Recently we were fortunate enough to be schooled by the Masterchef Adam Liaw himself as he fine-tuned our perceptions and skills on Asian cooking. Thanks to our incredible hosts at Williams-Sonoma, Bondi Junction, Adam took us through the foundations and simplicity of Asian home cooking which forms the backbone of his recent book release “Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School”.
In a room filled with cherry blossoms by the talented Holly Hipwell of The Flowerdrum, Adam stepped up to the plate and re-educated us on Asian flavours, seasoning and techniques. After a demonstration from Adam and a brief lesson in learning the secrets behind retaining and balancing flavours, we all got our hands messy and cooked up three recipes from his book: spinach in a sesame dressing, steamed ginger chicken and the infamous rice paper roll, which were shared and very much enjoyed during a long lunch.
For Adam Liaw, food is more than just about produce, it’s a combination of culture, experience, flavours and texture. The recipes within his book are personal; they each carry a story or memory and have unique tips and tricks included which have been passed down from generations of cooking with friends and family. The ingredients lists aren’t lengthy (tick) and they generally take less than 20 minutes cooking time (big tick!). Most importantly though, they’re designed to be a shared meal made up of multiple dishes with balancing flavours anchored with a big pot of rice.
Sure, there are a multitude of Asian restaurants and takeaway shops sprawled throughout the city, but true, simple and authentic, home - style Asian food is what Adam wants us all to be able to celebrate, create, enjoy and share all within the comfort of our own home- just as Adam would.
His cookbook walks you through everything from types of produce and preparation, flavours, textures, the tools of the trade and even how to design your meals. The book is bursting with flavoursome recipes that will seriously wow your audience! “Adam Liaw’s Cookery School” is the ultimate guidebook to Asian food and I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy and give it a try for yourself- you too can cook like a Masterchef!
Words by Kaitlin Gordon - Eat, Read, Love contributor