Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yan Can Cook!

Last night my Dad and I had the pleasure of attending a cooking class by the famed Martin Yan. For those who don't remember Yan, he hosted Yan Can Cook on PBS many many years ago. He has had quite an influence on Chinese cooking in the United States and is a wonderful showman. Yan did not disappoint in his cooking class. He put on a wonderful demonstration of cooking techniques, including chopping skills that seemed like magic. I have never seen someone get as many slices out of a tomato as Yan did. It was incredible to watch. In addition to the wonderful instruction and demonstration, we also got to sample several of the the dishes. All of the recipes come from Yan's new cookbook, Martin Yan's China. The book is beautifully illustrated and has lots of recipes that are friendly to a home cook. I need to go purchase a wok so I can try to recreate some of these at home. Also, Yan noted that he had a new class coming out on PBS which corresponds to the cookbook. Its wonderful he will be entertaining a whole new generation and I'm looking forward to learning new techniques.

We sampled the following at the demonstration:

Crystal Wrapped Chicken (Minced Chicken in a Lettuce Cup)-These tasted pretty close to the lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs. Really good with a slight kick from the chile garlic sauce.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp-This was one of my favorites although the kick was quite potent. I'm thinking of making it at home with chicken but adjusting the heat just a little.

Corn Crunch Stir-Fry-My other favorite of the evening. The sweet corn mixed with the veggies and tofu provided a nice mix. I definitely want to make this one soon.

Shangri-La Beef-Good flavor, I'm just not a fan of beef in Chinese dishes.

Grandma Yan's Signature Fried Rice-This was good but not like the traditional fried rice you expect. It had preserved duck leg and mint in addition to shrimp, peas and scrambled egg.

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