Cooking Class: Chinese New Year Spring Rolls with Kiki Aranita - Context Travel

Cooking Class: Chinese New Year Spring Rolls with Kiki Aranita


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Spring rolls are auspicious essentials on Lunar New Year tables because they resemble gold bars. Join this hands-on cooking class for a journey to Asia, to make a delicious Chinese New Year staple that can be enjoyed all year long. Learn tips and tricks to wrapping, then frying, the perfect spring roll. Discover different combinations of sauces and vinegars to come up with a dipping sauce that suits your personal preference. In many Chinese dishes, the eater is the final chef, in charge of determining how to season a given dish.

We will focus our cooking time on traditional spring rolls and prepare two variations together, one with noodles and one without. Will also discuss other typical dishes served during Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong. Chef Kiki Aranita will share her personal perspective on how this important holiday is celebrated in families and cities in Asia: typical meals, the importance of the color red, lai see (lucky money), and the litany of well-wishes recited during the festivities. She will share all of the traditional preparations necessary before Chinese New Year, from new clothing to house cleaning to traditional decorations.

Our expert will also discuss spring rolls in the greater context of Cantonese dim sum, and how dim sum has influenced other Southeast Asian cultures. We will also discuss Shanghai Lumpia and find out how a Chinese spring roll entered Philippine cuisine.

Led by a chef, restaurateur, and expert on Asian cuisine, Kiki Aranita, this interactive seminar will explore traditional Chinese New Year spring rolls. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the importance of the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong and all of the ways the event is celebrated in families and in public.

Below are the items you’ll want to participate in this class. We will email attendees the full recipe with measurements and instructions prior to the class so that you can pre-measure ingredients before joining

For the filling:

  • ½ lb ground pork (Substitute: ground chicken, turkey or minced and thoroughly dried fresh shiitakes)
  • cooked vermicelli noodles (8 oz pack)
  • 1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ small green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Spring roll/lumpia wrappers 
  • egg wash (in a blender, put 2 eggs, a splash of water, and a pinch of salt)
  • canola oil

For the pork marinade:

  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1½ tbs sugar
  • 3 tbsp shoyu
  • ½ cup onion, diced small
  • 2 scallions, sliced fine
  • 1 egg

For the dipping sauce:

  • cane vinegar (Substitute: any floral, not too heavy vinegar such as Winter Melon or Mugwort Vinegar)
  • fish sauce
  • thinly sliced chilis (optional)
  • shoyu

Special Equipment 

We don’t list every item you’ll need here (e.g., standard items like knives, bowls, cutting boards). But we do our best to identify items that may not be in every kitchen and alternatives where possible.

  • Pastry brush
  • Cutting board or clean workspace
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wok
  • long cooking chopsticks or tongs

Kiki Aranita is co-chef and owner of Poi Dog, a restaurant and catering company that closed its Rittenhouse location in July 2020 but served Hawaii’s local food to Philadelphians for seven years and now makes sauces. In addition to running a busy fast-casual storefront, she has catered many large-scale weddings, events, and fundraisers in Philadelphia and around the U.S. For years, her goals involved celebrating the underrepresented cuisines of multicultural origins as well as seeking to minimize food waste. She is a writer who has contributed food writing and narratives to Edible Philly, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Food and Wine, Roads and Kingdoms, and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, as well as recipes to Munchies Vice and many other publications and platforms. She has created content and recipe-driven videos for companies such as La Colombe, Philadelphia Magazine, and Vitamix.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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K
K.
Chinese Spring Rolls

This was her first cooking class with Context. She was delightful! The directions and background information was clear and informative. I would take another class with her!

C
C.Z.
Spring Rolls

Kiki was friendly, knowledgeable, and excited to share her lifelong experiences.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.
Chinese Spring Rolls

This was her first cooking class with Context. She was delightful! The directions and background information was clear and informative. I would take another class with her!

C
C.Z.
Spring Rolls

Kiki was friendly, knowledgeable, and excited to share her lifelong experiences.