Alicia's Food For Thought

Dim Sum Culinary Class
December 21, 2010, 11:42 PM
Filed under: Alicia's Asia Adventures, Real Eats | Tags: , ,

Hi readers!

Long time no see. I am taking advantage of some time I have over winter break and catching up on blogposts.

This semester I was able to take 11 of my residents to a dim sum culinary class at Miette Culinary Studio in New York City. It was a ton of fun and Chef Sui Lon Chan was such a great instructor. She usually caters but participates as an occasional instructor at Miette Culinary Studio when she has the time. She had a lot of patience with us as we had a 3 hour long class and 12 mouths to feed.

Ever since I came back from Asia, I’ve been craving to learn how to make all those delicious creations at home and this turned out to be the perfect introduction class to learn how to use tradition Chinese ingredient such as oyster sauce and black mushrooms. We made spareribs with black bean sauce (tofu for the vegetarians), vegetable spring rolls, congee with preserved duck egg and pork, shrimp siu mai, and steamed cake with lychee sorbet for dessert.

One of the few things I learned from the class was to use every part of every ingredient. For example, we used rehydrated black mushrooms and instead of throwing out the water afterwards- the mushroom excreted delicious juices into the water and it was the perfect base of the conjee.

Next, make sure the oil is hot enough to fry the spring rolls. Many people may say that Chinese food is greasy but that is only because the oil was not hot enough when they cooked the food. The spring rolls cooked so quickly and when they came out of the wok, they were crisp and not oily at all. You also have to be careful and make sure that you do not crowd the wok because with each spring roll you put in the wok, the oil temperature will lower which can also cause greasy food.

Another lesson I learned was to not be afraid to get your hands dirty! Cooking is easy if you just remember to use simple ingredients and realize that your fingers are the best mixing utensils in the kitchen. Just make sure you wash your hands in-between cooking stages to avoid cross-contamination. This was especially important when we made the shrimp siu mai. We chopped up the shrimp with ginger, oyster sauce, salt and chives and placed the filling into a dumpling wrapper. After we filled the dumpling wrapper we used our thumb to put a decorative seal on the edges. Chef Chan also informed us that chefs and cooks usually put different colored vegetables on top to distinguish the different types of dim sum. After we had our fill of spring rolls, conjee, sparerips, and siu mai- we of course had to have dessert! The steamed cake was simply made with egg, sugar, and flour and steamed instead of baked. This took less time than baking and also made the cake as light as a pillow.

I can’t wait to make these dishes in my own kitchen but first I need to make a beeline to China Town and purchase a wok, oyster sauce, and black mushrooms before I can begin. Chow, Alicia


Alicia is Alive!

Hello readers and the world!

I haven’t had much access to the internet for the past 3 weeks, so I haven’t been able to blog about my abroad adventures until now. I actually really enjoyed not having access to the internet, it felt like a good cleansing of my mind since I do spend so much time on the computer. I really got the chance to reflect on my own thoughts without any distractions. But now that I do have the internet, I want to shift in just reflecting on my thoughts to actually writing/video blogging them down so that I can go back to them during the school year.

So in Hong Kong and China I was taking a class at New York University called Global Social Entrepreneurship. Originally the class was supposed to take place in Thailand at the Mae Fah Luang Foundation (where I currently am interning), but due to the violence and turmoil happening the class was cancelled and Richard (one of our classmates) decided to come up with a replacement program in Hong Kong and his hometown in China. We all had a great time on our crazy adventures and even though I am not sure how much I’ve learned about social entrepreneurship, I definitely learned a lot about myself (all of which I will share in later posts).

Since we were in Hong Kong, we ate a TON of dim sum. I actually need to confess and let you know that I actually put my vegetarianism on hiatus for the two weeks we were in Hong Kong and China. I wanted to get the full experience of eating authentic Chinese/Cantonese food. Also, I did not have any control over the food that we ordered. Most of the time we had Richard order the food for the table and we ate whatever was ont he table. One thing I made sure of is that the meat was locally produced before I ate it.

Here are some samples (and pictures of food of course) from the trip to give you a taste of Hong Kong/China:

hong kong market

world peace cafe

hong kong dim sum

hkust dim sum

alicia in hong kong

macau food

chinese food

lazy susan


chinese rice field


Alicia Kim
Food for Thought Resident