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Spicy Spring

The sun is shining, the daffodils are *just* about to bloom, and there's a real spring in my step. This is due to the marvellous weather no doubt, but also because I have just acquired a new cooking skill, thanks to the fabulous Angela Malik. Asian has never been my strongest point in the kitchen, and whenever I fancy a curry/Malaysian feast/Chinese/sushi/Korean BBQ etc I tend to eat out at one of London's top nosh houses. But thanks to Angela, I am now (semi) proficient at creating my own wontons, dim sum and potsticker dumplings. There's no stopping me now!

The evening class started with an informative chat by Angela explaining her "taste sensation" style of cooking and getting us to identify which foods offer what tastes...including the ever elusive umami. Then she explained the concepts of Yin and Yang in food. The we got stuck in making a fragrant broth (very yin!), stuffing and folding wontons, dropping them into the broth and then devouring the lot...then we chopped shrimp and created a punchy filling for dim sum, steamed them to perfection, and stuffed our faces...and then potstickers! I finally learned the secret to making them crispy on the outside with bits of gelatinous softness and a tender filling...deelish.

In addition to her cooking school & deli in Acton Angela has a stall at Borough Market selling her Indian pestos, sauces and chutneys. I stocked up at the deli, and all week I've been slathering the Vibrant pesto on salmon, made it into a dressing for a hot mackerel, spring onion and chickpea salad, and mixed it with creme fraiche for a crudité dip. While my newfound cooking skills will definitely come in handy, it's always great to have somebody else do the work!!

Thanks Angela, resident chef Geoff and the rest of the team for a brilliant night...can't wait to book in for another.

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