Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Club Bamboo

<-Photo is one of the fellow kitchen helpers and my lunch.

I started volunteer work at Club Bamboo yesterday. Club Bamboo belongs to ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Services) in Seattle and serves lunch to the employees and guests.
I arrived at ACRS around 9:00am. At the Club Bamboo, I met two ladies who were bit older than me. I introduced myself to them and joined their conversation until Chef Alice arrived. The kitchen at the Club Bamboo was new and clean. Chef Alice showed me around the kitchen and told me where things were kept. She announced that today’s lunch menu was Chinese style spicy chicken, roasted root vegetables and cooked rice. She told us to start peeling and chopping root vegetables. We peeled and chopped carrot, sweet potatoes, celery roots, and parsnips. There two ladies were Filipino and I am Japanese. All of us saw celery roots at some store before, but we didn’t know what they were. They smelled like celery but don’t look like celery. We wondered if celery roots were Asian vegetable. According to wiseGeek website, celery roots are from Europe.
After all roots vegetables were chopped, the two ladies chopped ginger, garlic, and chilies. I cut chickens to small pieces with another helper who came later and spoke Vietnamese. Chef Alice set a rice cooker ready for rice after she started roasting large portion of the roots vegetable in oven.
All chicken ingredients were chopped. Chef Alice told me to mix corn starch with the chicken. She heated large Wok to fry oil and all spices and took out all spices from Wok. Then she added more oil and fried the chicken until done and added egg white to the chicken. Meanwhile, rice was cooked and vegetables were roasted. My job at this point was to wash and to sanitize all bowls, knifes and cutting boards.
The first guests arrived. Chef Alice dished up the spicy chicken on a piece of large lettuce leaf, roasted root vegetables and cooked rice. It looked colorful and nice. She told the guest to add some pine nuts and chopped green onion over the chicken if she like. Several guests arrived and had their lunch. Around 1:00pm, Chef Alice told us that it was our lunch time. I dished up my lunch as other guest. The chicken was spicy, little bit hot and was good with rice. The root vegetables were sweet and tender. The meal included protein, vegetables and carbohydrate. It was healthy. After filling my stomach, I washed more dishes.
I left the club bamboo around 3:00pm. I had fun working with interesting ladies and helping Chef Alice.
Fortunately Tuesday was not busy day at Club Bamboo. It was good for me to start today instead of Thursday which is supposed to be busy. I am planning to work two days a week for three months and hopefully Chef Alice let me try out my Japanese recipes to the customers before my three months term ends.


ReadaGator said...

Fumiko - Congratulations and good luck on your new food adventure!
A few questions: So, were dry spices used to season the oil before frying the chicken? And, did you remove the bones from the chicken, then coat it in cornstarch before frying? Finally, how were the egg whites added?
I'm interested in learning about the cooking techniques you use.

Thanks for keeping up your food blog - I'm looking forward to trying the tofu and soy sauce from the producers you mentioned!

Jamie R.

fumikob said...

Hi,ReadaGator. I saw Alice had heated oil in Wok and fried minced garlic, ginger, and chilies first and had taken them out before she fried chicken mixed with cornstarch. I didn’t see she added any dry spices except salts. I may not have seen exactly what she added but I think garlic. Ginger and chili with salt will add enough flavors to the chicken.
Alice had boned chicken and but it was too much work to take bone and skin out and chop. So she decided to use boneless and skinless chicken breast to save cooking time.