Taiwanese Cooking Introductory Class
Basic ingredients introduction
Toasted oyster mushrooms with garlic dressing
Taiwanese sweet sauce (soy paste)
Deep fried tofu layers with sweet garlic sauce
Layering of flavors without using recipes
Cucumber salad with assorted white sesame oil dressing
Sweet and sour dressing
Sesame apple and carrot sticks
Konjac noodles with garlic sesame sauce
About the class
In this class we will learn basic Taiwanese cooking ingredients, use them to make different sauces and dressings, and create the flavors for appetizers and soup. The experience you gain during the class will enhance your own Asian cooking.
We will start making home-made soy milk with black sugar and sesame seeds. This is a very common local breakfast drink, you can find this healthy drink in every little breakfast shop in Taiwan, and even at convenience stores like 7-11.
We will be learning how to select basic ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oils. And then make three simple Taiwanese dressings, flavored with ginger and garlic. Finally we use the dressings to conjure up some dazzling tastes from simple grilled mushrooms or tofu.
Hot and sour soup is many people's favorite Chinese soup, but they never know how easy and quick it is to prepare. We will use tomato and pineapple to create the natural sour taste of the soup broth, and combine this flavor with white pepper and black vinegar to create the contrast between hot and sour of this soup.
Sesame paste is very common in Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine – it can be compared to Tahini in Middle Eastern cuisine. This very fragrant paste takes no more than a few minutes to make. We will try it with some salad with konjac noodles. Taiwanese people often use sesame paste as a general flavoring like pesto, for example served on top of cooked noodles, or as a dipping sauce for hot pot, chicken salad, or grilled dishes.
Next we will make Sichuan spicy oil, which will allow us to bring the remarkable taste of flower pepper to almost any dish. This time, we will serve the spicy oil on fresh pineapple – the contrast between sweet, sour and spicy is an eye-opening experience. Sichuan spicy oil is found on the table in noodle restaurants, dumpling restaurants, sticky tofu stands, and many other local food stands in Taiwan. You can use it quite like Italian spicy oil, to quickly add interest to all kinds of dishes and ingredients, but Sichuan spicy oil takes no more than 1 minute to prepare.
After this we will not only be making spicy Gong Bao sauce with dry chilies, garlic and black sesame oil, but we will also combine it with sweet, sour and salty dressings made from sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. The result is one sauce with many different layers of flavor. And we will serve this layered sauce on steamed eggplant (aubergine). To suggest just a few ideas for your future cooking experiments, this versatile sauce can be used on barbecues, grilled fish and meat, sate, noodles, and so on.
The goal of this class is to make creating the flavors of Taiwanese cooking simple for anyone. By the end of the class, you will have learned at least 5 different sauces and dressings to put on your kitchen shelf, so can just grill, steam, boil or sautée extremely simple meat or vegetable dishes, add the sauce to them and create an authentic Taiwanese flavor.
Flower pepper and sesame
In this introductory class we'll look at about four recipes for sauces based on flower pepper (Xanthoxylum) and three or four more based on sesame seed. I will tell you how you can use these as the basis of a variety of other dishes, and we will cook a few of them together, and try them. I focus on using vegetables and other natural, healthy ingredients in my classes.
The flower pepper sauce or dressing can be made quickly and easily and you can also use it with entrees or stir-fried dishes. Flower pepper is actually a common ingredient in cuisine from Sichuan and Yunnan in Western China. Chinese people call it flower pepper, but it is also known as xanthoxylum.
Sesame seeds are another very commonly used ingredient, which have a widespread influence throughout Asian food culture too. The sesame sauce is very quick and simple to make, and also very easy to serve with noodles, uncooked vegetables, or meat. Both these flavors, flower pepper and sesame, have been adapted to Taiwanese cuisine and are very popular in Taiwan.
The class will take about four hours.
Language: English (Chinese or Taiwanese if required)
Cost: Our price for this standard one day (about 4 hours) class is NT$4,000 for one student (about HK$1100, US$130 or 95 Euros), NT$7,000 for two students (about HK$1900), NT$10,000 for three students, and NT$12,000 for four students. Sorry, but we do not offer discounts.
Credit Cards/Paypal: If you wish to pay by credit card or Paypal, we can only accept advance payment online, not on the day of the class. There is a four percent handling charge. Please contact us for details.
Class size: 1 - 4 students (larger classes may be possible). Always let us know exactly how many people will be coming with you. Private classes may be available on request, for an additional charge.
Children: Before you book, please let us know if you are bringing children and their approximate ages. Usually we will require you to book a private class if you bring young children, as they may affect other guests' enjoyment of the class.
Time: Classes usually start at 10am or 2pm and last about four hours. Please always contact us well in advance to make a reservation. We will try to arrange the classes to fit your schedule.
Note: These details apply to the standard classes which you can see on this page. Some custom designed classes or classes with more expensive ingredients may cost more or last longer.
Credit Cards: We can only accept Credit Card payments online, not on the day of the class. Please contact us for details. Payment processing companies will impose additional fees on transactions.
Booking Deposit: For some classes and certain busier periods, we require an advance booking deposit of NT$1,500 per person for each class booked, paid by Credit Card or Paypal. In some cases we can accept your booking without an advance deposit.
Other Payment Methods: Please contact us for details.
Cancellation/changes/refunds: If you need to cancel your class more than 7 days before the date you have booked, we will refund your deposit minus a 10% charge to cover our handling costs and charges imposed by Credit Card/Paypal. For late cancellation and changes (less than 7 days before start of class), we charge NT$1,500 per person for each class booked, and refund the remainder of your advance payment or deposit. This is to cover the cost of lost business, ingredients, and preparation. This charge applies for class cancellation, time or date changes, and reductions in the number of guests. Aside from this, we humbly implore you not to book a class unless you are certain you can attend on time, because late cancellations, no shows and very late arrivals are costly for us, and they inconvenience other guests or deny them their only chance to attend a class.
Telephone: (02) 2720-0053
Address: 2F, 29-1 Zi Yun St, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市信義區110紫雲街29-1號2樓