Back to school for Chinese cooking

My latest Covent Garden discovery is an Asian cookery school called School of Wok. So off I went for an evening of Wok & Roll. Oh yes!

Our teacher Stefan started us all chopping the ingredients we needed for the dishes we were going to cook – with an incredibly sharp cleaver! I’m secretly lusting after one now, although I did establish that my chopping technique is not exactly textbook. Very handy tip of the course – peel your fresh ginger with a teaspoon. The skin comes off amazingly easy and you don’t waste any of the ginger. Believe me, it’s the way forward.

Cleavers at the ready, Stefan demonstrates how to chop each vegetable

We started off making summer rolls with all the vegetables and then moved on to crispy wontons. These are generally eaten to celebrate Chinese new year and are in the shape of ingots or money bags. And they’re really fun to make. All rolled up, we headed for the kitchen to cook our main course.

Our handmade wontons ready for frying
Our handmade wontons ready for frying
The cooked wontons – totally impressed at how professional they look. Did we really make these
The cooked wontons – totally impressed at how professional they look.

Working in pairs over smoking woks, we prepared egg fried rice and stir fried Sichuan chicken. It was a fun, frantic experience with hectic stirring and wok tossing – the only time you are supposed to take the wok off the heat is to give your food a good toss – obviously avoiding it going all over the floor!

Tasty egg-fried rice
Tasty egg-fried rice
Deliciously rich Sichuan chicken

With all the activity over with you get to relax and eat what you cooked, with a glass of wine. We were all thrilled with our results, the dishes were all really tasty. Of course Stefan said we were the best group he’d had for a long time (he would though, wouldn’t he).

What a fun evening and a bunch of keen cooks. With a small group (there were seven of us) and plenty of hands-on chopping and cooking from the moment you get there, this is one of the nicest courses of this type that I’ve been on. I hate sitting there watching other people cook when all you want to do is get stuck in yourself.

School of Wok offers a wide range of courses including dim sum, steamed bun fun, South East Asian street food, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Sushi and Vietnamese, oh and not to forget knife skills.

The Wok & Roll course costs £95 for three hours.

Find out more at

School of Wok is at 61 Chandos Street, Covent Garden


Leave a Reply