How to Shop in Chinatown
Taught by Jonathan Soma
Soma was born in the South, is what someone from the North would say. He co-founded the Brainery, is the sciencey half of Masters of Social Gastronomy, has more hobbies than can dance on the head of a pin, and loves Waffle House about eighteen times more than you.
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This class is going to involve a lot of eating.
Chinatown is an awesome place with intense deals, but unless you can hop over the language barrier it can be an intimidating place. We'll take a look at what Chinatown grocery stores have to offer your kitchen, both through things you're always on the lookout for to the strange and new.
If you've ever been into a grocery store in Chinatown, you've probably been assailed by a Sauce Wall. A thousand types of soy sauce confront you - standard, light, dark, black, mushroom, and more - not to mention a dozen types of bean pastes and a handful of what appear to be seafood-based liquids.
Fear no more! Each of those mysterious bottles has a unique reason for being there, whether as a dumpling-topping condiment or a stew-filling ingredient, and you'll know 'em all by the end.
I'll introduce you to black cardamom, star anise and other fun spices. Ever had sichuan peppercorns? They'll blow your mind.
Produce! It's basically free in Chinatown (or at least you won't be dropping $4.99/lb on veggies). You need to know what to look for, though, and what to do with it. Napa cabbage, bok choy, bitter melon, thai chilies and plenty of highly unidentifiable vegetables lie in wait to be carted off your kitchen.
We probably won't go too deeply into meat or fish beyond mentioning a couple stores, but if you're on the prowl for alligator meat I'll point you in the right direction - and the claws come free!
You'll leave with a full stomach, boundless knowledge, and a cache of new recipes to try out on your own.
Each class will run approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.
This class, like alllll of the others, happens at the Brainery space at 515 Court St in Brooklyn, on the corner of W 9th and Court.