Rick Stein's Turmeric-Marinated Chicken Wrapped in Lime Leaves


The appetising look of this dish caught my eye while flipping through Rick Stein's cookbook. I really like how this recipe has made use of the very fragrant kaffir lime leaves to wrap the chicken to keep moist and from burning. This is a dish made by a Frenchman who lives in Hanoi since the mid-1980s, so he is pretty much local. He made this dish for Rick Stein during his visit in Vietnam.


This recipe is best cooked on a barbecue but cooking on a pan or grill on the stove will still taste as amazing, only without the smokiness from the charcoal barbecue. 


Turmeric-marinated Chicken Wrapped in Lime Leaves

Adapted from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey
Serves 4



Ingredients:


  • 1kg skinned boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 3 bird's eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 40 double-lobed kaffir lime leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham) - recipe below


Method:


1.  Cut the chicken thighs to about 2.5cm cubes.
2.  Mix the turmeric, fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilli, shallots and white pepper in a bowl.
3.  Add chicken into the bowl and stir well.
4.  Cover and leave to marinate for about 2 hours or more.
5.  Meanwhile, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water and prepare the dipping sauce (recipe below).
6.  When the marinated chicken is ready, wrap each piece of chicken with lime leaf and thread through the bamboo skewers.
7.  Brush the skewered chicken with some oil and barbeque or grill for about 3 minutes on each side until just cooked. Careful not to burn them.
8.  Place the cooked chicken skewers on a plate and serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. 

Nuoc Cham:

Recipe (doubled) from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey


Ingredients:


  • 4 tbsp lime juice (about 2 lime)
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2  bird's eye chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbs water

Method:


1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and divide into dipping saucers before serving.




Les Trois Garcon & Loungerlover | London

Having walked pass the usually buzzing Les Trois Garcon multiple times thinking this place looks extravagant even only after taken a few peeks inside. For the first time, taken there by surprise on a Monday night where it was quiet with only less than half the restaurant filled, we had all the time and space to gaze at the busy interior. There was always something somewhere in a corner, on top of your head and on the sides of the walls. Taxidermy of tiger, giraffe, swordfish, antelope and probably more that I might not have identified was dotted around. A clutter of victorian purses hung from the ceiling, vintage necklaces carefully lined up on the wall next to where we were sat and strings of beaded glass dangling away. With so many things happening in its interior, it was surprisingly not overwhelming but unpredictable, eccentric and exciting at the same time.


Service was friendly and exquisite. The night was smooth sailing with great company and a six course tasting menu. If you read my blog often, there is usually more photos of food than this. I actually forgot to make use of my handy iPhone camera until the dessert came. I hope are able to picture it with the explanation below and hopefully experience the food and ambience for yourself. A little mystery makes the experience more fun.

The tasting menu:

Amuse Bouche
The amuse bouche of tomato soup was creamy yet light.

Ballotine de Foie Gras au Torchon
Ballotine of foie gras cured in Sauternes, cooked au torchon, served with toasted brioche

The foie gras was compact and smooth with perfectly cubed sweet yet sharp apples and crisp yet soft toasted brioche was a joy to start off. For those of you unfamiliar with the 'au torchon' method, it is foie gras wrapped in dish towel and cooked in liquid. Michael Ruhlman, the American author who collaborated with the celebrated chef Thomas Keller to produce the The French Laundry Cookbook explained the how to's of making torchon de foie gras in his website.

Coquille Saint-Jacques
Seared scallops with Jurusalem artichoke and chestnut gratin, kumquat chutney

The flavours were lovely with addition of the sweet tangy kamquat chutney which lifted the scallops. It would have been perfect if the scallops were taken off heat a few seconds sooner.

Filet de Saumon Ecossais au beurre blanc de Champagne
Organic salmon with Dauphine potatoes, red wine salsify, champagne butter sauce

Filet de Chevreuil au jus de poivre de Szechuan
Spiced cured venison fillet served szechuan pepper jus

Again the subtle flavour of szechuan pepper jus added an Asian character to the French cooking of venison fillet that was cooked to pink perfection.

Nougat glace a la noix de coco
Frozen coconut 'nougat' with passion fruit coulis


Now now, this frozen nougat was packed full of coconut flavour that it brought me to a tropical paradise for a moment and the passion fruit coulis freshens it up. Here is to how good it was that we ordered an extra portion to share after six courses. And I ate about 85% of that second portion.


Petit Fours
Passion fruit meringue, brownie, truffle


After a wonderful evening at Les Trois Garcon, we decided to have a drink at the Loungelover behind the restaurant also by the same owners. Again, the interior was eccentric and colourful. Every single light and chandelier was different with its own character. The furnitures were all mismatched yet complimented each other in its own right. Whoever designed the interior has an extraordinary style with character of mischief.

The cocktails were a captivating as the meticulously thought out decor.

The art deco style lighting that hangs at the entrance was one that captured me the most.

Smile..

Good food accompanied with charming friendly service and unique interior.

Frown..

It is on the pricey side but worth the experience.

Will I return?

Yes.

Les Trois Garcon

1 Club Row
E1 6JX
London, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7613 1924

Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street
Les Trois Garcons on Urbanspoon

Loungelover

1 Whitby Street
E1 6JU
London, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7012 1234

Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street
Loungelover on Urbanspoon

Terroirs Wine Bar | London

Terroir is a term created by French winemakers used to describe the sense of environment which gives wine its personality. A restaurant and wine bar named after this term will have lots to live up to in its wine department. But I have to say, they have shown flare in the wine list and knowledge the staff shown.



The ground floor space has a feel of a Parisian wine bar. It was vibrant and buzzing with people enjoying themselves. An evening to start off with charcuterie, wine and cheese, these is the place to be. As we were not able to get a reservation on this buzzing floor, we booked for the downstairs restaurant instead. It has a more romantic dining ambience and a different menu more for a more conventional flare of starter, main course and dessert rather than charcuterie and small plates the ground floor bar has. Although both menu are different, they both have equally good choices.

Langoustines a la plancha was nice but a little soft, not the texture I would expect. The roe though, was tasty.

The Bouillabaisse had big chunks of fish and mussels accompanied with rouille, gruyère and croutons. It was lovely but not memorable.

The Welsh lamb chop with merguez and cous cous was well cooked. It came with well seasoned harissa aïoli which really brighten up the plate.

Treacle Tart was as it should be, sweet and treacly.


The Chocolate Marquise was honest and simple with intense chocolate flavour yet not too sweet, perfect to my liking. It was so moist and smooth it melts in the mouth. Its partner of pistachio Crème Anglaise sings with the marquise in perfect harmony.

Smile..

Very knowledgeable staff and good friendly service,
With its extensive wine list and affordability, it is heaven for wine lovers.
The food were almost equally as good as the wine.

Frown..

Low alcohol tolerance means more trips here to taste the wine.

Will I return?

A definite yes. Maybe next time with a date ;)


Terroirs Wine Bar

5 William IV Street
WC2N 4DW
London, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7036 0660

Nearest station: Charing Cross (Northern line) ; Leicester Square (Piccadilly line)
Terroirs on Urbanspoon







Korean Kimchi Pancake (Kimchijeon)

It's Pancake Day on Tuesday! Will you be making an overflowing amount of pancakes? Well, I think I might, and most likely it will be my favourite fluffy American pancake flooded with maple syrup and a crispy strip of bacon on top. Just the sound of it makes me salivate. 


But instead of sharing a recipe of the very much loved classic pancake, I thought it will be nice to make some savoury pancake for a change. So I have chosen Korean Kimchi Pancake with an addition of bacon. It is just as easy to make as normal pancakes. Here's how:


Korean Kimchi Pancake (Kimchijeon)

adapted from Maangchi
serves 2-4

Ingredients:


  • 200g chopped kimchi
  • 100g bacon medallion (cut into small pieces) *optional
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 65g plain flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 125ml water
  • 1 egg
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • vegetable oil

Method:


1.  Put the flour, water and egg into a bowl and mix well.
2.  Then add in kimchi, chopped bacon and onions into the flour mixture.
3.  Stir until well combined.
4.  Heat a pan with 2 tbs of vegetable oil until hot.
5.  Pour mixture into pan and press the mixture flat onto the pan with the back of a spoon.
6.  Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes, flip and let cook until done.
7.  Remove from pan on to the chopping board and cut into bite size pieces.
8.  Serve with some chopped spring onions as garnish.


Tips:


  • To make a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon.