Monday, July 9, 2012

Beijing Imperial Cuisine Cooking Class @ InterContinental KL

Last week, I attended a cooking class at InterContinental KL to cook with Master Chef Wang Gang from Beijing, China.  Chef Wang's cooking strengths lie in authentic Beijing Imperial cuisine. In 2010 he was awarded the Commandeur of la Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France, an award that recognizes chef’s excellent skills worldwide. For those interested to try Beijing Imperial Cuisine in KL, Chef Wang will be cooking at Toh Lee until 31 July 2012.

Chef Wang Gang with his trio of abalone


A lesson in Beijing Imperial Cuisine...

We gathered at Toh Lee Chinese Restaurant at 9.30am in the morning and were each handed a black apron and chef's hat to look the part. Since this was a hands-on cooking class, we got a work station each. During the cooking class, Chef Wang demonstrated three dishes to us and we were to replicate, and the dishes were then served to us as part of a 5-course lunch.

We started off by making dessert, a traditional royal stuffed sweet rice dumpling filled with five nuts. The glutinous rice and glutinous rice flour was prepared in advance for us since these took some time to soak/steam. All we had to do was cook the filling (sugar, sesame seeds, walnuts, peanuts, dried osmanthus, and honey) and then roll the rice dumpling into balls. This is one dessert I definitely wouldn't mind replicating at home as it is relatively simple and delicious.


Time to roll the glutinous rice into balls

How to fill and roll the rice dumplings


Chef Sumo with her rice dumplings ;) 


Here are the ones that I made, decorated with some goji berries and mint leaves



While waiting for them to set up the equipment and ingredients for the next course, we were served some delicious sandwiches... loved the smoked duck mini buns.



Next, we were shown to make Beijing style sweet and sour cod fish. Beijing style sweet and sour sauce is different from the ones you usually find in restaurants in KL where it is red in colour.. the Beijing style sauce is black in colour, made from sugar, black vinegar, salt, chicken powder and cornstarch.

We asked Chef Wang how to tell if the cod fish is cooked, he says that the fish will be golden brown and there will be less bubbles by the time the fish is ready. We all tried making our own sweet and sour sauce - we could control how sweet / sour we wanted it to be by adjusting the amount of sugar or vinegar. I liked the sauce, so I would be pairing this with a fresh local fish that I can get my hands on the next week from the wet market.

Frying the cod fish


Chef Wang's Beijing Sweet and Sour Cod Fish


Mine ;)



Everyone's fish dish ready! Good job ;)


The last and final dish that we learnt to make is the trio of abalone. This is my first time cooking live abalone and it turned out good. Abalone does not need to be cooked long (1 1/2 - 2 mins depending on size). The trio of abalone is meant to be a cold dish, hence the abalone is placed into a bowl of ice water after it is cooked. The abalone is served with 3 different sauces- sichuan, ginger and garlic sauce on top of HK siew tong choy leaves, wood fungus and takuan.

Live abalone


Here are some photos of the other participants preparing their abalone dish 






Chef Wang's trio of abalone... very nice colours!



Blanching the abalone in ice water, vegetable bases are ready



Marinating the abalone

Ta-daaa... here's my trio of abalone. 



I cooked with a Masterchef...

My trio of abalone gets the seal of approval from Chef Wang


After our cooking class, we were ushered into a private room in Toh Lee Restaurant to enjoy the trio of abalone that we just prepared. This was followed by a delicious tomato and wild mushroom soup with razor clams (chef prepared), Beijing sweet and sour cod fish (from cooking class), Beijing style chicken and vegetable dumpling served with garlic vinegar (chef prepared) and the traditional royal stuffed sweet rice dumpling filled with five nuts (from cooking class). I particularly enjoyed the cod fish and soup, which I wouldn't mind preparing again at home for my family.

Trio of abalone


Tomato and wild mushroom soup with razor clams


Beijing style sweet and sour cod fish


Beijing style dumplings


Traditional royal stuffed sweet rice dumpling filled with five nuts


Group Photo with Master Chef Wang Gang

From 2 - 31 July, Chef Wang Gang will also prepare a special a la carte menu which features 10 dishes, as well as two 6-course set menus inspired by China's dynasties will be sure to showcase his unique cooking techniques and wow guests. Click here to view the menus.

I had great fun at the cooking class, many thanks to InterContinental KL for organising such an enjoyable session and extending an invite to me. Recipes will be shared soon :)


Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here. 

Opening times: Lunch 12.00 noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), 11.00am to 2.30pm (Saturdays),
10.00am to 2.30pm (Sundays and Public Holidays) and Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Daily)


Pork-free.

Price: RM150++ per person for cooking class, and 5-course meal.

Location: Toh Lee Chinese Restaurant, InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur (previously Hotel Nikko).

Tel: +60 3 2782 6128

Website: http://www.intercontinental-kl.com.my/dining/toh_lee_restaurant.asp

GPS Coordinates: 3.160249, 101.717584

25 comments:

  1. ahhh... now u must damn pro in making rice dumplings! :D

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    Replies
    1. Hehe boleh tahan la.... it's quite easy to make. :)

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  2. Oooo...I love smoked duck!!! Wah! One lesson, learn so many things.. If me, one in, one out... Old man, memory...the retention no so good liao. LOL!!!

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    1. Hahahaha you're so funny! The chef gave us recipe also, come back can practice.

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  3. Liked the photo of Chef Sumo with her rice dumplings...haha :)

    So Evelyn was there too!...hehe =)

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    Replies
    1. Yea, she took the photo of me with my dumplings :P

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  4. Ah, you seem to learn a lot in one cooking class! I'm kinda interested now. kekekeke.

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    1. Think they'll be holding some more! Will keep you updated.

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  5. The smoked duck looks succulent! Anymore cooking class coming up? =D

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    Replies
    1. I'm hoping that I get to learn to make mooncakes next... love them to bits and would be nice if I know how to make them!

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  6. When can I get to try some Beijing cruisine ?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe this weekend we can try the Beijing style sweet and sour fish. :)

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  7. ooh, seems like a meal fit for an olden-day chinese emperor and his entire palace! i haven't had abalone in ages ... guess it always seems too expensive at chinese restaurants =)

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    1. Yea I usually only have abalone once a year (during CNY) so this year is a bonus as I get to eat it twice :)

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  8. Live abalone? Salute! I haven't even tried cooking the canned version lol!

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    Replies
    1. It's not that difficult to cook it afterall, after getting a few tips from the sifu :)

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  9. Aiyo if I had to cook in the same room as such a distinguished chef, I think I'll be too nervous! Your trio of abalone doesn't look any different from his thoug. :D

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    1. Hahaha no need to be nervous! They are usually very down to earth and will show you how to do it properly. I loveeeeeee going for cooking classes, we always learn something new!

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  10. What a fantastic class! Thanks for sharing it with us :D I don't think we ever get abalone cooking classes here so it was interesting hearing about how to cook it! :D

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    1. It was surprisingly easy to cook the abalone, I thought there might be some special tricks to cook it since it's such an expensive delicacy. But the key is not to overcook it, that's all.

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  11. That looks über fun! Wish I could attend some of these interesting cooking classes. :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes it was! Lucky that I got invited to a few this year :)

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  12. You are lucky to be able to learn from masterchef, all dishes look so yummy especially the abalone .

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    1. I like the presentation of the abalone dish - very colourful and appetizing!

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  13. aw.. looks fun and what a dish to make... Trio of Abalone! Now I wish I didnt miss this one... =D

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