Wang Quan comes from a family of foodies.
Quan, a performer with Cirque Shanghai, learned about the cooking craft from his mother.
"She is a chef who owns a family restaurant," said Quan, who was born in China. Though he's open to trying various cuisines, Quan said his favorite is Sichuan.
"I learn many recipes from the Internet," he said. Quan surfs the net to find a variety of interesting dishes as well as other ethnic fare.
Quan performs as a bowl kicker in Cirque Shanghai, which runs through Sept. 2, at Chicago's Skyline Stage at Navy Pier. The current Cirque Shanghai theme is "Dragon's Thunder" and the show features a variety of acts including the Chinese Flex Bar, Gravity Swings and Dragon Drums. FYI: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
The performer said he's particularly conscious about choosing healthy menu items.
"Eating healthy is important especially for what I do," Quan said.
Try the following recipe from Quan.
Oyster sauce King Oyster Mushrooms with Edamame
300 grams Edamame
1 King Oyster Mushroom, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 teaspoons of Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons of Oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
Salt, enough for seasoning
1 red chili, minced
Green onion and ginger, enough for seasoning, minced
Starch with water, for thickening
DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid over medium heat. Cook the green onion, ginger, garlic and red chili in the hot oil until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the King Oyster Mushroom and stir for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar and some water and cook for 2 minutes. Add Edamame and stir for another 2 minutes. Add some salt and Oyster sauce, stir. Dissolve starch in warm water and add to the mixture. Stir until it's thickened. Serve immediately.