Last Saturday night Kian of Red Cook invited me and my family to his Late Spring Chinese Dinner at his home in Harlem. Fellow dinner guests included Kian’s partner Warren, their fellow food enthusiast friend Ed, Shelley Menaged from the James Beard House and Iron Chef judge and food writer Akiko Katayama.
When I asked Kian how he had accumulated such a wealth of knowledge about Chinese cooking and cuisine, he told me, “I do lots of research. I read Chinese cookbooks, go online… the online forums are very helpful.”
Over the course of four hours, Kian bustled back and forth between the dining table and the kitchen, meticulously prepping and presenting us with course after course. Meanwhile, we shared stories about gritty pizza joints, trips to outerboroughs, and our passionate love or hate for durian fruit, all between bites of food.
Assorted cold appetizers (Clockwise from the top: Prawn Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise, Preserved Egg with Ginger Vinegar, Jujube Dates and Ginko Nuts, Bitter Melon with Goji Berries, Braised Bran Dough)
Young Coconut Chicken Soup..Light, fruity, and with a kick of white pepper, it was perfect for a warm summer day. Kian also said this was the most popular dish at his ICE class
Oil Poached Catfish with a mean underbite and a wonky stare. It was dressed with carmelized soy sauce and topped with cilantro, green onions, and a red pepper
Crispy coconut on the outside and a rich, gooey jelly-like milk inside. The New York Times did a piece about fried milk which I enjoyed
Red Velvet Cake from Cannelle Patisserie (our contribution for the night)
Kian will be teaching a dumpling-making class at the Institute of Culinary Education on July 24th which you should totally check out if you’re in New York! In the meantime, visit Redcook.net for Kian’s latest authentic Chinese recipes.