Hey, Jerk‏

To me, jerk chicken is one of those great, exotic-sounding dishes of the Caribbean and Southern US, like Gumbo and Jambalaya, that you’ll hear about in the course of watching US sitcoms, but are difficult, or impossible, to find on the menu of your average Sydney restaurant.  To whit, after being reminded yet again of jerk chicken (I believe while watching Futurama), I decided to get a recipe and take it on. The results were delicious.



8 chicken maylands


 1 tbsp honey

Flesh of 1 small coconut, roughly grated

1/2 green apple, peeled, cored and cut into julienne

Juice from 1 lime

2 tbsp coconut cream

Pinch of salt


 2 tbsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

2 long red chillies (cayenne), chopped

1 red onion, chopped

Pinch of salt

 Begin by dry-frying the spices in a pan for a couple of minutes, until fragrant, then transfer the spices along with the rest of the ingredients to a food processer and blend to a paste. Rub over the chicken thighs then leave, covered, in the fridge for an hour or so. To cook, simply place under a hot grill for a few minutes on each side, until cooked through and the skin is a bit charred.

For the salad, in a small saucepan, combine the lime juice with the honey and coconut cream and whisk over low heat until combined. Toss with the rest of the ingredients and set aside.

Serve the chicken on top of the coconut salad and garnish with thinly sliced spring onion.


Sucuklu Yumerta

There’s just something about this dish… it’s quick, easy to prepare, and delicious, all things which my food so often isn’t.  I’ve been making this dish regularly for a couple of years now, whether it be for a weekend breakfast or a midweek dinner, it’s fantastic, and with the ubiquity of baked egg dishes in Sydney cafes at the moment I thought it was high time I posted this one up. Rest assured this recipe is dead simple and is absolutely one of my favourites.

1 brown onion, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

A couple of handfuls of grated kaşar

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pinch of sumac

A couple of handfuls of baby spinach

200g sucuk, sliced

1 tbsp Aleppo chilli flakes to garnish

4 eggs

Turkish bread, to serve

Begin by pre-heating your oven to 180 degree. Next, in an oven-safe frying pan, sautee the onion and the garlic in some oil for 10 minutes or so, until softened. Add the spinach and a few tablespoons of water, cover, and allow to wilt slightly. Remove from the heat, add the cheese and a pinch of paprika and sumac. In a separate pan, fry the sucuk sliced until crisp, then remove and drain on kitchen paper. Add the sucuk to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and crack in the eggs. Put in the oven for 5 minutes or so, or until the whites
have set and the yolks are still slightly runny. Serve with sliced of Turkish bread that have been fried in butter til golden (go on, do it, you won’t regret it).

Note: Kasar, Aleppo chilli and sucuk can be found at any of your neighbourhood Turkish food shops. Just kidding, they’re rare. Try Gima in Auburn.






Tripe Lyonnaise


God, I’ve been so lazy with this blog. Almost a year ago now (shit…has it really been that long?) I went on a Griswold-esque European road trip with two of my mates, driving through much of Spain, France and Andorra. Luckily, my mates were pretty accommodating with my continual requests to try different foods and restaurants, and to help me fulfil my ambition of eating foie gras and jamon, where available, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It wasn’t all food though, I made sure to admire the cultural touchstones of the places I visited: from the striking Guggenheim in Bilbao and the majestic medieval ramparts of Avignon,  to the flabby, pasty geezers in Benidorm and the grubby hookers of Marseille, I saw it all.

Needless to say, I did eat some ridiculously amazing food on the trip, and have been meaning to recreate much, if not all of it now that I’m back in Sydney.

First up is a dish that I had in a little bistro in Lyon. Everything we ordered that night was fantastic and memorable, but for me, the pick was the Tripe Lyonnaise, which I felt compelled to order, because, you know, I was in Lyon. It was a great dish, with a terrific balance of sweetness and sourness, and I think this recipe comes pretty close to replicating what I ate on that night, though I have made a few changes to personalize it a bit.

It’s a very simple dish with few ingredients, so start with the best ingredients you can get and remember to take utmost care with every step to make it as perfect as it can be.


1 kg tripe

4 brown onions

3 bay leaves

1 can tomatoes

1 litre chicken stock

4 rashers of bacon

8 cloves garlic

1 stick cinnamon

Teaspoon of cloves

Forum chardonnay vinegar

Knob of butter

Bunch of parsley, chopped

Start by sauteeing the bacon, 5 cloves of garlic and one of the onions, chopped roughly, in a saucepan on a medium heat for 10 minutes or so, getting a bit of colour on the bacon and onion. Deglaze with the chicken stock and add the bay leaves, the tomatoes, the cloves and the cinnamon and bring to the boil. Wash the tripe thoroughly and add to the saucepan, lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove the tripe from the stock and allow to cool.

Next, finely slice 3 onions and sautee them gently along with 3 whole cloves of garlic for 45 minutes or so, until the onion is soft and stringy and caramelized. Pick out the garlic and discard.

Once the tripe has cooled, slice into strips and coat in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat some oil until very hot, then quickly shallow fry the slices of tripe until golden. At this point, add some butter to the pan (as much as you feel comfortable using, but really, the more the better) as well as the onions and stir through the tripe. Finally, add a good splash of the vinegar and the chopped parsley and stir everything together. Serve!

Squid Ink Kingfish


Japanese! Having decided that that would be the flavour of the month, I set out to make a dish as Japanese-y as possible, while adding a bit of my own personality and preference for French cooking and techniques into the mix. And so we have… squid ink kingfish with dashi oil, puffed rice and ramen gnocchi.

I decided to make dashi oil as opposed to a dashi stock with water simply because I wanted that rich, oily mouthfeel, inspired by the time I made this dish. I guess it’s something that is not especially common in Australia and seem a bit gross, but embrace your inner Mediterranean, or Sichuan, and load up the oil!


200mls grapeseed oil

2 tbsp kombu

2 tbsp dried bonito flakes

2 rashers of bacon, diced

Gently sauté the bacon for 5 minutes or so, then drop the heat to low, add the kombu and the  and take off the heat. Add the kombu and the bonito and leave to infuse on a low heat for half an hour or so. Strain the oil and set aside.


Boil long grain rice in salted water, then drain. When completely dry (you may need to dry it in the oven to speed it up), fry the grains of rice in hot oil.


Kingfish fillets

3 sachets of squid ink (available from the fish markets and essential ingredient)

Marinate the kingfish in squid ink for half an hour or so, then vacuum seal the kingfish and the ink and cook at 47 degrees for 10 minutes.


Ok, so I actually got this recipe from watching an episode of David Chang’s TV series The Mind of a Chef, where David Chang, in his infinite genius, reveals the process for turning packet ramen into gnocchi. I understand the recipe is also in the first issue of Lucky Peach. Or you can find it here. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, and if you follow the steps carefully you should be fine. Honestly, who turns ramen into gnocchi? Brilliant.


Cured Salmon

Knowing how to cook, I typically draw Christmas cooking duties – which is fine. Far from being a burden though, I love spending the weeks before Christmas thinking about what to cook, scribbling notes on post-its at work about ideas for recipes and ingredients I’d like to try. As last Christmas was rainy and quite cool, I made a roast lamb shoulder and pork ribs, but this year, all signs pointed toward a sunnier and altogether warmer Christmas. Needless to say, that didn’t turn out to be the case, but by that stage, my menu was planned. My entrée is something which is pretty straightforward and which I think is absolutely perfect for a summer afternoon. Or any time really.



1 large tail piece of salmon (about 400g)

150g sea salt

150g caster sugar

1 tbsp dill pollen

2 tbsp chopped dill

Zest of 2 lemons

Mix together the salt with the sugar, dill, pollen and zest. Take a handful or so and cover the bottom of a tray. Rub a few tablespoons of the mix over the salmon, place on top of the curing mix on the tray, and cover the salmon with the rest of the curing mix. Place a chopping board or something on top of the salmon and weigh down with some cans, so that the salmon is being pressed down fairly firmly. Leave for 12 hours or overnight in the fridge. The next day, remove the salmon and rinse the excess curing mix off, then pat dry. Take this opportunity to remove the bones from the fillet if you haven’t already. The salmon should be darker and fairly firm



200mls white wine vinegar.

2 tbsp caster sugar.

1 pinch salt

1 red onion, finely sliced

Place the onion in a mason jar. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, salt and sugar together until dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if you want – aim for a nice sour-sweet balance. Once it has cooled, pour the liquid over the onion and leave overnight.


2 finely sliced deseeded long red chillies

½ a lemon, sliced as thinly as possible

2 tbsp salted capers, shallow fried in oil

Pickled red onion

Handful of roughly chopped parsley

Handful of chopped dill

Juice from ½ a lemon

Mix everything except for the capers together in a bowl, along with a couple of pinches of salt, the lemon juice and a pour of good extra virgin olive oil. Slice the salmon, top with the salad and sprinkle the capers over the top. Serve with a nice sourdough.


The Reuben

I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I’m a huge fan of Man v Food. Watching Adam Richman stuff his face with an ever-escalating procession of greasy foodstuffs never fails to amuse and delight. It also makes me very hungry. American food, particularly the slow-cooked, barbecued variety, is the sort of stuff that’s right up my alley, and I’m currently in the process of fine-tuning a recipe for smoked pork ribs, so stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, I decided to turn my hand to recreating one of the classic American sandwiches, the reuben.



2kg of beef brisket

150g brown sugar

120g salt

2 tsp prague powder (can be purchased online here)

3 garlic cloves

1 Tsp black peppercorns

1 Tsp juniper berries

2 cinnamon quills

1 Tbsp cloves

3 bay leaves


First of all, heat about a litre of water to a simmer in a large stainless steel pot, then everything except the meat. Once the sugar and salt have completely dissolved, add another litre of cold water and chill in the fridge. Once cold, add the meat and weigh down with a plate, if needed, so that the meat is completely covered. Now comes the waiting game. Leave in the fridge for about a week.


3 bay leaves

1 tsp cloves

150 mls malt vinegar

100g brown sugar

1 brown onion, cut in  half

2 carrots, roughly chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed


Remove from the beef from the fridge, rinse thoroughly and discard the brine. Add to a saucepan with about 2 litres of water and the ingredients above. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 and a half-2 hours. When tender, remove from the heat and leave in the liquid for another half hour or so before removing.





Caraway Seeds

There’s a hundred recipes for sauerkraut, and I don’t happen to have a favourite one, I just used this one. I was pretty happy with the results. Or just buy it ready made.



1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

3 tsp tomato sauce

2 shallots, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced, or finely chopped

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

A splash of tobacco

Mix everything together. Umm.. that’s pretty much it. This recipe does make quite a lot, but it goes pretty well on sandwiches in general and will keep a week or so in the fridge. Or you could just scale down the quantities. The world is your oyster!


Rye bread

Swiss cheese

Finally.. making the sandwich. In a frying pan, shallow fry 2 slices of bread in butter until golden on one side (naturally, you could do both sides but I prefer only one side to be crisp, and it’s my blog, dammit). Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Spread the dressing on both pieces of bread, then in the manner of an open sandwich, load up one slice of bread with chopped corned beef and sauerkraut, top with cheese and grill until the cheese has melted. Enjoy!


Bak Kut Teh‏


A few weeks ago, I made an all too brief weekend trip to Singapore to visit my girlfriend – well, that was one of the reasons, others included eating my body weight in chilli crab and taking a break from work before my head exploded. Gladly, I returned head intact, and filled with some fantastic memories, many of which featured food. Singapore, you see, is home to an amazing and vibrant food culture, with hawker food centres literally everywhere, featuring cuisines that span the Asian continent.

Some of my food experiences, sadly, weren’t amazing (durian and century egg, I’m looking at you), though most were great and some, incredible. Popiah, Cereal prawns, Chilli crab, frog and Soursop juice were all phenomenal – so too was Bak Kut Teh, a chinese soup that consists of pork braised in a broth of various spices. Upon coming home I was determined to make this dish myself, and this is how it was done:


1 tbsp white peppercorns, crushed in mortar & pestle

1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed in m&p

1 tsp fennel seeds, dry roasted in a pan, crushed in m&p

1 head of garlic, roasted in oven, plus a few additional cloves to garnish the dish

2 star anise

1 stick cinnamon

Light soy sauce

200g chicken wing tips

1 brown onion, diced roughly

500g pork belly

To begin, sauté the chicken wing tips in some oil until they’re browned, then lower the heat and add the onion and cook until slightly caramelized. Add the pepper, the fennel seed, the star anise, the garlic and the cinnamon, a litre of water and a good splash of soy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, add the pork and cook for 2-3 hours or until the pork is tender. Taste the stock, it should be quite peppery and garlicky, and add more soy sauce if you think it needs it. At this point I removed the pork and placed it in the fridge. After straining the stock, I poured it into a ceramic dish and allowed it to cool in the fridge. After a few hours, the stock will hopefully have cooled and set into a jelly, a result of the natural gelatin contained in the chicken and pork skin. At this point, cut it into cubes and freeze solid. Remove the frozen cubes and place them in a sieve over a bowl and allow to melt in the fridge. This is basically a clarifying method that will result in a perfectly clear consommé while retaining all of the flavour. Don’t ask me how it works though, as I have no idea whatsoever.

To complete, gently reheat the pork in some of the stock, then garnish with some cloves of garlic. Good times!



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