A mix of millennary wisdom, medicine, philosophical thought. But also care for preparations, an extreme attention to the seasonality of ingredients and a great love for vegetables. We are talking about Chinese cuisine, a temple of tastes as traditional as unusual that the Confucius Institute of the University of Milan brings to Italy in a creative and entertaining way.
Per info sul corso: www.istitutoconfucio.unimi.it
Now in its third edition, China in the kitchen confirms itself as the perfect course for a real approach to authentic Chinese cuisine: divided into four lessons (you can enroll in every single lesson and the last one is scheduled for June 17), it aims to inform,to entertain and to offer precise skills so that – once back home – you can juggle the stove.
Everyone has their own workstation with all the tools. The type of cuisine proposes is very homely: the dishes presented from time to time – of which the recipe is always provided – are easily repeatable at home, with raw materials that are now found in all specialized stores.
The dishes are those of tradition, ranging from dumblings boiled in soup to spicy mapo doufu of the Sichuan region, to rice and mushrooms sautéed with onion. It is usually the dumplings that are particularly appreciated, because they are more fun to cook: in reality, although they are extremely simple to prepare, they hide pitfalls at the moment of closure and require precise and careful dexterity.
Step by step learning
During the courses, Lu Caifeng, an expert teacher of Chinese cuisine, with the school’s director, Dr. Marta Valentini. Together they provide accurate explanations of territories, customs and habits: meat dumplings, for example, are typical of northern China; for climatic reasons, all wheat-based dishes belong to the northern regions, while the tradition of rice is more important in the South.
The last lesson will be dedicated to vegetarian cuisine, which in China reaches excellent expressions. The Chinese gastronomy is very fresh and the vegetables are cooked healthy and with little oil, so that they are always crunchy.
Cooking doufu with vegetables at home for example is very simple, fun and healthy. The products to use, must always be very fresh: remember that the Chinese care a lot and are attentive to the seasonality of the ingredients.
A wide and diversified audience
The audience of the course is mixed: from the retired lady to the Chinese boy who has a restaurant here in Italy but knows little about the cuisine of his country. A lesson has also been dedicated to children from 5 to 10 years old who have tried to prepare the typical Chinese dumplings jiaozi.
The most particular dish prepared during the course? Certainly the pork with the scent of fish fish-scented pork. It does not contain fish, but sauces and pickles whose taste is reminiscent of that of fish. It says its own name: Yuxiang or “fish smell” and rousi “meat rags”.
The closing phrase of each lesson is Man man chi (“let’s eat calmly”): the prepared food becomes an opportunity for conviviality that you share all together with chopsticks, and forks for the least fearless. Hands in the dough then, and in the dumplings!