If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I love a good hands-on cooking event, especially with other bloggers. And I love easy weeknight meals that are delicious and can be on the table fast. So when I was invited to an event by Ling Ling Asian Kitchen to learn about their new line of frozen fried rice entrees, and learn to prepare some delicious easy sides to pair with them, I was in!
The event was held at Parties that Cook in San Francisco. PTC hosts hands-on cooking classes, cooking parties, and corporate team building events (they have a second location in Chicago). The sunny, inviting space in SF’s Marina District used to be the venerated Tante Marie’s Cooking School and PTC has made great use of the space that includes multiple open prep/cooking/demo areas, as well as plenty of space for mingling and enjoying a meal.
Ling Ling welcomed us bloggers with cold white wine and hot, crispy pot stickers (Ling Ling’s famous frozen potstickers—yum!) and told us all about their new line of fried rice entrees. Then PTC Master Chef Mike Chapter gave us a rundown of his favorite pantry items for Asian cooking and some really handy cooking tips. Did you know that instead of laboriously peeling and mincing garlic, you can just shred it, skin and all, on the large holes of a box grater and squeeze out the juice (that’s where all the flavor is anyway)? Mind. Blown. (by the way, Summer from A Mom Less Ordinary was smart and got a video of this. Check it out on her blog!)
Next we broke into small groups and set about cooking up 3 of the Ling Ling Fried Rice Varieties (Yakitori Chicken, Bibimbap Beef, and Chinese-Style Vegetable) and 3 amazing sides to complement them (Japanese-Style Cucumber and Ginger Salad, Crispy Roasted Kale Salad with Shiitakes, Almonds, and Raisins, and Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Chili Oil-Tamari Dipping Sauce).
Anyway, you put a bunch of bloggers in a room with wine, delicious food, and a couple of knowledgeable chefs and there’s pretty much no way we wouldn’t have a good time. All of the food was fabulous. My favorite of the three fried rice varieties is still the Bibimbap Beef, but I enjoyed the others as well. As you can see, my plate is a little full. I’m not even a big kale person, but damn that kale salad was good! And check tomorrow I’ll post the recipe for the scallion pancakes.
I already mentioned in my previous post that Ling Ling infuses every grain of rice with amazing flavor by working some kind of proprietary culinary magic. The Ling Ling representative told us all about their signature cooking method, but honestly, I was too caught up in all the delicious that was happening on my plate. What I got was something about tumbling the rice in the sauce in such a way that the flavor gets infused deep into every morsel. It works, I can tell you that much.
Another thing I love about these Ling Ling Fried Rice entrees is that they are so easy to heat up for dinner, either on the stovetop or in the microwave, that you can totally make any one of these side dishes at the same time and still get dinner on the table super fast. When I make fried rice from scratch, it’s a one-pot meal, but because the Ling Ling fried rice is all prepped and just needs to be heated, I have time to make one of these beautiful sides and make the meal special.
Use this printable coupon to save $2 when you purchase any of the new Ling Ling Fried Rice entrees. Find out which of your local supermarkets stocks them on the Store Locator. Discover more about Ling Ling on their website.