The Richmond Food Security Society organised a Healthy Asian Cooking workshop in conjunction with the Asian Heritage Month celebrations. The 2 days workshop is hosted by Chef Ian Lai. Chef Ian Lai is a Chinese who grew up in South Africa. Chef Ian Lai told us that he became more comfortable with the Chinese culture only after he came over to Canada which is very cosmopolitan.
The Chinese culture evolves around the kitchen. Whether it’s a birthday, baby full moon, marriage and even funeral will evolved around food. Besides his Chinese background, Ian Lai is married to a Japanese lady. Therefore, his cooking is more of a global Asian cooking and not traditional Chinese cooking.
Ian Lai prepared 3 recipes for the workshop. The first recipe is Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage.
The Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage is more like a salad noodle dish. I did not have the step by step picture of this recipe. But here is the what I learned from the workshop.
Ian Lai likes to use potato noodle because the noodle remain soft even the next day, unlike other noodle which will harden if leave overnight. Ian Lai likes to prepare extra food so that he can used them for lunch or dinner the next day.
The Potato Noodle Salad dish has a distinctive flavour which comes from the hot bean sauce as shown above. It is fermented soy bean or broad bean and you can get them spicy or plain version.
Here’s the recipe for the Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage:
- a few small bunches of mustard greens
- a few packages of potato noodles (Ian Lai used those in small package)
- 2 links of Chinese sausages, slice diagonally
- 1 tablespoon hot bean paste
- 2 tablespoons Japanese Seasoning Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
- a few dashes of fish sauce
The above is the bottle of Japanese Seasoning Soy Sauce. You can click on the image to get a larger image.
- Wash and slice the mustard greens. Mustard green has a bit of bitterness. Blanch in salted boiling water for 30 seconds and shock in cold water to stop the cooking. Remove with a Chinese strainer.
- Cook the potato noodle in salted boiling water until soften but still has a bit of chew to it. He described the texture like eating a rubber band. Rinse in cold water. The potato noodle will not become soggy even if you let it sit in the cold water for a while
- Slice the Chinese sausage and pan fry them. Ian said the Chinese sausage is like bacon especially with the fatty bits.
- Combine the potato noodle, mustard green and Chinese sausage in a large bowl. Season with hot bean paste, Japanese Seasoning Soy Sauce, Japanese rice vinegar and a few dashes of fish sauce. Fish sauce gives this noodle salad the umami. Ian Lai explained that umami means the round up the flavours or to complete the flavours. Toss and serve.
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Don’t forget the 7th flavour, “Kokomi”! 😀
“Kokomi”? What is that, Jessica? You lost me there.
Sorry Ben, I meant Kokumi.
I had noticed in one of the photos of Chef Ians notes that he was indicating Umami as a “fifth taste” (spicy is not a perceived “taste” – rather it is pain sensors that detect spice). Kokumi is another new one: