Black Sesame Kitchen was founded in 2008 by internationally renowned Chef and food writer, Jen Lin-Liu, author of best-selling cook-book “Serve the People – A Stir-fried Journey through China.”
Located in one of Beijing’s most traditional and beautiful hutongs, Black Sesame Kitchen is a wonderful place to take Chinese cooking classes with style. If you are visiting Beijing or if you live in the capital and would like to explore real Chinese cuisine – in English – here you can learn the fundamental tricks, have a go at the wok yourself and enjoy delicious food. Make sure you have time afterwards to explore the boutique-shops nearby while you go for an after-lunch stroll.
From a detailed explanation of the basic ingredients in a traditional Chinese pantry: the intricate, different types soya sauce, rice and cooking wine, bean paste and many other essential ingredients – to cleaver safety, how to chop garlic, ginger and onion; the mystic boning of a chicken leg and different cooking techniques with the wok. Kitchen safety and hygiene are paramount at all times, to make sure that your cooking experience is enjoyable and risk-free.
There are different classes you can attend: At “Beijing snacks”, for example you will learn three of the most popular savoury snacks of the capital: Lotus roots, stuffed with pork filling; Beijing-style Zhajiang noodles (yes, you learn to roll your own noodles!); and flatbread with leeks. At the “Sichuan Cooking” lesson, Chairman Wang and Chef Zhang, masters behind the wok, demonstrate how to cook three of the most famous Sichuan dishes: Mapu Tofu, Kungpao Chicken and Stir-fried beans with minced pork, scrumptious! There are many other menus and if you are a vegetarian, the dishes can be adapted to suit your needs. Staff at BSK are so friendly, they make sure you are comfortable all the time, with plenty of drinks and food, and that you are having a good time.
But if you don’t fancy doing all the cooking yourself, you can always join Black Sesame Kitchen for a “Wine and Dine” event: an array of 10 gourmet dishes will be prepared in front of you, paired with imported wines so you can relax and enjoy a scrumptious meal, great company and lovely atmosphere.
Interested in learning more about Chinese food? Take a look at WildChina’s upcoming Gastronomic Trip with Fuchsia Dunlop.
Blog and photos by WildChina’s Chelin Miller.