Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cook Your Way Through China, Region by Region

Growing up in Central Oregon, there wasn't much of a dining scene outside of steaks, burgers and baked potatoes. The one shining light for me was Stockton's New China Café, where my parents would take us occasionally. Looking back on it, the menu was no doubt Americanized to fit the tastes of small-town America. But to me, the fried rice, chow mein, chop suey and egg foo young were wondrously exotic, tastes and textures that came from far beyond the boundaries of my small world.

From that initial taste of broader culinary horizons, I've had ample opportunity to sample other Chinese regional specialties, but I've never been comfortable enough, or felt my pantry was stocked well enough, to really dive into making genuine Chinese delicacies here at home. But now my chance may have come in a series of classes being offered by the Northwest China Council.

As part of its 2015 program on “Food in China,” the China Council is teaming up with Susana Holloway of Portland’s Culinary Workshop to offer a series of quarterly cooking classes, each featuring the specialties of China's four main culinary regions. Even better, each of these hands-on classes will be followed by a dinner featuring the dishes the class has made.
Beijing and Northern Regions
Sun., April 12, 3-6 pm
Pork and spiced vegetable dumplings with a vinegar/soy dipping sauce
Lotus root and ginger salad
Fish braised in rice wine and black mushrooms
Warm silken tofu in a sweet ginger syrup

Shanghai and Eastern Regions
Sun., July 12, 3-6 pm
Pork stuffed bitter melon with black bean sauce
Prawns stir-fried in green tea
Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) with bamboo shoots
Red bean sesame balls

Sichuan and Western Regions
Sun., Oct. 11, 3-6 pm
Garlic chive cakes
Spiced pork and mung bean noodles
Long Beans with shredded bamboo in chili oil
Fried wonton stuffed with sweetened Asian pear

Guangzhou and Southern Regions
Sun., Jan. 10, 3-6 pm
Stir-fried minced duck in lettuce cups
Chilled chicken and egg noodle salad with a tangy peanut dressing
Congee with Pork, herbs and egg
Coconut and lemon pudding

Details: Food in China: Four Regional Cuisines of China is a series of hands-on cooking classes sponsored by the NW China Council. $80 per class with preregistration. Classes held at Portland's Culinary Workshop, 807 N. Russel St. 503-512-0447.


Farmer Jo said...

This sounds amazing!!

Kathleen Bauer said...

It's not only a chance to learn about a fascinating cuisine, but Susana is an amazing teacher. I guarantee you'll be able to go home and have the skills to make it yourself.