Learn . Laugh . Eat
Next month the school is proud to be hosting Thai chef and entrepreneur extraordinaire; Saiphin Moore, founder of the incredibly successful restaurant; Rosa's Thai Cafe. Having worked our way through both her menu and cookbook, we at School of Wok could not be more excited to learn all the tricks up her sleeve on how to create delicious, authentic-yet-domestic-kitchen-friendly Thai food. In preparation for her class, we sat down with her to find out all she knows, as it seems everything Saiphin touches turns to gold!... Read more
In many parts of China and Hong Kong, cuttlefish are actually more popular than squid and, as cuttlefish have much thicker meat than squid, the double-cooking process detailed here is essential. I find that large squid also benefit from this pre-poaching – it softens the squid significantly, allowing the pieces to take in more flavour when stir-fried in the savoury sauce.
- This traditional dim sum is a skill that requires patience and learning - Once mastered, you can do many adventurous things with a piece of cheung fun - i.e. make noodles / wrap crispy beancurd skin inside etc - Rice flour for the white, tapioca, makes it slightly transparent, corn flour to stabilise it. Wheat starch sometimes, but I find this slightly too unstable - Can do this on a normal steamer – but the shape helps - Hoisin sauce, sesame paste, chilli oil & sweetened soy
- Keeping veg crispy and crunchy, but cooking out any ‘grassyness’ - In Sichuan – it would be full of dried chillies & Chilli oil - If cooked right, this should take no longer than 3 minutes - Light – soy – saltiness, the sugar, to accentuate the sweetness of the cabbage
José Pizarro has become one of the most successful Spanish chefs, known for his successful restaurants, acclaimed cookbooks, as well as his warm, knowledgeable, and passionate approach to food. In anticipation of his [exciting class](https://www.schoolofwok.co.uk/classes/an-evening-with-jose-pizarro-jeremy-pang) with us next month (22nd April) we found out a bit more about what makes this incredible chef tick.... Read more
For many of us at School of Wok, nothing is quite as satisfying as a long, lingering dim sum meal. From the parade of dishes, flavours and textures, to the warm feeling that comes from sharing everything, this style of eating is one in which our quest for knowledge (and experience!) never ends. Keep reading to find out more about the art of dim sum making.... Read more
In Chinese tradition, serving fish whole, signifies abundance in life. It is often a customary way of eating during any type of celebration, but especially significant during Chinese New Year. This particular recipe combines the salty, earthyiness of black bean, with a hit of chilli and a beautifully lightly steamed fish. Great for flavour, balance, and abundance. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Alfred Prasad knew at a young age (with the help of his parents guidance) that working in food was the perfect way to combine all the things he loved the most; science, the arts, and eating. In anticipation of his upcoming class with us on [19th February](https://www.schoolofwok.co.uk/classes/masterclass-with-alfred-prasad-and-jeremy-pang), we sat down with Alfred to find out a little bit more about this inquisitive, meticulous and gregarious chef.... Read more
Dan Doherty has been executive chef of London's popular 24 hour restaurant Duck & Waffle since 2012. And for one night only (4th March) he's taking charge of School of Wok's kitchens. In anticipation of his upcoming class, we sat down with Dan for some insight into the world of this innovative chef. Here's what he has to say:... Read more
Pad Cha in Thai refers to the practice of making your wok so hot that when you add the ingredients, they literally explode. That’s what makes this dish so tasty. The flavours, especially the chilli, suddenly explode. This dish can be made with mixed seafood or just lobster! A thank you to Chef Saiphin Moore from [Rosa's Thai Cafe](http://rosasthaicafe.com/) for the recipe!
"My best friend, Sayo, is a cosmopolitan woman who is very much accustomed to Western cuisine. One day she decided to show off her Thai culinary skills to me, which I realized I had underestimated as soon as I took the first bite of this dish – it is amazing! Thank you, Sayo, for giving me this recipe. I advise readers not to underestimate this dish as I did or you might miss out on something very special." Chef Saiphin Moore from [Rosa's Thai Cafe](http://rosasthaicafe.com/)
"My uncle was an excellent cook – he did most of the cooking in his family and he wouldn’t accept anything less than perfection. His favourite recipe was Laab Turkey, and his trick was to deep-fry all the ingredients (except the meat) until crispy and golden brown. We also raised these turkeys ourselves! This comes as a surprise to most people as Thai cuisine isn’t necessarily associated with turkey meat."- Chef Saiphin Moore from [Rosa's Thai Cafe](http://rosasthaicafe.com/). The chilli powder does give the dish an incredible punch, and I think it’s definitely best when it is extra spicy, but you can reduce the quantity to suit your palate.
The popularity of Vietnamese food in the UK continues to rise at an astonishing rate with tons of restaurants now specialising in Vietnam's national dish, pho (a wholesome noodle soup). However, one element of the cuisine has gained recognition as of late and is emerging fast as a contender to challenge Britain's best street food – Banh Mi!
Labelled as the "little black dress of pâtisserie" by Raymond Blanc, I've always thought that making French maracons would be a bit daunting. Often sold for an absolute bomb, these pretty, pastel-coloured little treats have been gracing the shelves of upmarket shops and food halls (like in Selfridges and Harrods) for ages, but I've also thought that they were a bit intimidating to buy, let alone make.
We did a lot of research to get this Colombian recipe right. This country has so many influences, from the Middle East to Spain, and due to its diverse topography, an abundance of exotic fruits and vegetables have found their way onto the menu. The food is always fresh, packed with fruits and vegetables, mild and rich in flavour.
Everyone at School of Wok is so glad it's finally Easter. It's been non-stop at the here since Christmas – especially with Chinese New Year last month – so we're all looking forward to a bit of a break this four-day weekend, as I'm sure the rest of you all are!... Read more
After reading a rave review of Bao London on one of my favourite food blogs, The Skinny Bib, I knew I had to get down to try these tasty looking buns. So I headed down to [KERB](http://www.kerbfood.com/kings-cross/) last week to see what how good these 'xiao chi' ('small eats') really were...... Read more
We are very proud that Jeremy was invited down to Gordon Ramsay's michelin starred restaurant on Royal Hospital Road in London. Jeremy was a judging guest during the cook off between two Chinese establishments - London's Kai restaurant and Blackburns Yu and You restaurant.... Read more
So much of Chinese cuisine, especially that which is typically cooked in the home, can be built around simple pantry staples. From sauces to oils, to spices, having some of the basics to hand can make whipping up a quick Asian-inspired dish simple, quick and cost effective. Case in point- the dried Chinese noodle. Noodles are a wonderful way of adding texture, flavour, and a bit of bulk to round out a dish. Today, we took to Jeremy's new book Chinese Unchopped to help give you some basic tips on how to make the most of out this classic pantry cupboard ingredient.... Read more
It's summer. It's hot. Typical daydreams at this time of year might include a sandy beach, a drink with a little umbrella, and an unplanned, unrushed day. But according to researchers 'staycations' have become the new answer to the packaged deal abroad- which can often leave you with an overcrowded beach and a watered-down drink instead of the shiny postcard holiday you were dreaming of.... Read more
Gallo Pinto refers to the eternal marriage of its ingredients: rice beans, meat or fish, fried plantains a carrot, tomato and cabbage salad. As they say rice and beans go together like a horse and carriage! The idea is for the dish to burst with bright colours and delicious flavours. So here it is, our take on this dish: Spring Rolls filled with bean rice and beef. Enjoy!
We first laid eyes on blogger and supper club host The Boy Who Ate the World aka, Guan Chua, last year during his tv debut as chef contestant on Channel 4's programme The Taste, led by wellknown chefs Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, and Ludovic Lefebvre. After earning the respect of hard-to-please Bourdain, with his impecable understanding of Malaysian flavours and techniques (his home cuisine), we knew this rising star was one to keep our eye on!... Read more
Long hours of writing after teaching a full day of classes, recipe testing on the weekends, using his wife, School of Wok staff, family members and friends as sounding boards and taste testing guinnea pigs- these tactics seem to be the only way to be able to both run a business and write a book at the same time (and sort of sometimes sleep a little bit).... Read more
It's hard to believe in just three weeks we welcomed, trained, and bid fairwell to our newly trained chefs. Like wee baby birds they quickly spread their wings and soared on their own- away from the School of Wok nest and out into the culinary world. They grow up so fast don't they?... Read more
Vietnamese cuisine is all about fresh ingredients, herbaceous aromatics and often the zing of citrus, punch of chili and umami flavours of fish sauce and shrimp paste. It is a beautiful and interesting way of cooking and tends to go hand-in-hand with the lighter, fresher fare we tend to gravitate towards come summer. Have we got your mouth watering yet? Here are a few wonderful dishes to try, that will start you down the vivacious path that is Vietmanese cuisine.... Read more
Anyone who has sifted through the internet recently, whether it was catching up on blogs, browsing through various online shops, or even just the news, has likely to have come across something so rediculous, so absurd that it has made you do a double take. You think "is this real" or "is this some April fools joke" etc. You go back, try to look at it again with fresh eyes to make sure you really are seeing what you think you are seeing. You might laugh, sigh, or even just plain grunt outloud when you come to the acceptance that it is in fact real. Next step, perhaps, is a feeling of slight dismay as you think to yourself "why didn't I come up with that idea first???". Have a look through our recent lazy Sunday browsing finds. We definitely had a few of those 'why didn't we do this first?!' moments. Which is your favourite?... Read more
We bang on quite a bit about our love of all Far Eastern cuisine. I mean, it's our job and all, so it does come with the territory. However, it has come up more than a few times in discussion at the school (occupational hazzard) just why we love Chinese food so much- not as chefs or event planners per say, but as people who work and cook daily. With the ideals of wanting to look after ourselves and our families, utilise our leftovers and every penny that goes towards our weekly food budgets, and make something tasty, interesting, and let's face it, quick - Chinese food in all honesty, ticks the boxes. Here's what our guys in the kitchens and the office had to say.... Read more
When the winter weather finally breaks we Londoners flock to the great outdoors, doing as much as we can, from eating and drinking, to shopping to commuting al fresco. Over the years London's market scene has really come into its own, from daily food trucks and stalls like KERB, to the ever popular (albeit touristy) Borough and Notting Hill Markets. But don't think for a moment that it stops there!... Read more
Now that spring has sprung (finally!) our gardens are overrun with all kinds of creepy crawlies, just looking to nibble on anything they can get their mits on. Here's your chance to put those insects to good use, and save your freshly sprouting tomato plants too! Scoop 'em up by the handful and turn 'em into an Indian-inspired lunch!
With Easter right around the corner (hello, four-day weekend!!) it's easy to be reminded of the merchandised holiday wherever you go. You can't throw a stone without hitting a chocolate egg, gift basket or Easter-inspired recipe or cooking tip no matter what grocery store or shop you enter.... Read more
This week we've had a moment to catch up with one of our favourite bloggers and culinary adventurers; Lizzie Mabbott from Hollow Legs. As we at the school are preparing for her hugely anticipated sold out supper club to launch of her first book; Chinatown Kitchen, AND her additional supper club launch on 16th April (places still available!), we wanted to know more about what inspired her to take to the internet- capturing her travels, exploration of her cultural herritage via her kitchen experiments, and her discovery of some delicious hidden gems whilst eating her way around London and beyond.... Read more
This week at the school whilst we are chopping, stir frying and folding away, our minds are elsewhere. We are thinking about our own personal chefs, chaufers, cheerleaders, doctors, teachers, leaders, comedians, tailors, banks, carpenders, bartenders and counselors; our mums. And though we are a mixed bunch ourselves; some with children and some who still behave like children (ok that's everyone really), one thing we know for sure; we owe a hell of a lot to the lady who has supported us all along the way.... Read more
oday marks the celebration of 'Lantern Festival', and the close of Chinese New Year festivities. Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the new lunar year, so like the start of Chinese New Year, will not fall on the same Western (solar) calendar date each year.... Read more
This week we have had the pleasure of sitting down with TV chef, author, and teacher Ivor Peters aka. The Urban Rajah to find out a bit more about his love affair with food, the story he tells through cooking, and what we can expect on his upcoming Spice Academy class with us, taking place Friday 27th March. Ivor's soulful approach to developing aromatic flavours coupled with his lively charasmatic personality is certain to make his debut class with us a one-of-a-kind experience to remember! Just listening to the description of the dishes he loves has our stomachs rumbling and our taste buds salivating!... Read more
We at School of Wok are big advocates of cooking from the heart, no matter what time of year it is. That said, Valentines Day is a perfect excuse to stir in a little bit of extra attention, care and devotion, no matter who you are making it for! Whether it's for your partner, your children, your friends or yourself (yes, you deserve the attention too!) our Five Spice Chocolate Fondant Cake is a wonderful way of saying 'I love you'!
From warm drinks and spiked hot toddies to soups, stews, piles of blankets and hot water bottles; there is always more than just one way to fight the cold winter blues. We at the school like to multi-task as much as possible, using dishes like Hunan Beef to not only warm up our insides and make our mouths happy, but using the spice from the chillies to boost our serotonin levels and keep our spirits lifted as well!
Jeremy Pang has spent many years working incredibly hard behind the scenes in his own kitchens, putting blood sweat and tears (well, hopefully not too many tears) into his own School of Wok. Recently however, Jeremy's face has become a regular part of our tv watching experience, as his recent appearances on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, and Food Network UK's The Big Eat are coaxing us off the sofa and into the kitchen to test out our wok skills. As Jeremy makes his way onto the nation's stage we sat down with him to see what he thinks about this whole process.... Read more
Here at School of Wok we are celebrating the premier and first of hopefully many of Jeremy Pang's appearances on Food Network UK School of Wok, and we hope you've had a chance to catch it! If not, have no fear, Jeremy's guest chef appearance on The #Big Eat will run up until mid-March, so you've got plenty of time to tune in (however you'll want to see it before 28th Feb when the opportunity to enter our give away ends!).... Read more
Resolute adjective admirably purposful, determined, and unwavering Happy New Year! Here just a matter of days into the year 2015 many of us have reflected to BE more resolute, in one way or another. Whether it's the promise we make to ourselves to take better care of our physical well being with more wholesome eating, more exercise, more sleep, or the quest for knowledge. It's hard not to reflect a little on how we as individuals can become more productive, happier, fulfilled, resolute people. 'Resolute' is a wonderfully powerful, aspirational word, that often and unfortunately develops a watered down meaning when shoved into the phrase 'New Years resolutions'. It seems obligatory, unnecessary and forced upon us like another piece of fruit cake after Christmas dinner.... Read more
At this point in the season many of you may have already settled on what dishes will make their appearance at your Christmas dinner table; whether it's the traditional dish you cook every year, or a new recipe you've tagged in your favourite food magazine or blog (ours we hope!) it's a time of year to look forward to. No matter what you are planning to cook, at this stage we are all counting down the days until we stop working, and can remain in our pj's until noon without any guilt or explanations required, celebrating in our own special way with friends and family.
While there are several different varieties of Nasi Lemak, the basic elements tend to be: coconut rice, ikan bilis (mini fried anchovies) and sambal (a sort of hot, spicy, chilli paste) topped with peanuts, cucumber and egg - one ingredient included in almost every Malaysian meal it seems. Nasi Lemak is often eaten for breakfast in Malaysia but is suitable at any time of day. Whatever time it is, we hope you enjoy this Malaysian staple!
Last Friday we welcomed the legendary Ken Hom at School of Wok with open arms, wide eyes, and perked-up ears, eager to pick up any tips offerred from the Chinese culinary master himself. What we were not quite expecting was just how humble, laid back, and friendly Ken would actually be! Not that we expected a ball of fire-breathing-Gordon Ramsey-style-fury, but given Ken's experience and knowledge, he has certainly earned the right to put on a few airs in our books. Instead Ken was warm and welcoming, eager to share tips and encourage chefs and students alike as we celebrated the launch of the school's professional training school; The Oriental Culinary Institute... Read more
The term ‘fusion food’ was almost considered a dirty word after its long run-turned-mediocre, over popularized and overworked presence in the 90’s. In the early 00’s chefs and restaurants scaled back and returned the classics, distancing themselves from the trend by keeping regional cuisines distinctly separate and authentic, after so many unsuccessful food mash-ups.... Read more
Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve falls each year on the 31st October. It is a holiday we tend associate with all things scary and ‘beyond the grave’, from ghosts and ghouls, to scary spiders and things that go bump in the night. Though there have been conflicting thoughts on its origin and religious influence, many western countries tend to celebrate this holiday with secular traditions including door-to-door trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes and pumpkins carving. It is also associated with candy, caramel, and other not so healthful treats. Keeping this in mind we at the school would love to offer you some delicious and innovative alternatives to the standard gummy sugary treat, with of course an oriental twist. Those bags of Haribo won't stand a ghost of a chance!... Read more
Here are Jeremy’s top ten tips to creating the most sumptuous stir fry. Give them a try and let us know how your next one goes! Stir fries are a quick, healthy and economic one-pot wonder. But they should not be considered just ‘student food’ despite their understandable popularity amongst younger cooks. They are delicious meals in their own right, though they are also a great way to use up leftover bits and bobs you find in the fridge, as well as a way to deliver otherwise unappealing vegetables to a fussy eater.
‘Health food’ should never be synonymous with ‘boring food’ when it doesn’t have to be! Contrary to popular belief Asian cuisine can be some of the healthiest out there when cooked properly. Using fresh ingredients often with a focus on vegetables, most dishes are cooked quickly, leaving little time to absorb oil and become mushy or greasy. Crunchy veggies, fragrant spices, and even a little kick of chilli here and there is a great way to leave you feeling refueled and energetic after a meal, rather than ready to melt into the couch in attempts to digest.... Read more
The country of Malaysia is made up of three primary ethnicities, which when overlapped and intertwined, have created quite a unique cuisine in its own right, with native Malay, Chinese and Indian influences. Local ingredients range from curry leaves, to sambal, to banana leaves and coconut, making the flavourful combinations endless!... Read more
Anyone who has ever procrastinated in the last year or so has heard of BuzzFeed.com. It’s the website with random quizzes you see friends posting about on Facebook (yes please what 90's rap icon am I?), top 20 GIFs about whatever age group you fall into and how old you must feel, and surprisingly interesting sound bites on pop culture, current events and popular food trends. While it’s the type of website to be read with a grain of salt, it just so happens that as of late they have been enthusiastically talking about some of the same things we have been, namely Dim Sum. It seems the ‘touches of the heart’ (the literal translation of Dim Sum) that we have been cooking up and enjoying for years are now very on trend and fashionable! In fact, dim sum is becoming so commonplace and popular you can even find ready-made varieties in some local supermarkets (though you may be better off making your own in this case)! And while the next food trend is surely just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to share with you just how much we love this type of eating. With a focus on a variety of tastes and textures, family-style sharing plates, and lengthy and leisurely eating, dim sum just about covers all of our favourite things when it comes to dining. Here are a few of our go-tos that you may not have heard of before:... Read more
What goes on behind the scenes during shows like Sunday Brunch? After last Sunday’s guest chef appearance by our own Jeremy Pang, we wanted to know more so went directly to the horses mouth to get the scoop on what it’s like to cook on live tv.... Read more
Stir frying has never been so easy After a hard day's work it is always tempting to reach for the nearest instant noodle pack. It's quick, it's easy to put together, but no matter what the packaging says, it always tastes like salted rubber. Why not give your digestive system a break and whip up something equally as simple, but with ten times the taste and health factor. Here's School of Wok's top four knock out noodle recipes:
Swapsies! We've all felt that moment of inspiration in the kitchen, when nothing short of a chilli beef stir fry or sweet and sour chicken will do. This will usually end when, after a quick Google search, you find the recipe contains an ingredient that requires a trip to the nearest Chinese Supermarket. This could be done if you had time to spare, but these cravings usually occur late in the afternoon when the kids are hungry and energy levels have hit an all time low. Well with a little imagination you can swap those ingredients for something a lot more convenient. Here's our top five substitutes for South East Asian ingredients, for those times when the usual 'Spag Bol' just won't do.... Read more
Here at the School of Wok we've just completed a week -long intensive Dim Sum course and not only did the students survive, but we are pretty sure they also learnt a thing or two. One may think the diminutive Dim Sum is something akin to the harmless cupcake-small tasty and mastered by amateur bakers worldwide, but these perfect little parcels have brought seasoned chefs to their knees for centuries.... Read more
A two-week holiday in Iran is not enough to cover the mind-blowing sights and experiences it has to offer. In Tehran you can take a fifteen-minute cable car from the edge of a bustling and rather warm city to a majestic ski slope. It doesn't make sense, but that's Iran for you- a lot of it doesn't make sense and that's what makes it so wondrous and surprising. I do, however, feel like I sampled a great deal of the exquisite traditional cuisine of Iran, and have come home with a few ideas that will find their way into my own cooking.
I fell in love with an Iranian and then I fell in love with Iranian food. Or was it the other way around? He's a great cook and he had me at "hello would you like to try my Persian Lamb?" This month we will be visiting Iran and I can't wait to be fed by my husband's food crazy family. Persian cuisine is all about fresh herbs, nuts, rice, tender meat and, of course, lashings of saffron. It's the most expensive spice in the world because it takes about 80,000 flowers to produce 1 lb of saffron and the threads must be hand picked. So when you use it you'd better know what you're doing. Just follow the Persian's lead:... Read more
The thing about Hong Kong is you can find a Starbucks on most street corners, but next to it you'll also find the most amazing speciality shops selling traditional food that has been around for hundreds of years. The local dessert houses serve up dishes like Black Sesame Soup and Tau Fu Fa (silky tofu drenched in a sweet syrup) and in Sheung Wan you can get every kind of dried seafood you can imagine- scallops, oysters, shrimp, sea urchin, you name it, they've dried it.
Hooked. That's the only way I can describe my feelings after spending two weeks filming a travel series in Hong Kong with head chef Jeremy Pang. I'm hooked on this city where people prefer to drink a mixture of tea and coffee rather than choosing between the two, where I can have noodles for breakfast and get an incredible pressure point massage at any time of the night or day. But most of all I'm hooked on the food. Here's a dish that I can't get out of my head, and am determined to perfect at home: Crispy Duck served with Man Tou (sweet, soft milk rolls).
I've been obsessing over Sichuan Peppercorns ever since I tried head chef Jeremy Pang's Cucumber and Sichuan Peppercorn pickle. It's often combined with chilies for a sensation the Chinese call "ma la", literally meaning "numbing-hot", which I mistook for an allergic reaction when I first tried it. Now my addiction is such that my husband had to stage an intervention when I tried to add it to my breakfast omlette; I still think it would work. Here's an idea that everyone should approve of: Sichuan Peppers and Popcorn. I know, it's out there, but try it once and you will never look back. Simply grind the peppers and add them to melted butter. Let that simmer for a while until the peppers have infused the butter and then pour it all over your popcorn- pure peppercorn paradise!... Read more
Jeremy Pang on Channel Four's Sunday Brunch I don't know if any of you tuned into Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch to see our head chef Jeremy Pang demonstrating noodle pulling, but I couldn't believe my eyes! Basically Jeremy spoke us through the process as expert noodle puller, Kampo, took a lump of dough, twisted it a few times, slammed it against the table and produced hundreds of perfectly formed noodles. It was enough to make this muggle believe in magic, but like all good magicians Jeremy had a trick up his sleeve and I set myself the challenge of finding out what it was.... Read more
My Sichuan Pepper love affair is still in full swing, but I have to admit I've met another ingredient that I've been seeing on the side: black beans. They're super healthy and undeniably delicious. Here are two recipes that can be knocked up in fifteen minutes and will rock your world.
Hello School of Wokkers! It is with a sense of excitement and a little trepidation that I join the School of Wok team as their resident blogger. Let me be upfront about one thing: I am no culinary expert. I have filmed a lot of good food and produced some television shows featuring questionable culinary skills (not telling which ones), but when it comes to wokking I never really knew my Char Siu Baau from my Baozi. That's until I met the School of Wok team and my sweet and sour love affair with the wok world began. So far I've tried out their Dim Sum Scoff n Quaff (boy was I tipsy!) and their recent Supper Club (boy was I tipsy!) and both featured some of the most sensational food I have ever tasted.... Read more
As we (begrudgingly) embrace the Superfoods and Detox Smoothies of the early New Year, we at School of Wok have also decided to chase away those January blues by looking ahead and taking inspiration from the up-and-coming food trends that are predicted for 2014. Here are a few predictions set by the media, as well as some of our own!... Read more
Dear School of Wokkers, I'm Benjamin, the new blogger for the website. To welcome me to the SOW team, Jez thought it would be a good idea for me take over ‘Jess's Recipe Adventures' section by giving me one of his own recipes to try out - not sure if this is a test or not but here goes...let's see if I'm still writing the blog next week!... Read more
Although China is officially a non-religious state, many Chinese people living in China now celebrate Christmas. Perhaps western commercialism has influenced the holiday celebrations in China, along with an opportunity to focus on family, or food, or a variety of other possible influences for this fairly recent occurence. Here at the School of Wok we're not complaining as it gives us the perfect opportunity to explore some dishes and customs enjoyed at Christmas in China.... Read more
We have just about reached the end of the aubergine season, so if you see any in the shops or markets, grab them quickly and make the most of these delicious native Southeast Asian berries. Yes, they are actually classified as a fruit, even though we mostly treat them as vegetables – in curries, ratatouilles, moussakas, and as in this recipe from the School of Wok, fried and baked in a spicy Sichuan sauce. The ones you find in the supermarkets are quite likely imported from overseas, so if you are lucky enough to be wandering around the Asian supermarkets then you may come across some super delicious tubular-shaped Chinese Aubergines. Of the many varieties of aubergine, the glossy, deep purple, zeppelin-like Mediterranean aubergine is probably the most familiar, but also common are the Thai pea aubergines we love to crunch in our Thai curries and the plump and ivory-coloured ‘eggplant’ as they as known in America. To counteract the miserable weather we are suffering, a warming, spicy, comforting Sichuan aubergine dish may be just the tonic you need.
The other week I popped along to Café Spice Namaste in E1 to watch one of the Incredible Spice Men, Cyrus Todiwala, demonstrate the versatility and diversity of turkey. With Christmas just a matter of weeks away (less than 8 weeks, folks!) it’s already time to start thinking about Christmas parties, gifts, and most importantly, food! While it is traditional to have turkey primarily at Christmas and overlook it the rest of the year, it is a meat that is healthy, versatile, relatively cheap, and can be spiced up to eat during any season. Chef Todiwala engaged with us with his easy banter, quite often diverging from his point to answer questions. He left us with a wealth of facts and interesting anecdotes to ponder as we watched him cook and ate his delicious dishes. For instance turkeys apparently originated in Mexico! Who knew?! Also, turkeys lay their eggs only in the summer months, requiring thirty times as much food for only a third the amount of eggs that chickens provide. This is probably why we don’t see or hear much about them comparatively.... Read more
If you're keen to get on the beetroot bandwagon, why not try out this delicious recipe kindly sent in to us by the lovely Katherine Potside via Twitter. Roasted beetroots are a perfect complement for warm smoked fish, making this dish perfect for a chilly winter's evening- plus best of all, it's easy peasy to make...
After experiencing at first hand the Head Chef of Matsuri, Mr Hiroshi Sudo, demonstrate the art of sushi making I wanted to find out more, and discover if it was possibly quite as easy as he made it look. Where better, than our very own School of Wok to get some top tips and expert opinions? To listen to the chefs talk about their favourite sushi made me wonder what I have been missing for so long - despite being only too aware of this ongoing food trend I have only recently discovered the delights of maki rolls and nigiri. They were quite happy to pass on their wisdom and experience with details of what to try next and why.
The finalists for the 2013 British Cookery School Awards have been announced. The School of Wok is honoured and more than excited to have made it to the final round in no less than three categories! The School of Wok itself is one of six finalists for the Best Specialist Cookery School; Head Chef and founder, Jeremy Pang is up for the Young Rising Star Award – despite his youth, he has already risen to many challenges; and the Unsung Hero category is sure to sing the praises of Adrienne, our Marketing and Bookings Manager, who keeps tabs on all of us, as well as organising our wokking lives.... Read more
We are very excited to be part of Edible Experiences Southeast Asia Arts Feast, taking place in London from this weekend until the end of November. Edible Experiences have collated a number of South Eastern Asian cooking experiences, many of which take place at the School of Wok.... Read more
Dear School of Wokkers The time has come for me (resident blogger Ben) to hang up my chopsticks and pass my duties over to the next lucky foodie. I'm sad to say goodbye to London's favourite cookery school but have loved working here for the last 16 months or so. It's been a pleasure to get to know Jeremy, Stefan, Nev, Adrienne and the team and they've all taught me so much so I'm thankful to have had the opportunity...... Read more
While Italian food is one of the most popular and widely-cooked cuisines in the UK, we're still making plenty of mistakes, well that's according to Academia Barilla anyway. The respected institute promoting Italian cuisine has published '10 Italian Cooking Commandments': a list of culinary no-nos and common slip-ups that make real Italians wince. For example, these Parma-based experts say that it's wrong to sip cappuccinos with a meal; instead, they should be reserved for breakfasts only! You also SHOULD NOT: add oil to pasta water (oil should only be added once the pasta's drained); serve spaghetti with Bolognese (tagliatelle is the most traditional accompaniment); expect Italian restaurants to have red-and-white checkered tablecloths (this is just a stereotype!). However, one of the combinations that shocks Italians most is tomato ketchup on pasta. Academia Barilla labelled this a "real gourmet crime" – "Keep ketchup for your French fries or hot dogs, please!" Taking inspiration from this list, we thought we'd recreate a Chinese version, guiding those who are a bit unfamiliar with the culture through a list of dos and don'ts. They're not all culinary rules, but just auspicious traditions that usually involve an element of good/bad luck!
Yes, the summer's nearly over and autumn's setting in...but don't fear there's still plenty of things to look forward to - namely BEER FESTIVALS! Here's a short summary of a few of world's best beer festivals (eg, the ones we'd love to go to if we ever get some time off work!).... Read more
In just a month's time, London's Tobacco Dock will be home to some of the world's most inspiring and innovative chefs as part of a new event called 'The Lab' and we at School of Wok couldn't be more excited...especially our head chef Jeremy Pang.... Read more
Changing career can be a tricky thing. There's always tons of risks involved and you're often left wondering whether you've made the right choice. But following your dream, however difficult or stressful along the way, can really be the best decision you've ever made.... Read more
For those who haven't yet met her, Yolanda is the newest member at School of Wok. We're pleased to announce that she will be taking over our corporate sushi classes from now on, so thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce her to you...... Read more
With BBQ season firmly in full swing, School of Wok has decided to share with you the secret recipe for our famous spare ribs - perfect for impressing your friends with this summer. These ribs never fail to bring in a crowd. They're sweet, sticky and tender, cheap to make and simple to prepare, yet guaranteed to be a showstopper at any dinner party. However, they do require a long, slow cook (4-6 hours ideally) to ensure that the meat is succulent and falling off the bone. The thing that makes these ribs so special is the added cider or coke, which reduce down significantly during cooking. Using cider will give your sauce a fantastic, tangy, "apple'y" undertone - pork and apples is of course an undeniable match made in heaven! - while coke will result in a sweeter, stickier coating for your ribs. Either way, they're damn tasty so why not try out both and see which one you like the best!
Doing what we do best at School of Wok, we're making Chinese food easy and sharing one of our fantastic recipes...don't say that we never treat you! Following my trip to one of School of Wok's action-packed Oriental Seafood Masterclasses earlier this month (click here for the class review), I thought I'd let you in to a little secret and tell you how to create one of the dishes we learnt that night - 'Steamed Scallops with Garlic & Vermicelli'. This was by far my favourite dish of the night, yet was probably one of the easiest. While I'd never cooked scallops myself at home, I was really surprised at how simple they were to prepare, so long as you can get them open that is! Cooked simply and dressed with a sweet and spicy sauce, these are kept really juicy and succulent - elegant, easy and perfect for any dinner party...you'll want to cook these over and over again!
For whatever reason summer always seems to be the time of year when food trends really come into full swing. Maybe it's the weather, the need for an escape from the seriousness of work, or the plethora of food festivals that have cropped up around the UK. Whatever the reason, we at the school are sharpening our forks, knives and chopsticks and getting ready to dive in! What will summer of 2013 bring London's dinner table? Though no one can say for sure what will hit and what will miss, chefs, restaurateurs and food critics have all weighed in on what they think the London public will see over the course of the next few months. Here are some of their tasty predictions we're excited to tuck into:... Read more
London is an amazing city for quick eats, snacks and food on the go. However, sometimes too much choice just leaves you confused, walking around for hours being unable to choose where to eat. If you're one of these indecisive people (like me) who are always stuck for somewhere for lunch, hopefully this selection of the best sandwiches from across London picked by School of Wok's own staff will make your lives a little easier...and tastier:... Read more
The popularity of Vietnamese food in the UK continues to rise at an astonishing rate with tons of restaurants now specialising in Vietnam's national dish, pho (a wholesome noodle soup). However, one element of the cuisine has gained recognition as of late and is emerging fast as a contender to challenge Britain's best street food – Banh Mi!... Read more
Spring is finally here...at least according to our calendar anyway. While the record amounts of snowfall and bitter winds have put a dampener on the most of March, School of Wok is finally looking forward to some warmer sunshine...and the food that comes with it!... Read more
School of Wok is proud to offer our first-ever Intensive 5-Day Dim Sum Cookery Course! Covering the more well-known classics and the ones that you may have never heard of, our trained and professional chefs will teach you to become a dim sum master in a short space of time.... Read more
Happy New Year from School of Wok! We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and ate to your heart's content. 2013 is now here, the festivities are over and we're all getting back to work, but things are already gearing up for the main event, Chinese New Year, which kicks off in just under a month's time.... Read more
School of Wok is counting down the days until the biggest event of the year...no not Christmas, the other one – Chinese New Year! CNY is full of Chinese tradition, auspiciousness and excitement, however one thing is celebrated above the rest during this period: food!... Read more
Sick of the same old dry turkey and too many sambucas year after year? Then why not try something a little different at your office Christmas shin-dig this festive season. School of Wok has the solution for a fun, interactive and tasty work party with an Oriental twist.... Read more
London's newest shopping destination, the shiny Westfield mall in Stratford, has now got a new attraction: a pop-up School of Wok, bringing the taste of the East to East London! I visited Westfield at the weekend to find the place heaving, as thousands of busy shoppers made a start to their Christmas shopping...better them than me! I was there to say hello to our chefs who were showcasing cookery demonstrations and do-it-yourself mini classes in the Great Eastern Market.... Read more
School of Wok staff are all looking a bit leaner this week having lost a few stone between us slaving over a sizzling BBQ at Food Network's ‘On Fire' food festival. A heatwave at the weekend may sound like the perfect time for a BBQ, but dozens of grills fired up close to each other for 10 hours a day meant there were some pretty sweaty chefs around.... Read more
An Olympian's diet of 6,000 calories a day may sound like a dream for most of us, but to make sure you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet all year round just to replace burned calories sounds like a bit of a pain if you ask me - lean meats, wholegrains, low-fat dairy and lots of pasta plans for a pretty dull eating plan if you're having six meals a day.... Read more
With the hot weather only kicking in a few days ago, we've had our recipes for summer dishes on ice for most of June and July. But now that we've finally had a decent spell of sunshine, we thought we'd treat you to one of Jez's favourite recipes - prawn and asparagus lettuce wraps: tasty, fresh and really quick to make.
School of Wok is the proud sponsor of the ‘Supperheroes' campaign, a series of supperclub events this summer aimed at raising money for Action Against Hunger, a great charity focused on saving the lives of malnourished children and providing families with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.... Read more
We here at School of Wok were all closing watching Gok Wan's new Channel 4 cookery show, Gok Cooks Chinese, on Monday night and we weren't alone, with a total of 1.3 million viewers across the UK tuning in. Ahead of the first show, a few in the press were a bit sceptical about whether this loveable fashionista could even handle a wok, but Gok proved them wrong, showing that he really knew his stuff when it comes to Chinese food!... Read more
We're counting down the days until our brand new cookery school opens in Covent Garden at the end of the month. Classes begin on 28th May and will be taught by SOW founder and head chef Jeremy Pang, as well as guest tutors specialising in a variety of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai and Japanese.... Read more
Well there you have it, Noma has done it again - René Redzepi's innovative and ground-breaking eatery in Copenhagen, Demark, was last week renamed ‘The World's Best Restaurant' for the third year in a row. There's no denying that the menu at Noma is one of the world's most inventive and imaginative - famed for its arty, cutting-edge Nordic cuisine which includes edible flowers and soil - but this year's San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards has, as you would have imagined, ruffled a few feathers in the food world yet again.... Read more
Get used to this face - because you're going to see School of Wok head chef and founder Jeremy Pang just about everywhere from today! Fronting a new campaign lead by Blue Dragon, Jez is thrilled to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a series of exciting competitions and giveaways. Pop into your nearest supermarket to pick up one of Blue Dragon's scrumptious sauces (ranging from Sweet Chilli to Chow Mein and Chinese Curry) and you'll have the chance to win one of 25 Jeremy Pang culinary experiences.... Read more
Jez and the Pang family recently appeared on Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking show! Nigel described Jez's recipe for Tamarind Fish Curry as "an absolute delight... everything I wanted it to be and everything I hoped it would be." Want to see what got the TV chef so excited? Click below to view the video and then scroll down to access the full recipe and try it our for yourself. Bon appetit!
BBC Two is set to go beetroot crazy tonight as the latest episode of The Great British Food Revivaltackles one of the country's most over-looked vegetables. Despite their super health benefits (beetroots are packed with antioxidants and vitamins and are even known to reduce blood pressure), the future of the beetroot is looking bleak - the UK has lost half of its beetroot fields over the last 30 years.... Read more
Chances are you've heard us rambling on about the brilliant Flavours of China, our gastro day that combines a foodie tour of London's Chinatown with a hands-on cooking lesson in our covent garden location. But are you intrigued about what really happens on a Flavours of China tour?... Read more
If you're looking for another good excuse to enjoy Chinese food on a Monday, look no further! On September the 15th we'll be celebrating the Moon Festival, a special day in the Chinese calendar that recognises the end of the autumn harvesting season and the date when the moon is at its roundest and fullest. It's associated with the mythological tale of Chang'e, a goddess who floated up to the moon after accidentally taking an immortality pill.... Read more
Kicking off in London's famous Chinatown, students will have the chance to explore the delights of a Chinese bakery and an oriental supermarket with School of Wok head chef Jeremy Pang. After the tour, the lesson heats up with a full cookery lesson in Covent Garden.... Read more
Ahh, Sweet and Sour Chicken, one of the heavyweights of the Chinese takeaway world. But forget soggy chicken in a box - the very best sweet and sour chicken dishes should strike just the right balance between crisp chicken and sticky deliciousness. Try out this recipe - we guarantee you'll be impressed with yourself.
t's weathered recessions, food fads and the ever-threatening growth of supermarket conglomerates, but Harvest in Bath is still standing 40 years after it first began. A 100% vegetarian wholefoods store, it's far from mainstream - but what are the secrets behind its success? We take a look...... Read more
Has the thought of your upcoming holiday got you reciting a mantra similar to 'No carbs before Marbs'? Embrace this delicious but healthy dish that uses steaming to keep calories low, with an added kick of ginger to keep your tastebuds happy.
There are some people in this world that are destined to make you feel bad about yourself. Gwyneth Paltrow is undoubtedly one of these people. Not only an award-winning actress, she somehow also manages to be a style icon, mother to two kids, wife to rock-star husband, and even manages to run her own lifestyle website. If this is making you want to reach out for the nearest bottle of cooking sherry, wait - it just gets worse. Because Gwynny is also a rather accomplished cook and has just released her first cook book.... Read more
The humble mushroom has been making news recently. Firstly came the revolution that a new foam made out of fungus is to be used to make eco-friendly packaging and car parts. Then came the equally intriguing yet admittedly less revolutionary news that Henry Ashby from Chepstow had discovered a mammoth Morel mushroom weighing 291g in private woodland. Are mushrooms slowly taking over the world? We sent our resident blogger Jess out on a mushroom foray with www.fungitobewith.org to see what all the fuss is about...... Read more
Spring has arrived! It's a new season and a new beginning for School of Wok this month as we launch our new Asian Favourites course; five lessons centred around the best Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Focused on harnessing the delicate, fragrant flavours that are so central to South East Asian cooking, the five new menus are packed with zingy ingredients like chilli, coriander, lime and lemongrass.... Read more
When it comes to overused phrases in the media, they don't come more familiar than the old classic 'back to basics'. With everyone keeping a tighter hold on the purse strings recently, focusing on key essentials and foregoing unnecessary extravagances has become a bit of an everyday obsession. But we think we've discovered the easiest way to not only lower your weekly shopping bill, but also get the freshest, most delicious food in the process. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with the humble farmers' market.... Read more
We catch The Fine Cheese Co. chief shop manager Barney Hatch on an unusually quiet day. The sun is shining and cheese seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind (‘I think everyone's gone down the pub', he muses). But it's a temporary moment of calm. The artisan cheese shop located on Bath's Walcot Street, described as "So good it brings a tear to the eye" by Times food journalist Giles Coren, well deserves its reputation as a bit of a cheese mecca for fans of fromage and is usually buzzing with visitors.... Read more
When I ring Jeremy after his trip to Hong Kong, a sleepy voice greets me at the end of the line. I ask him how the trip was. "It was pretty stuffed," he responds. Really hectic then, a whirlwind of family visits and tourist sites? "Oh no I mean I was pretty stuffed. I ate so. Much. Food."... Read more
Just when it felt like there might be a hint of spring in the air the cold weather's back with a vengeance this week. But if there's one good thing about plummeting temperatures it's the fact that it gives you a green card to gorge yourself on classic winter-warmer dishes like this creamy chicken and ham pie. If you need any further cajoling, this week is also official BRITISH PIE WEEK!
We wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to our new and regular customers for making the start of 2011 so fantastic, and what better way than by sharing this beauty of a recipe for Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup! Once you've got the hang of folding up the wontons it's a doddle. Let us know how you get on below.
A Michelin-starred chef from Britain has the weight of a nation resting on his shoulders this week, as he competes in the final of the prestigious Bocuse d'Or cookery competition in Lyon... Read more
If you've been drinking vitamin concoctions and munching on lettuce leaves since the new year, it's time to fall off the wagon spectacularly with this scrumptiously devilish dessert. The best part about banoffee pie, as my boyfriend Justin's recipe reveals below, is that it's impressive enough for an informal dinner party, but is actually really REALLY easy to make (which makes it taste even better!).
Did you catch Gordon Ramsay's documentary about shark fin soup on Sunday? Shark Bait was actually one of the best food documentaries we've seen in a long time. With Gordon boldly poking his nose behind locked doors, leaping onto private roofs and heading out into the ocean with law-breaking fishermen, it almost felt like the shouty chef had missed his true vocation (he would make a great investigative journalist).... Read more
As we inch further into the New Year, we're all thinking about how we can make 2011 really count. This will be the year we pick up that language, learn that skill, lose that weight. It's a time of self-reflection where we're off the alcohol and onto the path of self-improvement. And what better way to broaden your horizons than by learning something new?... Read more
When I get this recipe from Nev, I get dizzy with excitement, instantly having visions of myself as a buxom Nigella Lawson, licking melted chocolate from my fingers and making provocative ‘mmmm' noises. I trot, nay, I skip down to my local grocer (that would be Tesco Metro) and merrily pick up all manner of thrilling foodstuffs. There's something incredibly liberating about carrying a piece of paper that tells you to buy chocolate. I feel guilt-free. And hungry.
Here at SOW, we're proud to say that when we arrive on your doorstep with our cooking ingredients, you can be confident that we've brought only the very best. That includes free range chicken, farm assured meat, and produce sourced locally wherever possible.... Read more
Recipe of the Month: Santas Spring Rolls Stuck with what to do with your left-over turkey and Christmas dinner trimmings? Spring rolls are a great way to use up all your extra bits of tasty Christmas dinner... whatever you decide to cook on the 25th December why not buy some pre-made spring roll pastry ready to wrap into a delicious treat for boxing day.
Last night I went on my first recipe adventure. Ok, so I was cooking Jez's Soy Sauce Chicken, and not fried locust or freshwater crocodile, but nevertheless the anticipation in my kitchen was palpable. I love, love, love Chinese food and was very excited to see that you can apparently whip up an authentic meal in about 40 minutes, using limited ingredients and basic cooking techniques.... Read more
Dearest Food Enthusiasts, I’m Jess, the new resident blogger here at School of Wok HQ. Over the next few weeks we’ve got some great ideas lined up, including interviews with top chefs and a whole host of recipes and tips from Jez and Cookery Coach Head Chef Nev to give you some inspiration.... Read more
With Christmas fast approaching (it’s only 42 shopping days to go!), it’s time to start getting prepared for the big day. And we think we may have found the perfect place- St Faith’s Christmas Fayre in Brentford. Read more about the School of Wok vs Cookery Coach cook-off…... Read more
East meets West at St Faith's Christmas Fayre Cook-off Nev Leaning, the head chef of the School of Wok's new sister company Cookery Coach (www.cookerycoach.co.uk) has challenged our head chef Jeremy Pang to a head-to-head Christmas Cook-Off at St Faith's Christmas Fayre in Brentford on Tue 23rd November 2010 from 6pm-9pm. Join us there and have a chance to win prizes from both companies worth over £100!... Read more
This fragrant pond leaf is a great way to add a subtle sweetness to different Chinese foods. The lotus leaf is famous for its high water repellency which is great for cooking and steaming as it helps the food that it is wrapped in pick up its natural flavours ...... Read more
Soy sauce is an ingredient used by many, however not necessarily understood by all who use it. The two main types of soy sauce (light and dark) have significant differences that can be used both to complement each other in the same dish or to amplify tastes in certain dishes with one or the other being the base of the sauce.... Read more
A key ingredient to Malaysian food. The use of natural ingredients in Malaysian food never ceases to amaze. Using great combinations of shrimp paste / tamarind and palm sugar in curries and rice dishes really brings out the natural salts, sweets and sours..... Read more
Malaysian Sambal is used both as an accompaniment to certain dishes and as a base to many Malaysian curries or stirfries. In many Malaysian dishes such as Nasi Goreng (Right), Nasi Lemak and Soup noodles, this hot chilli paste adds a bitter sweet spice to the dish which complements the great variety of textures and tastes on a Malaysian dinner plate.
This supplier has been a great discovery – and when we stumble on such a great service, we want to share it with you! Fish For Thought is one of the most established online fishmonger in the UK – who put their daily catches from Cornish day-boats online. [www.fishforthought.co.uk ](https://www.fishforthought.co.uk/)... Read more