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July 2015 / Food & Drink / by Ann Hall

Chop to it

In the heart of Covent Garden, a short wok (!) from Chinatown, the secret traditions of Chinese cooking can finally be demystified. Three hours with School of Wok‘s award-winning chef Jeremy Pang will change the way you look at, and cook, Chinese food forever. His bubbling enthusiasm and his clear passion for the cuisine of his ancestors is contagious, and there’s not a molecule of MSG in sight.

Chinese Unchopped

Chef Jeremy has just released his first cookbook, Chinese Unchopped, and with a few key ingredients, some patience, a bit of dexterity, and a lot of chopping, you can soon be whipping up handmade shiitake and Chinese chive dumplings, Sichuan braised aubergine and black bean beef in beer. And this is just the beginning: each class with Jeremy offers a different menu, each with three delectable dishes from Chinese Unchopped, covering a whole range of core techniques, from knife skills (there is a lot of chopping!), stir-frying and wok-tossing through to dumpling folding and even noodle pulling.

Once you have mastered the ‘crab claw’, a fail-safe way to manoeuvre the Chinese cleaver, the ingenious Wok Clock is set up so the ingredients are in order of use. This preparation is 90 per cent of the work. The last 10 per cent is high octane lightning quick wok tossing. The result? Traditional Chinese dishes that will more than impress any dinner guest. Sitting down to eat with Jeremy for the last half hour, feeling enlightened by his excellent teaching, we’re sure that, although diminutive in stature, Jeremy Pang is soon to be a huge wokstar.

Chinese Unchopped (£19.99) is published by Quadrille. To book a class, visit schoolofwok.co.uk, or call 0207 240 8818.