Lifestyle London

Becoming a Wok Star at School of Wok

I love cooking but I can’t say i’m good with a wok. More of a cake girl myself.

You definitely couldn’t call be a wok star but after my lesson with School of Wok, I definitely left feeling like one. After my class I tapped my toes around Chinatown looking for inspiration for my next cooking adventure.

Having lived in China, I always found it a little embarrassing wandering around the food aisle in Sainsburys, knowing that I could make something so much better than the random can of Sweet and Sour sauce that I was about to buy.

And so on a quest to become a Chinese cooking queen, I spent last Saturday taking part in a group ‘Cook your own Chinese banquet’ class. I was a bit nervous because it can be quite daunting having to make conversation with people who you’ve never met before especially when you’re holding cleavers.

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But after a brief introduction, we were all good friends ready to get stuck into cooking Chinese food.

The first part was knife skills. We were given giant Chinese cleavers and shown how to use them. We were taught different methods for cutting vegetables. Just you wait until I cook my next pepper – I got this under control!

Then we started getting peckish with all of the food around us so we cooked our first serving – prawn toast. I haven’t had it in ages and it was such a treat.

Once we’d had our little (actually rather large and delicious snack) we got stuck into two big dishes – pork fried rice and chicken with cashew nuts. And then we even got to make Wontons – it was good to understand how to fold the pastry and make them look authentic.

When we were done cooking the three mega dishes, we sat down them along with a Tsingtao beer and got stuck in.

It was interesting to see why people had decided to come for a class – many had been given them as a gift and had travelled from great distances – one even from the Isle of Man.

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After lunch – which made me feel so full I never wanted to eat again – we got stuck in on making spring rolls. They were one of my favourites as they were a lot easier than you’d think and of course they’re a bit flashy if you want to show off to people.

Then we moved onto the Chow Mein followed by Sweet and Sour pork – an amazing recipe that took me back to some of my first days in Hong Kong. I have to say, it’s always good to find something that reminds you of your travels and this was definitely the one for me.

We sat down again and tried to eat but this time we could all only manage a couple of mouthfuls – thank god for the doggy bags and endless amount of vegetable spring rolls. I am set for days.

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After finally admitting defeat, it was time to ask any last questions about cooking Chinese food – thanks for the tip about the Wonton soup. I can’t wait to make it.

We all had one last sip of our beers and then waved goodbye, all of us carrying giant brown paper bags crammed full of food.

And the funny thing is, this evening I cooked myself Chinese tomato and eggs with rice. Maybe I am going to be a wok star after all!

Thanks to School of Wok for letting me come down and play chef. All words, views and pictures are my own and I hope to replicate the delicious food I made in the near future. Don’t expect me to hold a dinner party though! 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    anna
    July 16, 2016 at 5:25 am

    This sounds great! I just did a cooking class here in Chiang Mai…and like you, I left the place stuffed! The food looks great!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 20, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Glad you had a lovely time at your cooking class – definitely a good cultural addition to your trip!

  • Reply
    Stefan
    July 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

    WOK STAR – crying!!! Love that 🙂

    LOVE cooking with woks though. We did cooking classes in Yangshuo and was some of our favourite culinary experiences. Definitely gonna check this out when I’m back home in London.

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      The class in yangshuo must have been amazing – the food there is good and the scenery is stunning! Well jealous!

  • Reply
    Nisha
    July 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    What a wonderful experience ! I have been attending a few cookery classes in different countries and they are fun!

    The moment I read Wok, I knew it had to be China . 🙂

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 20, 2016 at 11:58 am

      That’s a good idea to take cooking classes in different countries! I’ll definitely have to add that into my future travel plans!

  • Reply
    Mihaela
    July 16, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I am in love with China and the food! Unfortunately not a great cook myself but love to eat what others are cooking lol! now I’m just drooling over your pics 🙂

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Ha! Well enjoy the pictures! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Lillie
    July 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Ok, first of all… “School of Wok”?! Hah! Love the name. Second, the experience sounds delicious. I took one cooking class during my travels in Thailand and it was a highlight of all my travels. I have to remember to do another one soon!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Yeah the name is brilliant isn’t it! As a School of Rock fan myself, I had to go! Glad you got to take a cookery class in Thailand – must have been amazing!

  • Reply
    Meg Jerrard
    July 17, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I love taking cooking classes when I travel – only problem is I can never replicate it when I get back home!!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      That’s the thing isn’t it Meg, sometimes you need the atmosphere too to add to a dish!

  • Reply
    Jen Joslin
    July 17, 2016 at 1:04 am

    All the food you made looks so delicious! Now you’ve got me craving Chinese food! My partner and I lived in China for a couple of years and learned to make a few dishes too, but I’d love to learn to make more. So fun that this class exists!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      It’s always good to take a few dishes with you from your travels so it’s good that you managed to learn how to cook some from China. So many great dishes to learn how to cook though! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Megan
    July 17, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I love taking cooking classes when I travel and this sounds like a good one. Great that you got to do a knife skill portion. That’s something I’d love to learn more about.

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Yeah I wasn’t actually expecting the knife skill portion but it was probably the most interesting and almost got me shopping for a Chinese clever in Chinatown!

  • Reply
    Sabine
    July 18, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Wok Star hmm ^^ Well I am currently living in China and the nice thing is that one never has to cook here, because eating out is so much faster and so cheap…but that way I am never learning how to make any of the dishes.

    But then I am a cookbook horder so all fine 😉 That class still looked like fun. So out of curiosity what is the food you miss the most from your time in China?

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Yes it’s great isn’t it! So cheap!!

      I’ve been keeping up with your adventures on your blog!

      Hmm probably Roujiamo – Chinese hamburger and just chao bing from a street vendor. It’s so fatty but my favourite thing especially when you’ve been up late. I remember staying up late doing some writing work and wandering over to find Chao bing for sale on the corner of the street. Best thing ever!

  • Reply
    Kenny
    July 20, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Luckily, I have been connecting with food that cooked by Wok every day – and I am always amazed how much a Wok can do. Enjoy and have fun becoming a Wok Star and thanks for sharing with us about your experience!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 20, 2016 at 11:59 am

      You are very lucky indeed! I’m totally obsessed with wok cooking at the moment – love it!

  • Reply
    Chantae
    July 20, 2016 at 2:31 am

    LOL @ Wok Star… Can I be a Wok Star too?! It all looks so delicious, my cooking skills could definitely use a place like this 😀 Love the pictures.

    • Reply
      Sophie
      July 20, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      You can definitely be a wok star too! I can’t stop cooking Chinese food at the moment!

  • Reply
    Connie
    July 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Prawn toasts are something I haven’t had in ages and now that you’ve reminded me about them, totally miss! I’ve got Jeremy’s cookbook and think it’s utterly fabulous!

  • Reply
    Nikki | The Traveling Ginger |
    July 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I have always wanted to attend a cooking class somewhere! This looks like a lot of fun. I wonder how different of an experience it would be to do it in China! It all looks delicious!

  • Reply
    April
    July 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    As embarrassing as it is, this is actually my first time to hear about “wok” but so glad for the info you’ve given me! Thanks for sharing!! And WOK STAR!! yay!! ^_^

  • Reply
    Natasha
    July 21, 2016 at 6:12 am

    This looks like a really cool experience, would love to learn how to cook Chinese food properly! I did a similar thing in France learning traditional French dishes it was really cool 🙂

  • Reply
    Henry Sebert
    August 30, 2016 at 5:18 am

    No stress, no mess. Cooking will become creative, relaxing, mindful and fun, 4 words not usually associated with cooking!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
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  • Reply
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