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Cooking class

    Asia & Oceania Travel  --  Food & Drink

    Cooking Class in Hong Kong with Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio

    Location: Hong Kong

    Y’all know I love to eat. And I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Traveling around the world gives me such great opportunities to learn and eat the best of all the countries and cultures we explore. It’s rare that I don’t love the food in a country we are visiting, and our visit last month to Hong Kong China was one of the best. So let me tell you about our Cooking Class in Hong Kong with Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio.

    See my post My Favorite Cooking Classes Around the World here


    Cantonese Cuisine

    What is Cantonese cuisine? Focused on fresh ingredients but also relying on many dried ingredients for flavor, Cantonese cuisine is well known in the USA because of so many immigrants. Pork, chicken and beef are common but so is offal, chicken feet, duck tongue, snails and other seafood.

    Rice with Sausage was one of the best things we ate while in Hong Kong

    There are so many delicious dishes in the Cantonese cuisine from fried rice, beef with noodles, greens in oyster sauce, and so much more. While visiting Hong Kong we really enjoyed rice with Chinese Sausage, Beef with noodles, Rice Noodles, Lo Mein, Wonton Soup, Spare Ribs, Congee and Fried Chicken to name a few.

    Pots n’ Pans

    I found Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio through Viator. I’m sure glad I did. This beautiful cooking studio was founded in 2013 and our instructor (owner) Bill spoke perfect English and guided us through a private cooking class. Classes often include a market tour, and you can book private or group tours with Bill. I highly recommend this experience if you are considering visiting Hong Kong. We enjoyed it very much. Be sure to come hungry!

    Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio Hong Kong

    Cooking Class in Hong Kong with Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio

    We arrived at the studio in the Kwun Tong area of Kowloon easily via subway. Bill was very flexible for our arrival time since we were the only ones in this particular class. Bill put together a wonderful course and menu for us that included; Pork Dumplings, Stir Fry French Beans with minced pork, Fried Rice with fermented veg and Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs.

    Owner Bill was a great instructor

    We started by getting the ribs going, because they would take the longest. We browned the ribs then added ingredients for the ribs to slowly cook in a broth of sugar, ginger, vinegar, Xiaoxing wine, and soy sauce. After more than an hour, the ribs were absolutely delicious, fall apart tender and one of the best things I have ever eaten. I will definitely make these at home.

    Pork Ribs start…
    …to finish

    While the meat was slowly braising on the stove top we made dumplings filled with minced pork, ginger and green onions. I’ve made dumplings before. They take some practice, but we did pretty good. We then browned the dumplings on the stove top before adding a mix of water, corn starch cooking wine, oil and soy sauce. These little pillows of goodness were served with a dipping sauce of soy, sugar and chili oil. OMG. Yummy.

    Forming the dumplings takes practice
    Maybe not perfect but taste divine

    We stir fried the rest of the minced pork mixture while parboiling the beautiful French green beans. We tossed all that together with some chicken stock, soy sauce, cooking wine and sugar, let it reduce then serve.

    French Green Beans start…
    …to finish. Yummy.

    We quickly stir fried the pre-cooked rice, mixing in a delicious ingredient I have never seen before – a fermented greens and olive paste from a jar. It added such a delicious flavor and texture to the fried rice. At the last minute we tossed in some toasted pine nuts.

    Bill was so easy to work with. Here we stir fry the rice with fermented vegetables and olives

    So Much Food

    We sat down to enjoy this amazing feast and we ate until we thought we would explode. And then, we took home a big doggy bag which we enjoyed again the next day back in our Airbnb for dinner. I know I can make all of these dishes back home, or even on the road as we continue our travels. Simple and fresh ingredients, with a touch of Cantonese love. Perfect.

    Arne can’t eat another bite!

    Come to Hong Kong

    We loved our week in Hong Kong and expect we will come again. Whether you are here for a week or just a few days, spending a few hours with Bill at Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio is a must. We would do it again!

    Thank you for reading my post Cooking Class in Hong Kong with Pots n’ Pans Cooking Studio. You can try these simple recipes at home yourself…or visit Hong Kong…you won’t be sorry.

    Read last week’s post Visiting Hong Kong for the First Time here.

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    Food & Drink  --  South & Central America Travel

    Nicaragua Cooking Class

    Learning New & Delicious Foods

    If you are even an occasional follower of this blog or my social sites you know I love food! And even more than eating, I love to learn about local foods while I am traveling. Some of our all-time most rewarding experiences in our travels have been engaging with locals, learning to cook regional food. During our recent visit to San Juan del Sur we thoroughly enjoyed a Nicaragua Cooking Class. Let’s talk about it.

    What is Nicaraguan Cuisine

    Fresh and local ingredients

    Although it has some similarities to Mexican cuisine, we found the delicious foods of Nicaragua more similar to Guatemala. One of my all time favorite cooking classes was in Antiqua Guatemala. In that class we used a lot of the same ingredients that we see here in Nicaragua; beans, rice, corn, onions, chicken, plantains, yucca and pico de gallo. And Nicaraguan coffee is also much like Guatemalan coffee…one of my favorites.

    With Chef July

    San Juan del Sur

    We spent a month in San Juan del Sur, a Pacific Coast beach town about an hour’s drive from Granada. On arrival I did some research and found a local tour operator called Pacific Adventuras that offered several tours in the San Juan del Sur area, including a Nicaragua cooking class. So of course we signed up right away!

    Rancho Tere, Escamequito

    We were picked up in San Juan del Sur by Chef July, who owns Rancho Tere Restaurant with her family in the small town of Escamequita about 20 minutes from San Juan del Sur. July speaks very little English, so we also had Cesar with us as an interpreter. He is actually studying at the university in Managua every Sunday to improve his English. We had a wonderful time practicing English and Spanish through the day.

    Happy Hubs with Nicaragua Cooking Class

    When we signed up for the Nicaruagua cooking class we requested to learn about vigoron, one of Nicaragua’s most loved dishes. It consists of a cabbage salad, boiled yucca, and chicharron, all wrapped in a banana leaf. This dish is often eaten without utensils, and it is frequently served to visiting family and guests, as it is generally easily and quickly prepared. Wikipedia. So Chef July was eager to share this popular dish with us, and she also chose to share with us how to make tostone.


    Tostone is a dish we had eaten several times since arriving in Nicaragua and we loved it. The word tostone refers to the twice fried plantains that serve as a vessel for toppings such as cheese, meat and pico de gallo.


    Nicaraguan food is made from simple, local, fresh and easily accessible ingredients. Honestly isn’t that the way all good food should be made? Chef July introduced us to yucca. We actually have eaten yucca before, but never worked with it in a recipe. It is a staple food in many Central American countries as it is cheap and easily accessible. It has a consistency very much like potato.

    Yucca tastes much like potato

    For the vigoron we placed the boiled yucca in a bowl (often served on a banana leaf) then topped it with a cabbage salad very finely grated and mixed with lemon juice. Next topped with delicious homemade pico de gallo made from fresh tomato, green pepper, and a new ingredient to me, called culantro. Culantro is similar to cilantro, but a much bigger leaf. It’s always fun to learn about something new. The last ingredient for vigoron is the chicharron, a popular snack food, which we call in the United States pork rinds.

    We were introduced to Culantro

    The entire dish took about 20 minutes to make and it was very filling and delicious. And also pretty.


    Another very common ingredient in Central American and Caribbean cuisine is plantain. Did you know there are more than 1000 varieties of bananas? The plantain is a firmer and less sweet variety used mostly for cooking. If you read our blog post about Granada, we ate a delicious hamburger in Granada that used a plantain tostone bun. So yummy.

    The burger with tostone bun I ate in Granada

    To make the twice cooked tostone you first cook the plantain chunks in deep oil for about three minutes. Next using a towel so you won’t burn yourself you smash the chunks into disks with your hands, then fry them again in the oil. This is the tostone. We then fried the delicious local queso (that has a high melting point) and placed each piece on top of the tostone disks, topped with pico de gallo. So, so delicious. You can also top a tostone with meat, beans, avocado…lots of yummy things.

    Forming the tostone

    This dish was easy and delicious. Don’t try this with regular bananas though, you need the firmer plantains. It is possible to find plantains in the USA, sometimes at supermarkets but also at Latino markets.

    Plantain is twice cooked to make the tostone

    Fat and Happy

    Assembling the vigoron

    We really enjoyed our cooking class at Rancho Tere. In fact we are planning to go again and learn some more delicious local foods. Because spending time with locals, learning their foods and customs, is the best part of our Grand Adventure and My Fab Fifties Life. We loved our Nicaragua Cooking Class. Muy Bien.

    Such a delicious meal

    See last weeks post Granada Nicaragua Colonial Charm and Much More

    See this week’s top performing post Twelve Things to do on Roatan for Non-Divers

    In a couple of weeks I will have more to share about our month in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. Watch for it!

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