Cooking Up a
The scenery that we faced.
Prepping away.
Food is served!
October 9, 2006

I saw a sign when I first got into Yangshuo. It said ‘Cooking Class’. That was all it took to say ‘Sign me up!’

Every city in China seems to be known for a local dish – here it is beer fish. And this would be one of the dishes on the menu that we were
preparing. The other dishes were steamed stuffed vegetables, green vegetables with garlic, eggplant Yangshuo-style and chicken with

There were eight of us in the class and we would begin at the large local market in Yangshuo. Amy and Jackie (who both spoke incredible
English) showed us around and pointed out what several things were to us (many that we would have not been able to figure out on our
own). We focused mainly on the produce and some of the spices. A mini-van was then waiting for us to escort us to the village where the
cooking school was.

The scenery here alone scored an ‘A’ in my book. The rock formations stood in the background of fields that stretched as far as the eye
could see. But it was time to do what we came here to do – cook!

We each had our own cooking stations and our own ingredients all set up for us. We began with making the steamed stuffed veggies since
those would take the longest to cook. After putting those in the steamer, we moved onto the eggplant which we all took outside to eat as
our little appetizer. So delish!

We then made the next three dishes with Jackie’s tutorial, demonstration and guidance. When it came to seasoning the food with both the
spices and sauces, she taught us a valuable lesson that many of us don’t often do. She would tell us how important it is to put these things
directly onto the meat as we want the flavor to be in the food and not in the wok. As obvious as it sounds, I can’t count the number of
times at home that I have put sauces just directly into the wok. I would also learn just how quickly cashew nuts cook up if you don’t tend
to them immediately. My chicken with cashew nuts would have an unintended nice blackened look to them. That being said, while it may
not have been the most aesthetically pleasing looking thing it was still quite delectable.

After cooking everything up, we all headed outside with our mass amounts of food. The entire meal was incredible and was only enhanced
by the company of my fellow classmates. Six of the seven other people were on a tour and they already knew one another very well. It was
a fun dynamic. So fun that I made plans to meet up with them later on in the night for a drink.

Four hours later I would get back to my guesthouse in Yangshuo. This was definitely a highlight…and far surpassed the cooking class I did
in India.

Click here to see the recipes from the cooking class.
Back to China.