Last week, teens and adults from the community got a taste of Chinese food and culture as they learned to cook a variety of new dishes.
Yan Liao, an associate professor and cataloging librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, taught the Chinese food cooking class on Saturday, April 26, presented by UWSP’s continuing education program.
Liao taught participants to make new dishes like dumplings, broccoli salad, and spring rolls. Meat and vegetarian options were available for participants to make.
Wausau resident M.J. Netzer was pleased to be taking the class for the first time.
“My friend saw it advertised. It’s my first time taking a class like this. I have cooked Chinese food using recipes I found online, so I thought it would be fun to try more authentic recipes here,” Netzer said.
Netzer came with her friend Teresa McCausland of Waupaca to try her hand at these recipes. McCausland found out about the event through an online e-mail subscription provided by the university.
“My daughter came to UWSP for band camp, so I was on an e-mail list. I was interested when I read more about this class. My son has a peanut allergy, so I wanted to know how to make Chinese food for him at home that did not have peanut ingredients,” McCausland said.
Stevens Point resident Mary Kreul was also inspired by her children to take the class.
“I have a daughter who is adopted from China. It’s her birthday today so she had some other plans. I am excited to bring these spring rolls back to her tonight. She was excited that I decided to take this class,” Kreul said.
Liao also described the importance of re-packaging spring roll wraps.
“Once you open the package, the wraps dry really fast in the room temperature climate. You have to seal the packaging and put it in the refrigerator when you are done using them,” Liao said.
Liao has taught this class several times in the past and was happy to teach it again.
“Seeing people enjoying the food and introducing new ingredients to them is my favorite part of teaching this class,” Liao said.
Liao hopes that participants take back what they learned to their kitchens at home.
“Hopefully they take back the cooking skills they learned here and get to enjoy the food with their friends and families,” Liao said.