Chef Woo Can is offering a fun class of making wonton soup, jasmine rice and kung pao chicken with peanuts. If you live in Harford & Baltimore County, Maryland and would love to be a host, email me at info@chefwoocan. Class size should be no more than 5 friends. Impress your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend or impress your date with these 3 starter dishes. It would truly be a fun and stunning April Fool's evening surprise. They won't believe who cooked the meal.
Now don't get turned off by the name. If I used it you wouldn't know it came from oysters. Oyster sauce is the ketchup of the Far East. It's used in practically every dish.
As a matter of fact, a gentleman by the name of Lee Kum Kee, created oyster sauce by accident and since then, its an integral part of Asian Cuisine. It's the base sauce of mostly all dishes.
You probably had it and you didn't know it. Beef and Chicken with Broccoli. Today, all Asian establishments say its "Brown Sauce". For those with high blood pressure "Everything in Moderation" applies here because the sodium content is like over 1,000 mg. You only need a little to bring out the flavor of any dish but we're so used to eating with a lot of sodium in our diet, no one expects it to be salty.
At the Supermarket, along the Asian aisle, you may see oyster sauce. Check the label because it may be just caramel coloring, a thickening agent and lots of salt. You don't want this. If it says oyster extract, its the one you want. Unfortunately the Lee Kum Kee Brand may not be in the Asian aisle of your local supermarket but definitely can be found in an Asian market.
Mushrooms are delicious. They absorb the flavor of any dish being made. Whether it be Italian Chicken Cacciatore, pizza or marsala to name a few, it makes every dish delicious. (As you can see by my examples, Italian is my second favorite cuisine).
In the Asian dinner table, Shittake Mushroom takes the cake. It's bought dried at any Asian market. You ask, then what? Well, it must be soaked with hot water to allow it to hydrate itself. After about 2 hrs, you'll see the mushroom in full bloom. Remember the mushrooms had to be salted in order to dry them initially. Other than in a fast food place or Asian restaurant, they used canned mushroom, not Shiitake. Shiitake Mushrooms can be very expensive depending on the grade and where their coming from.
The mushrooms go well with dark meat chicken or combine with bok choy, snow pea pods, carrots and tofu for a nice vegetarian dish.
Nothing beats grilling a good ribeye steak during the Summer. But have you ever tried a Korean Barbeque? Well, you need to start with the best tasting beef. Short Ribs have the best flavor and very delicious. I use boneless short rib and marinate it with a Korean barbeque sauce. The marinated beef is cut into bite size pieces along with sliced jalepeno peppers and garlic cloves. The short ribs, garlic and peppers are grilled in front of you or if you want I can grill it on the side. A bean paste is mixed with soda which creates a balance of salty and sweet, along with sliced scallion all placed on a lettuce leaf folded like an envelope. It's just delicious to put it simply! Along with that are small dishes of kimchi, Korean potato salad, zuchini sauteed with sesame oil and chili and other assorted small dishes of gourmet treats
A new way of eating short ribs. Everything is grilled in front of everyone on a portable butane stove or if you prefer I can cook it and then serve it to everyone. .
We've been told over and over again that fat is bad for us. It's unhealthy, contributes to high cholesterol and all sorts of ailments and medical conditions. To some degree I agree but my view is that everything is ok in MODERATION. The exception is if there is family history of medical problems or weight gain or high blood pressure, then animal fat should be avoided.
In the Asian family, pork was preferred more than beef since there was an abundance of pigs than cows. But as you know pork can be very fatty, just like beef
Bacon for example is the pig's stomach. When you buy bacon, you'll see a layer of fat and a layer of pork. Of course its treated with nitrates and sodium to make it taste good.
We love roast pork belly braised with a thick soy sauce or with a crispy skin and dipped in a hoisin sauce. You'll see a layer of fat and a layer of pork. It's delicious and scrumptious. If you have the opportunity to have a Hawaiian Luau, you'll get a 25-30 lb roast suckling pig and the skin is just delicious. You'll see me cut it up and served with hoisin sauce, or place it in a Hawaiian bun for a pork slider. Add little sliced scallion and you have a Peking Pork Slider. It's simply delicious. The fat makes the pork more tender and savory. If you love pork chops, it must be cooked well done but its so chewy and dry unless you choose the center cut which is a little tender but having some of the fatty edge adds more flavor. You can have a bowl of rice with a couple of pieces of suckling pig and just add a dash of ketchup and hot sauce. Yummy. The crispness of the skin is crunchy, tasty and heavenly.
Stir frying is the magic method of Asian cooking. The process involves high heat and constant sauteing. If you have a teflon wok, the high heat will ruin the teflon coating. To have a successful experience, all ingredients used must be cut in uniformed small pieces to ensure even distribution of heat. To have pieces cut in all types of pieces will create some that will be overcooked, some under cooked, just not good.
In stir frying you'll need to have some aromatics like garlic and ginger. I recommend using fresh garlic cloves. I personally dislike the minced garlic in a bottle with water, to me its not the same. Fresh garlic is good for you. Take the garlic, lay it on the chopping board and with the flat side of the cleaver, just smash the clove. Then take a piece of fresh ginger. Ginger has all sorts of good benefits for you. Peel off skin and smash it like you did with garlic.
Heat the wok on high, then add oil (2 tablespoon), vegetable or canola oil, add garlic and ginger but don't let it burn, stir constantly, then add meat and saute. Keep mixture moving, using a spatula. If you leave the mixture without moving it with high heat, then the mixture will burn. Add veggies are added last. Why? Veggies cook faster and you want the texture to be crispy. Color is a clear indicator. You want bright colors like emerald color green, bright orange for carrots,
While mixture is cooking, create a cornstarch solution (corn starch (1 teaspoon), water to make a slurry solution, add soy sauce, a dash of sugar, sesame oil or shao shing wine, and mix in. The cornstarch will thicken, and the flavors will enhance the flavor.
You'll be able to see reviews about Chef' Woo Can, his classes and demonstrations and what friends and customers have said about his cooking.
Don't leave home without one. Just kidding but the first step to learning the art of Asian cooking is the wok. True woks are made of high carbon steel. If you see one in a Asian restaurant supply store, it may be all black in color. You should pay about $ 20.00 for a medium size one with 1 handle.
Under my Pinterest account, you will see ow to season a new wok. The sesoning process preps the wok for cooking, gets the impurities out of the high carbon steel and indirectly preserves the wok for another time.
The beauty of the wok is no chemicals are used to provide a non stick surface. With woks, after each use there is a thin film that acts as anon stick surface. After awhile you'll have a non stick wok without any chemicals.
The problem is where do you store it after each use? Make room in the pots and pan draw as the wok can be used for almost everything. Because of the high carbon steel, it heats up in a short period of time, saves electricity. All heat intensity is concentrated in the center.
More nutrients are retained in a very short period of time. The kids will love the veggies now. Not overcooked and ugly green color. Now you'll have crispy veggies and emerald green color with dash of soy sauce and fresh garlic.
In Maryland, unless you live near Washington, D.C, like Bethesda, Silver Spring, its tough to find a traditional Chinese restaurant. Forget about the fried rice, general tsos chicken, wonton soup, spareribs, go for the gusto with an inquiring taste. Go where the Chinese go. There are 2 restaurants, 1 in Ellicott City, off of Rte 40 called Asian Court. On Saturday and Sunday from 11-3 PM they have what is called Dim Sum. Sort of like a weekend brunch tapas style. Ladies brings carts full of asian goodies, from steamed dumplings to fried dumplings to roast duck to clams with black bean sauce to dessert items. It's very traditional.
Just ask "what is that" or "I'll have what they're having"
It's alot of fun. It's different, why not, its food.
The other restaurant is Chop Stix in Rosedale. Off of Rte 40 on 66th St, make a left by the building warehouse that says Ha Ha Markets or make a rt on 66th st going the other way. It's an industrial site. go to the end and make a left (you can only make a left or right), go 1 block and you'll see "Chop Sticks Gourmet" on the corner. Very traditional. Between the hour of 11-3 the same Dim Sum. Try it you'll love it. You'll see lots of Chinese people and that's a good sign. Note the host will give you and order paper, try not to be intimidated with the weird stuff. It's good. I would recommend "Har Gow" shrimp dumpling wrapped in a translucent rice skin. add a little soy sauce and yummy.