Up Close & Personal with Chef Martin Yan

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When I got the e-mail to do a telephone interview with Chef Martin Yan, I was over the moon. I have been following his cooking shows since I was a kid and till today, I still cook my Szechuan Chicken dish according to his recipe. Excited and and armed with my list of questions, I waited (trying to stay calm) for the line to connect through. When I first heard his voice, I could not stop smiling. Okay, maybe I did smile throughout the whole interview session!


We chatted about his career and cooking. Of course, I had asked him to share as many tips possible. Here’s what he had to share…

Eena : What is your favourite dish to cook for yourself?

Chef Martin Yan: I love to eat Hakka Tofu in claypot. To be honest, I love tofu! It’s has a mild flavor and it takes on other flavors easily. At my house, there’s always tofu in the fridge. Some days I pan fry the tofu with meat and veggies or sometimes, I make lasagne with tofu. Tofu is healthy too because it’s high in calcium and protein.

Eena : How do you stay relevant in this age of trendy Tasty and Buzzfeed videos? Can Chinese cooking still be as delicious is its cooked in a jiffy?

Chef Martin: I travel almost half a year and I teach cooking classes in Asia and The United States. I am always in touch whose who attend my classes. And I make it a point to ask and learn about what’s trending. I also learn to incorporate new ingredients into my dishes and use less salt in my cooking these last few years. Over the years, I have also used more gadgets in the kitchen; adapting and sharing ways to shorten then cooking time.

Check out Chef Martin Yan’s recipe for chili crabs here.

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