Today’s post is a guest one, from my lovely friend Dr C. Whilst I am sometimes sad that I no longer live in Manchester and can’t go to lots of great events. I quite like that I can send someone else to experience things. In this case Dr C headed to Yang Sing for a cookery class!
Over to Dr C….
When this email from Emma popped into my inbox I perked up immediately (this was a rather dreary Tuesday). Emma had asked me to attend, in her place, a Cantonese Cooking Masterclass at Yang Sing in Manchester. Of course I said yes.
About the Masterclass
For those of you unfamiliar with it, Yang Sing is a bit of a Manchester institution. Opened in 1977 and family run for three generations. It has recently undergone a refurbishment to welcome in their 40th year in business. The masterclass was to be led by one of Yang Sing’s traditional Cantonese chefs. With the alluring tagline of trying as much food as we wished out tummies were rumbling! Arriving at Yang Sing, we met our host Yin Ting Yeung along with the other class members. There were 7 of us in total and we donned our aprons on ready for the class to begin.
Making Dim Sum
We started our Cantonese culinary adventure trying our hand at making various Dim Sum with executive chef HarryYeung. What we learned that it takes many years of practice to become a skilled Dim Sum chef. An accolade that neither me nor my friend can lay claim to after our class! We had a go at making the prawn and pork Sui Mai dumplings, the beef and ginger dumplings, money bags and also duck spring rolls. I’ll certainly be giving rolling my own spring rolls again. They were surprisingly easy and would make a great dish to serve at a dinner party. Whilst we were waiting for the lunch rush to calm down in the kitchen we were led on a tour of China Town.
Making Crispy Duck
After our China Town tour, we went to one of the upstairs kitchens that is solely used for making all of the delicious slow cooked belly pork and crispy duck. Here we got to prepare our own crispy duck. Possibly not a stage for the squeamish, and definitely not one for the vegetarians. Don’t worry though we were asked prior to the class if we had any dietary requirements. We were taken through the process of marinating the inside of the duck, “sewing” it shut, dunking into hot water and glazing it, ready to be dried out and cooked later on. I really enjoyed this part as I’ve never known the processes that go into making a really tasty crispy duck dish.
Mastering the Wok
I’m sure most people will have used a wok at some point, but by heck the woks we used were like nothing else! Super heavy and able, thanks to the super hot burning stoves, to hold a scalding hot temperature. After a demonstration by the head wok chef, we were each given the chance to cook either beef in black bean sauce (my absolute favourite) or Yeung Chow fried rice. I obviously opted for the beef in black bean sauce, with my friend cooking the friend rice. I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t a disaster. I made a really delicious beef in black bean sauce from scratch in a real life restaurant kitchen. I was completely amazed by how quickly everything is cooked. In total less than 5 minutes for some really delicious food! After we all tried out hand at cooking it was time to sit down and taste the fruits of our labours.
We sat down at our table and marvelled at the feast in from of us. There were the dishes that we made – the beef and black bean sauce and the Yeung chow fried rice. Along with some crispy belly pork, crispy roast duck and sweet and sour chicken. Then came out the lovely Dim Sum, which I’m pretty sure were ones which Harry had made because they looked far too perfect for our efforts!
I really enjoyed the experience of getting to cook in a real restaurant kitchen and I loved eating all of the food that we made. It’s given me some great ideas for food that I’d like to give a try at home. It also cemented my love of Yang Sing as my go to Chinese restaurant in Manchester. For me however, there were a few negatives that I need to mention. The class felt a little rushed in parts, but I think that’s part of the territory in cooking in a restaurant kitchen during service. Although I’ve not been to any other cooking classes, for £120 per person I would’ve expected a bit more hands on cooking time during the 4 hour class. Overall I had a great time learning some new cooking styles with the chefs at Yang Sing!
Thanks Dr C for covering the event. Have you been on a cooking course before? Would you check out an oriental cooking class? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Thanks Yang Sing for inviting us down. Our spaces on the Masterclass were complementary, but all opinions, photos and words are my own.
P.P.S. Yang Sing is located at 34 Princess St, Manchester M1 4JY.