A cookery lesson China

| November 13, 2012

Sue Dinsey recently visited China with Cox & Kings and came home with some flavoursome memories.

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So many amazing sights in China and so many wonderful memories – walking on an almost deserted Great Wall, cycling around the walls of Xian, Shanghai by night … but I know that when we reminisce about our trip to China it will be the food that will take us back and set our taste buds tingling…

The times when we ventured into little neighbourhood restaurants full of noisy, happy families to perch on tiny chairs and read the hilariously worded descriptions under glorious pictures of food, plumping for random dishes that turned out to be delicious and ridiculously cheap.  The other end of the scale, when the peking duck was carved at our table and we were given a demonstration on how to assemble a pancake using chopsticks and not our fingers! Or the Bai family mansion, when the waitresses were all impossibly beautiful and elegant in their ornate costumes. Or the surfeit of dumplings at the Tang dynasty show…

But, the highlight for us has to be the cookery lesson at the Fangjia Kitchen in one of the Beijing hutong. With Jessie translating and a young chef from a 5-star hotel demonstrating, we learnt to de-bone a chicken leg without removing any of our own fingers (quite a feat considering the size and sharpness of the knife) and prepared all the vegetables for Gong Bao chicken and deep fried winter mushrooms, which the chef then expertly cooked. The resulting dishes were absolutely delicious and, with chopsticks at the ready, we attacked them with gusto. Afterwards, we were given aprons as a souvenir and also took away the recipes and an explanation of the common ingredients in Chinese cooking. We’ve even bought the secret ingredient (broadbean paste), so we can impress our friends with our culinary expertise and attempt to make the dishes at home. Somehow though, I don’t think it will be quite the same…

View Cox & Kings' holidays to China.

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