Dirty Apron – Cooking School

For Christmas my OH surprised with an experience of a 4-hour hands on cooking class at the Dirty Apron in Vancouver. Not, he hastily added, because there is anything wrong with my cooking, but that it may give me tips and the confidence to try new things.

After Christmas I browsed on their website for available dates and to see what course I would like to try based on ingredients used and techniques I could learn.

So on 12th May I headed to Beatty Street for my “BC Dine & Vine – Wine & Food Pairings From Our Own Backyard” class.

Along with 17 other people I first sampled some freshly baked bread with sparkling wine before we got down to the real business at hand.

Each course was individually cooked in front of us by our instructor, giving pointers along the way, ie how to hold the knife when cutting, how to know when your sauce has reduced enough etc, and then we were sent to our stations to cook each course ourselves. The ingredients were all provided, along with the equipment we needed, so all we had to do was cook everything and then we got to eat it, paired with a BC wine. And while we were eating the kitchen fairies came in and cleared everything away in preparation for the next course!

There were four courses in all:

  • Spot Prawn Gyoza with Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
  • Crispy Seared Duck Breast with Orange Gastrique and Apple and Green Bean Sauté
  • Crisp Seared Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraiche and Scallion Potato Rosti
  • Apple Almond Tart

What did I learn? How to mince my own garlic so much that it was almost a paste, not to panic when water hits a gas flame (thank god I use an electric ceramic hob!), leave the ingredient in the pan and not move it around constantly (ie have patience) and it’s okay to cheat (ie buy store bought puff pastry!).

If you ever get the chance to head down, either for a demo class or a hands on class, I highly recommend it. Even better if you can get a small group of you together, although I am sure that everything would pretty soon become a competition! 😉

So, as promised, here’s the recipe for Spot Prawn Gyoza with Dipping Sauce:


(Makes 10)

Gyoza Filling

  • 60 g Prawn meat (minced)
  • 15 ml Carrots (finely chopped)
  • 15 ml Leek (finely chopped)
  • 15 ml Celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 pc Green Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Chives (chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 15 g Ginger
  • 10 mL Yuzu Juice
  • 5 mL Soy Sauce
  • 5 mL Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 10 BC Spot Prawns
  • 10 Gyoza Skins

Classic Dipping Sauce

  • 30 ml Soy Sauce
  • 15 ml Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 15 ml Chili Oil


(For steaming but can be deep fried)

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat a pan to medium-high; add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place gyoza in pan and sear bottom.
  4. Turn heat down to medium and add ¼ cup of water and place lid on top to steam for 3 – 4 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove from pan with a spatula.
  6. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Folding Gyoza

  1. Place a spoonful of filling off centre on wonton wrapper. Lay peeled Spot Prawn atop filling.
  2. Using fingertip moisten the outer edge of the wrapper with water.
  3. Fold in half, using fingertips to crimp the two sides together, creating a seam on top of gyoza.