Sweet and Salty: A Conversation with Asian American Women Chefs

Tuesday, September 1 at 5:00pm to 7:00pm

This is a past event.
Virtual Event

WATCH THE RECORDED EVENT

The theme guide for this event is available HERE

DESCRIPTION:
Join a wide-ranging food conversation and cooking demonstration with L.A.-based chefs Cecilia LeungIsa Fabro, and Sonoko Sakai, moderated by journalist Jean Trinh. In addition to discussing the cross-cultural aspects of culinary culture, the chefs will explore the impact of cooking on identity and memory. So many of our memories and cultural traditions are connected to food and cooking—often done by our mothers and grandmothers, while most of the professional cooking world is dominated by men. This conversation will feature women who are combining an appreciation for tradition and their cultural backgrounds with creativity and innovation as professional chefs gaining attention in Los Angeles.

Following the conversation, Chef Cecilia will teach you how to whip up some delicious homemade wontons. Be sure to come hungry and stay tuned for this tasty interactive cooking segment!

WONTONS RECIPES FROM THE COOKING DEMONSTRATION
EQUIPMENT/TOOLS
Food processor or meat cleaver
Mixing Bowl
Dinner spoon
Plastic wrap
Spider strainer (for boiling method)
Sauté pan or cast iron skillet
Sauté pan lid
Spatula

PORK AND SHRIMP WONTONS
Makes about 36 wontons
1 package wonton wrappers, square
8 oz. pork, ground
8 oz. shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined
1 T ginger, finely chopped
2 T shallots, minced
2 T green onion, chopped
1 T garlic, minced
1 T soy sauce
2 T Shaoxing wine
2 T sesame oil
½ t white pepper, ground
1 t salt
Oil
Water
Vegetable stock (for boiling method)

ASSEMBLING
1. Food process or use meat cleaver to chop up shrimp into ¼” chunks.
2. Place ground pork, shrimp, ginger, shallots, green onion, and garlic in a bowl.
3. Drizzle soy sauce, cooking wine, and sesame oil on top of ingredients. Mix until combined.
4. Season with salt and white pepper. Mix well. Filling should be slightly sticky.
5. Place wonton wrapper in center of one hand. With the back handle of dinner spoon, portion 1T filling into center of the wrapper. Fold wrapper over and gather the edges together to rid of any air pockets in filling. Flatten and seal so that the edges form a fish tail.
6. Place assembled wonton onto a plate. Cover with plastic wrap.
7. Cook immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days until ready to cook. Assembled wontons can be frozen in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

COOKING
Boiling method:
1. Bring 1 qt of vegetable stock to a boil.
2. Add wontons 8-10 at a time to boil for about 5-8 minutes or until wontons float up to the surface.
3. Use spider to remove wontons and place into bowls.
4. Ladle 8 oz of hot vegetable stock over wontons. Garnish with sautéed vegetables, such as gai lan or bok choy. Serve.

Pan frying method:
1. Heat saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
2. Add 2 T oil into pan. Swirl to coat pan.
3. Place 9-10 wontons in pan in 3 rows.
4. Cook over medium heat until wontons are golden, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Pour ½ cup water over wontons and place lid on top of pan to steam for 5 minutes.
6. Serve on plate with plum sauce.

MUSHROOM AND CHIVE WONTONS
Makes about 45 wontons
1 package wonton wrappers, square
½ C Chinese chives, ½” sliced
½ t salt
4T oil
12 oz shiitake or crimini mushrooms, ¼” diced
4 oz tofu, firm, 1/4” diced
1T ginger, minced
1T garlic, minced
1T cornstarch
2T soy sauce
2T Shaoxing wine(or substitute with sherry cooking wine)
2 t sesame oil
½ t white pepper, ground
2T vegetable stock or water

ASSEMBLING
1. Combine chives and salt together well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Heat sauté pan over medium high heat.
3. Add oil to heat.
4. Add shiitake mushrooms to sear for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Lower heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger and tofu to continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile whisk cornstarch, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, white pepper, and vegetable stock together in a mixing bowl to make slurry.
7. Pour over mushroom mixture and stir well to coat, cook for 2 minutes for sauce to thicken.
8. Remove from heat and transfer wonton filling into a bowl to cool.
9. Place wonton wrapper in center of one hand. With the back handle of dinner spoon, portion 1t filling into center of the wrapper. Fold wrapper over and gather the edges together to rid of any air pockets in filling. Flatten and seal so that the edges form a fish tail.
10. Place assembled wonton onto a plate. Cover with plastic wrap.
11. Cook immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days or until ready to cook. To freeze, place wontons in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan. Freeze overnight. Transfer into a container. May be kept frozen for up to 2 weeks.

COOKING
Boiling method:
1. Bring 1 qt of vegetable stock to a boil.
2. Add wontons 8-10 at a time to boil for about 5 minutes or until wontons float up to the surface.
3. Use spider to remove wontons and place into bowls.
4. Ladle 8 oz of hot vegetable stock over wontons. Garnish with sautéed vegetables, such as gai lan or bok choy. Serve.

Pan frying method:
1. Heat saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
2. Add 2 T oil into pan. Swirl to coat pan.
3. Place 9-10 wontons in pan in 3 rows.
4. Cook over medium heat until wontons are golden, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Pour 1/4 cup vegetable stock or water over wontons and place lid on top of pan to steam for 3 minutes.
6. Serve on plate with plum sauce or with favorite dipping sauce.

PLUM SAUCE
Yields about 4 cups
NOTE: Farmers market produce makes a huge difference. Not only are peak of the season fruits and vegetables being used but also supporting local farmers and producers. Be sure to taste the raw ingredients because the peppers, apricots, and plums may be sweeter, more acidic, or higher water content. Note the qualities of the produce and adjust sugar accordingly.
½ ea bell pepper, red, ½” diced
½ ea onion, yellow, 1/2” diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ lb apricots, pitted, quartered
1 ½ lb plums, red, pitted, quartered
1 ea red jalapeno, dried, deseeded, chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 T ginger, fresh; peeled, rough chopped
2 t kosher salt
1 ea star anise, toasted
1 ea cinnamon stick, toasted
½ ea lemon, seeded, chopped
½ ea orange, seeded, chopped

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolved.
2. Lower the heat to medium low heat and allow mixture to simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 20 minutes.
3. Puree the mixture 1 cup at a time in blender on low to medium speed. NOTE: Be sure to place a dry dish towel over blender lid and hold lid in place while pureeing, the residual heat from mixture will create pressure and may cause an implosion.
4. Pass mixture through a sieve or tami. Use the flat side of a plastic bowl scraper to press mixture through. Discard any residuals.
5. Return puree to the pot and simmer gently, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Test by dipping a spoon into the sauce, it should coat the back of the spoon.
6. Use immediately. Or store sauce in a clean, dry container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 4 weeks.


Bios:
Cecilia Leung grew up in a Cantonese restaurant family, but was banished from the kitchen by her chef father. Yet she watched, taught herself how to bake and cook, and is formerly the executive chef at Little Flower Cafe and Lincoln, both in Pasadena, CA.

Isa Fabro is a critically acclaimed Los Angeles–based chef known for her pop-ups and Filipino-inspired dishes that have helped create an ongoing dialogue in the Filipino food movement. Her company IsaMADE showcases a varied repertoire of projects with creative industries, allowing for a cultural and gastronomic exchange of ideas.

For more than twenty years, Sonoko Sakai worked in the film industry as a film buyer and producer traveling around the world while freelancing as a food writer. In 2009, Sonoko decided to leave the film industry. She went back to Japan to study noodle making as a way to restore her energy and fell in love with soba, and the rest is history.

Jean Trinh (moderator) is an award-winning Los Angeles–based journalist whose work has appeared in VICE, Los Angeles Magazine, Eater LA, and KCRW’s Good Food. She writes about L.A.’s food scene, culture, and history, and was formerly the deputy editor at LAist.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC Pacific Asia Museum. Co-sponsored by Asian Pacific American Student Services.

Photo (Strawberry Galettes): Excerpted from Little Flower Baking
Photo (Soba Noodles): Rick Poon

Event Type

Arts, Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Student Life, Event Highlights

Audience

Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff

Campus

Other Location

Tags

Art & design, humanities, employees, VSL, saww, arts&culture

Website

http://visionsandvoices.usc.edu/event...

Cost

Admission is free. Reservations required.

Department
Student Affairs, Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative
Hashtag

#visionsandvoices

Add this to your calendar

Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.