Walking the Great Wall is a fantastic real life experience and hard to beat, but Intrepid traveller Dianna Janson enjoyed another highlight on her China trip that not only did she write home about, but she couldn’t wait to re-live when she got home…
“Throughout my Iconic China trip our group enjoyed a lot of time tasting the many foods and flavours from different cities and regions. We tried tender and delicious Peking Duck in Beijing, amazing dumplings in Shanghai and a fantastic hot pot in Xi’an, but my favourite food moment took place in the scenic rural town of Yangshuo.
In Yangshuo it was time to get our hands dirty and learn how to prepare and cook some of this tasty food ourselves. The local cooking school we visited was tucked away in the quiet back roads just outside the town. Set up in a mud brick building, the school gives you the hands-on experience at creating several dishes. Many of us chose to go with a vegetarian menu for the day. This included steamed spinach and shitake dumplings, wok tossed bok choy and choy sum with oyster sauce, stir fried eggplant with chillies, Chinese omelette and steamed rice.
The staff are so friendly and on hand to explain the flavour combinations, how they blend together and to assist with the timing of the cooking. They try to describe everything in simple terms so you can do your best at recreating the meal for your friends and family back at home.
The smell of the spices coming from the sizzling woks were making our mouths water and we couldn’t wait to try to dishes we had created. Once everyone had finished we carried them out to the patio to enjoy around the table together. Comparing tips and notes about the dishes, we enjoyed our meals whilst looking out over the fields around Yangshuo. And I can tell you, now that I am back home I love re-living my China memories every time I make a delicious dish, and I think my friends can’t wait for me to travel again and come home with more great recipes!”
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* photo by Byron Dearing – Intrepid Photography Competition