Capturing the flavours of Asia

The rain drizzled down and a sea of umbrellas roamed the streets but thankfully we were all tucked up in the warmth of Cooks Academy!

Our 8 week certificate students are ploughing through their course, and today it was all about capturing the essence of Asia.

With Chef Jack at the helm, they started off with an Asian stock that would be later used to aid and enhance their dishes. Between the chili, mint, coriander and stock, soon beautiful fragrances began to float through the building.

Asian Stock

Introduced to all sorts of ingredients including dashi (a base for miso soup), mirin (a type of rice wine similar to sake), kombu (a seaweed also known as kelp) and rice paper (bánh tráng), our budding chefs began the delicate process of creating their Asian meals.

On the menu today we had Vietnamese rice paper rolls, hot and sour prawn noodle salad, pan-fried cod with dashi and wakame, and a hearty miso soup that was just perfect for warming up our bellies.

Preparing cod fillets
Preparing cod fillets

To accompany the cod Chef Jack brought in Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms (see below) that were foraged over the Bank Holiday – We were definitely in for a treat.


Hot and sour prawns with noodle salad (2)
Hot and sour prawn noodles salad

In the bid to get more out of our upcoming feast we dashi-ed (sorry!) off to the local Asia Market to get a few more ingredients and in his element, Jack went through what was on the shelves with the students.

buying ingredients in the supermarket 1
Going through ingredients in the Asian Supermarket

Jack talking about kombu 1

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

There’s something really fresh about East Asian cuisine and any time we rustle up something, we can’t but remark on how delicate the flavours are.

Next time you want to try something new, we definitely recommend giving Asian food a go (your stomach will be thankful for it!).


If you’re interested in learning more about East Asian cuisine, have a look at our Stir Fry Workshop or our Vietnamese Workshop

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