Taste of China Lectures, Cookery Demonstration and Hands on Cooking Lesson


DCNYF is thrilled to introduce a new focus on Chinese food: Educating, Exploring and enhancing the delicious and positive aspects of Chinese food. We will feature recipes each day from the wide variety of excellent restaurants in Dublin and beyond where you can treat yourself to the dish and also try cooking it at home in your kitchen. Special lectures and demonstrations with Cooks Academy and lessons in Chinese shopping at Asia Market are included. We are honoured to have well known Chinese food writer Julie O’Neill introduce this new section for us in 2013. Events include:

Sunday 24th February 12pm – Lecture and hands on food demonstration in Cooks Academy

DCNYF is delighted to announce this special event. Julie O’Neill prominent Chinese food blogger of www.shananigansblog.com will give an introduction to Chinese food, and this will be followed by a demonstration of two dishes – Traditional Chinese dumplings and Pork Shreds in Fish Fragrance sauce (See images of finished dishes below) with Kevin Hui of China Sichuan Restaurant. Participants will then get to do a hands on demonstration and cook these dishes themselves assisted by our chefs and experts. Don’t miss this great day of Chinese cuisine, education and fun: Tickets only cost €50.



Please send us in your favourite Chinese recipe and tell us what’s so special about it and why. Our two favourite entries, as chosen by our judging panel, will each win a ticket to the cookery demonstration. Each ticket is valued at €50. Please send your entry to info@cny.ie by 21st February at latest.

Winner of Competition – Joanne Cronin, Stitch & Bear and Denise Dunne, The Herb Garden.

Friday 8th February 6pm – Cooks Academy Chinese Cookery Course. Ticket costs €70

Every Friday in February 6pm - Shopping in Asia Market for your Chinese Kitchen.

From Julie -

IMG_7920 - Copy (2)For me it all began with this – a simple dish of fried green beans, tasted on our first night in Beijing in late June last year in a small, neighbourhood Sichuan restaurant. The Sichuan peppercorn exploded in my mouth numbing by lips, the fiery chilli pepper counteracted the tingling coolness of the peppercorns, the crunchy preserved vegetable, which I later identified as ya cai, added an unfamiliar texture – these were green beans as I had never experienced them before and I was smitten.

That particular day was very special for another reason. We had just learned that our son Shane and his lovely Chinese wife Shan were expecting our first grand-child so we had our own tiny Sino-Irish dynasty in the making. But that evening the focus was on the food as one delightful Sichuan dish after another arrived at our table.

Knowing my daughter-in-law’s love and knowledge of the food of her country, I had set her the challenge of finding us a different regional cuisine each night we were in Beijing so, apart from Sichuan, we tasted Yunnan, Shanxi, Cantonese, Peking and Shanghai signature dishes over the following weeks. I handed over complete control to Shan, allowing her to choose the number and types of dishes, using her own instincts for what constituted a balanced meal. As a result every meal was a surprise and delight. Then, while we were in her hometown of Urumqi in Xinjiang province, we got a real sense of their Uighur cuisine with its Turkic and Arabic influences and also sampled many of her MaMa’s favourite home cooked dishes.

By the end of the holiday I had completely rebalanced my diet – with far more and a wider variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, relatively smaller quantities of meat, fish or tofu, modest amounts of rice or noodles and virtually no processed sweets or desserts. The holiday seemed to involve almost non-stop eating in large quantities and yet I came back feeling healthier and fitter than I had for some time.

When I came home to Dublin I missed the food – the spiciness, the colour, the texture, the range of different dishes in a meal, the sociability of communal eating, the chopsticks…. And so I began learning, cooking and writing about Chinese food on my blog http://www.shananigansblog.com. To begin with I asked Shan to teach me long-distance how to cook and eat the Chinese way – a kind of on-line tutorial to help me source ingredients and re-create in an authentic way some of the dishes I had enjoyed so much.

I use Irish produce whenever possible to demonstrate how well our excellent fish, meat, vegetables, fruit and other products can work with Chinese recipes but I also spend a lot of time in the Asia Market, seeking out unusual ingredients. I have cultivated relationships with my greengrocer, my fishmonger and my butcher and identified lesser-known cuts of meat that offer great value for money and flavour when subjected to Chinese cooking techniques. As time has moved on I have become more and more adventurous about developing my own recipes as well as recreating those by renowned food writers such as Ken Hom, Ching-he Huang, Fuchsia Dunlop, Gok Wan and Christine Manfield.

Across the world in Sydney Australia, my daughter Claire and her Welsh husband Mike have joined in the fun, trying out the recipes on the blog and in her favourite Chinese cookbooks and eating out in the excellent Asian restaurants Sydney has to offer. Meanwhile in Beijing, Shan’s MaMa helps me source ingredients and passes on her traditional family recipes. Chinese food has succeeded in connecting our family across three continents where distance has separated us.

In the six months since I started the blog I have learned many new skills, acquired lots of knowledge and made many new friends but I am only starting to understand the depth and sophistication of Chinese food. I have also discovered lots of people who, like me, are fascinated by its flavours, textures and variety, who want to cook nutritious Chinese meals at home that offer great value for money and who also want to know where to find the best experiences when they eat out.

I am delighted to be associated with Dublin Chinese New Year Festival and this great opportunity to offer a small Taste of China throughout the Spring Festival. We will be featuring a recipe each day for the next 15 days. Most of these recipes are from well-known Chinese restaurants in Dublin where you can sample them on their menus. A small number are “Asian fusion” recipes developed by Irish chefs who are happy to share in the Spring festival celebrations and demonstrate how Chinese traditions have influenced their cooking techniques. All of the restaurants whose recipes will be featured are listed on the website.

We are starting early to give you a chance to plan ahead so that you can try as many as possible of these recipes at home during the Spring Festival. Later in the month I will be partnering with Kevin Hui of the China Sichuan Restaurant in Sandyford, Dublin in a lecture and demonstration on Chinese food in Cooks Academy Dublin.

The first recipe is one of my own and I have included it because it has proved to be one of the most popular on http://www.shananigansblog.com. It is a healthy take on a Chinese takeaway classic – Crispy Chilli Beef.

We hope you will join in the fun and also send in your own favourite recipes.

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy New Year of the Snake.


366 kBAbout Julie O’Neill