I had the pleasure of attending a Master Chef cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu on Saturday and it was fabulous. It was a Christmas gift and I got to choose which class I wanted to attend so I chose "A Taste of Asia". I know I have mentioned how much I like Indian food and Thai food but I also love Chinese stir fries, sushi and pretty much any Asian food I have had the pleasure of eating.
I loved the format of this class - the chef demonstrated 4 of the 5 dishes we would make and then we broke out into groups. There were 4 different stations and each one was set up to make one of the dishes the chef had demonstrated. We learned how to make Pad Thai, Sichuan Green Beans, Mongolian Beef and Beef Banh Mi Sandwiches. We all ended the class by making sushi and some tuna rolls. I happened to be at the Banh Mi sandwich station and with 2 other people, got to make the sandwiches for the 8 of us in attendance. It was a lot of fun and I walked away with a much better knowledge of Asian foods. It was the perfect Christmas gift!
For dinner tonight, I made the Pad Thai which had both chicken and tofu and turned out quite spicy (obviously the chef used a different kind of chili paste than I had in the refrigerator). Gerry and I both loved it, but it was certainly a little on the hot (spicy) side to serve to anyone else. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe again to be able to tone down the spice level. I have made the adjustments in the recipe below.
Pad Thai (Serves 2)
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
6 ounces rice sticks/pad Thai noodles, soaked in cold water for 2 hours or as long as overnight
2 ounces firm tofu, drained, cut into medium dice and patted dry
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, sliced thinly cross-grain
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups bean sprouts
2 stalks green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
1/3 cup peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Fresh lime juice
Combine the 2 tablespoons fish sauce with the two tablespoons sugar and marinate chicken slices in it for at least 10 minutes. The tofu cubes can be cut and dried at this time and other ingredients assembled.
Saute chicken in some Canola oil, seasoned with salt and pepper until golden. Remove chicken and set aside. Deglaze the pan with vinegar and then add a little water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the Thai sweet chili sauce, garlic chili sauce, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper and once well combined, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large, nonstick skillet, saute tofu in oil and season with salt and pepper, remove and set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat oil, add beaten eggs, stirring constantly, add bean sprouts, sauce, drained noodles, reserved chicken and tofu, minced garlic, and scallions. Stirring constantly, allow mixture to warm through and combine. Add a splash of rice vinegar and continue stirring.
Garnish with cilantro, chopped peanuts and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.