31 July 2014

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Tried & Tested: Wok 'n' roll


They say that bonding over dinner is good for team spirit, so we went along to School of Wok to give its Oriental seafood and fish masterclass a pop.

‘Just lift up the flap, take the skewer and push down hard – goodnight Vienna.’ As brutal as that sounds, there are several ways to kill a crab, with this approach supposedly the most humane. Who are we to argue?  

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Now, there was a reason for the slaughter. We had been tasked with cooking up a seafood feast, ranging from crispy prawns and Hong Kong chilli crab, to ginger and spring onion scallops with asparagus. Despite some of our group taking a leave of absence during the crab-execution process, it was all hands on deck.

First, we prepared the vegetables, wasting nothing, learning quickly that by listening to our instructor we could yield an abundance of kitchen wisdom – bet you didn’t know that the best way to peel ginger is to use a small teaspoon. We didn’t.

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As for preparing the crab, it came down to a chisel and hammer. We hacked off the claws and gutted the poor blighters for every last bit of their meat. Surprisingly, this messy process made us hungry. So we knocked up some tasty wontons. 

After munching on more than our fill of those and a starter of crispy prawns we poured a big old glass of wine and were thrust straight into the kitchen to cook. 

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Woks in hand, under the steady stewardship of our host, we knocked up egg fried rice, a load of veggies and some scallops. After ten minutes of flames, a whole lot of shouting and general panic, we were on to the crab. Again, nothing went to waste, with legs, shell – the lot – all going in. 

They say there’s nothing more rewarding than eating a meal you’ve prepared yourself and, plied with wine and with team spirit high, we were more than a little pleased with ourselves. Rightly so too – it tasted bloody good.

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This article was first published in Square Meal Venues & Events, spring 2014.

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