Day 1- Won’t you take me to…CHINA TOWN!

Todays Menu:


Hot and Sour

Chicken Congee


Char Sui Spareribs

Pork Egg Rolls


Tea-Smoked Duck (DELICIOUS)

Pork Chow Mein

Fried Snapper with Black Bean Sauce

Chili Beef with Basil


Egg Noodles with Bean Sprouts & Baby Asparagus

Jeweled Rice


Tofu with Vegetables

Spiced Vegetables

Mixed Vegetables, Monk-Style


Sesame Cold Noodles

China….such an honorable beginning to our International Cuisine Lab. After all, China is literally the OLDEST continuing civilization, has the LARGEST ethnic group on the planet, and soups are an integral part of their meal (and I ❤ soup).  Today was my first experience using a Wok (I was assigned the Chicken Congee soup!):


Did you know that the Wok was actually fashioned after Chinese war helmets? I have to say, I was a little intimidated by the size and the weight of it, let alone the extremely high heat it gives off. This certainly called for a “Sammy on her toes”. I do not know why but whenever I am very concentrated on a task I am on my toes, regardless of whether or not I am hunched over.

Anyway, it was very interesting learning about the Chinese appreciation for fresh ingredients, and HEY AMERICA, they use very rare, if any, DAIRY. I know, that means no heavy cream, milk, or (gasp) butter! My chef (Chef Kelly) actually just got back from a month in Singapore and lost 20 POUNDS just from the lack of red meat, dairy, and soda in his diet. I am surprised Jared from subway or Valerie from Jenny Craig has not started to sponsor the “Come-to-Singapore-for-a-Month” diet.

I was introduced to a very interesting root vegetable today called Lotus Root. Ever heard of it?


It is grown underwater, and has a texture very similar to a potato. I tried a piece of it raw and a refreshingly tame sweetness came over my mouth with a great deal of  water chestnut resemblance. And it certainly adds to presentation if sliced thin and fried. Lovely!

So being that I am quite new to this I forgot to take a picture of my completed soup (which tasted delicious, if I say so myself), but I did take a shot of all my mise en place!


The bottom left is about a teaspoon of fresh ginger, moving to the left is 1/4″ cut chicken breast, two cups of cabbage, long grain rice, peanut oil, and scallions in the center! I took all those ingredients “for a wok” as my chef kept saying, and simply added chicken stock, let it reduce, and seasoned to taste to make a simple, yet delicious soup.

Here’s a few more dishes!


Pork Egg Rolls: crunchy on the outside, so much flavor on the inside, paired with the sauce=DELICIOUS


Char Sui Spareribs: sticky, sweet, and tender. Need I say more?


Tea Smoked Duck: Chef Kelly, “I have had this recipe made the same exact way for the past 10 years and this is by FAR the best I have ever tasted.” Great job Juan and Kelly!!


Sesame Cold Noodles: Amazingly sweet peanut flavor, with a major kick at the end unfortunately causing an addictive desire to take another sweet bite to cool the heat!

Well, that about sums up my Monday. Tomorrow? Japan, Korea, and the Philippines!

Comments, Suggestions, Questions? Have a great rest of your day!!



Filed under International Cuisine

3 responses to “Day 1- Won’t you take me to…CHINA TOWN!

  1. Are you guys doing Thailand? I think Korea and Philippines are going to be exciting.

  2. Yes, actually on Day 3 we are doing Thailand and Vietnam!

  3. mama b

    Love the blog…great set up, great pics…great job!

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