the recipes.

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