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Thursday, 16 September 2010

London's Best Cookery Schools - Angela Malik


Dim Sum Cooking and a Recipe for Spiced Pork and Water Chestnut Siu Mai Dumplings


When I first moved to London as a 19-year old, I quickly realised that keeping up with my eating-out aspirations was going to cost me a small fortune. Learning how to cook was the solution I found to continue eating the foods I loved, and thanks to cookery schools like Angela's, this has been possible for me.


Opened in the Autumn of 2009, Angela Malik Cookery School in Acton is proving to be a major destination for foodies across town wanting to learn more about Asian cooking. I was fortunate enough to be one of these foodies recently, attending Angela's "Dim Sum at Home" class.


A former chartered accountant, Angela decided to leave years of training, a well paid job and a secure future to pursue her passion in life. After retraining at Leith's School of Food and Wine and gaining some experience at Bibendum, Vong, and with chef Tom Kime, she decided to open her own cookery school.


The emphasis of her teaching is on the five tastes - salt, sweet, bitter, hot and umami, and how to balance these elements in the meals we prepare daily. This is at the core of most Asian cooking, particularly Thai and Japanese, and it is refreshing to see this being addressed for the Western palate.


At the entrance to the cookery school is Angela's delicatessen where she sells some of the goodies made in-house including her signature Indian and Thai pestos, a range of sauces, chutneys, and a variety of cakes and breads.


Classes vary from 1 to 5 hours and cost between £25 and £145 - for a full list of classes, click here. The "Dim Sum at Home" class was a two hour affair which was just enough time for us to learn how to make a couple of different types of dumplings - "Steamed Spiced Pork and Water Chestnut Siu Mai" (see recipe below) and "Japanese Gyoza".


Angela was a confident and charismatic teacher, and her recipes were detailed and easy to follow. I enjoyed her straight-forward, unfussy teaching style and was glad to learn some interesting folding techniques, something that no book can satisfactorily do.


I paired up with the lovely Rebecca, a fellow food blogger who writes Bon Appetit (see my foodie blog list). Rebecca and I clicked from the word go, and it was not long before we were both coming up with some delicious dumplings in all manner of interesting shapes and sizes.


"Spiced Pork and Water Chestnut Siu Mai Dumplings" (makes about 50)


Ingredients:

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 can water chestnuts, rinsed and finely chopped

1 kg minced pork

handful of coriander stalks

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

2 tsp sesame oil

generous pinch of caster sugar

salt and pepper

about 50 wonton wrappers each 7.5 cm square

Dipping sauce and to serve:

Dark soy sauce and vinegar for dipping

Roast garlic oil

Coriander leaves

Method:

1. To make the stuffing, add spring onions, water chestnuts, pork, coriander roots, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper, mix well in a food processor. Set aside and refrigerate.

2. Set one wonton wrapper on a work surface. Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the wrapper.

3. Lift the wrapper up around the filling, gathering to form a purse. Squeeze the wrapper firmly around the middle, then tap on the bottom to make a flat base. The top should be open. Place the wonton on a tray and cover with a damp dish towel.

4. Line the steamer with grease proof paper and steam the dumplings for 12-15 minutes until tender. Remove each batch from the steamer as soon as they are cooked, cover with foil to keep warm. Serve hot with soy sauce, garlic oil and top each dumpling with a coriander leaf.

5. Enjoy!


I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Angela Malik, and look forward to returning to her school for another class, or purchasing some of her fine produce in some of London's farmers' markets, or Borough Market where she is a current stall-holder.

7 comments:

  1. This looks excellent, I know nothing about preparing this type of food and yet I love eating it. Great to hear about a cookery course that's a bit unusual.

    The shopfront looks very cool too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Sarah - Angela is doing a very good job at making Eastern cuisines more accessible to people like us across London and I thoroughly recommend her courses.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

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  3. I used the recipe for my first ever try at dumplings recently. It's excellent. I overfilled them slightly, but they were perfectly tasty and had a lovely little broth in the middle.

    Now I just need more steamers so I can make more and more and more...

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  4. wow, those dumplings look gorgeous! Im going to Borough tomorrow so will look for her stall.

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  5. Fascinating blog, great to see this type of cuisine made more accessible to people more used to western methods of cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,

    Quite keen to try Angela's school as I live in West London, I like the style of the shop as I have walked by. I recently went to Yuki's Kitchen, who just does Japanese cookery lessons, it was really good, as she teaches more about regional, unique Japanese food .... I promised to recommend her as we had a great night! Japanese cookery lessons
    AC

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  7. Great food, fantastic experience! Thankyou!!!

    ReplyDelete

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