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Flavours of the far east

Nurturing

STICKY CHICKENKorean fried chicken gluten-free and a welcome variation to barbecue wings.

Tasting

Redmond Cabot

After focusing on simple produce and flavours in these pages in recent weeks, I’ve decided to mix things up and try out some interesting tastes and practices from the Far East. Here are two delectable dishes for you to try at home, courtesy of Dublin’s Oriental Emporium.
Korean fried chicken (KFC!) is a gluten-free dish, and a welcome variation to ‘barbecue wings’ – double deep-fried chicken coated with a delicious sticky, spicy and sweet sauce. If you can’t find gochujang (Korean red chilli pepper paste) locally, you can easily order it at www.asiamarket.ie, or drop into one of the two Oriental Emporium stores the next time you’re in Dublin.

Korean fried chicken

What you need

Chicken mix

  • 1.4kg chicken pieces (drumsticks, wings, boneless thighs)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 150g potato or corn starch
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Sauce

  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp gochujang  
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

What you do
In a large bowl, mix the rice wine, two garlic cloves, salt and pepper, then add the chicken and combine well. Put the starch in another bowl and dip the chicken to coat with starch evenly, and set aside. Add a generous amount of oil to a wok, deep saucepan or deep fat fryer and heat until the temperature reaches 1750. Carefully add the chicken pieces one at a time and cook for about three minutes. Try not to overcrowd the wok. After three minutes, place the chicken on some kitchen paper and remove any debris from the oil.
When the temperature reaches 1750 again, deep fry the chicken again for another two to three minutes. When the chicken is golden and crisp, set aside on kitchen paper.
In a saucepan, add the ingredients for the sauce, cook over medium heat and keep stirring. Once the sauce is bubbling, remove from the heat.  Place the chicken in a large bowl, then pour the sauce over it, mixing well. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Szechuan braised aubergine
This garlicy dish is a variation on a tomato aubergine dish I cooked lately, after being inspired by a take-away (yes we have take-aways!) from The Everest Nepalese restaurant in Westport.

What you need

  • 1 big aubergine
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Salt for seasoning

What you do
Cut your aubergine into bite-sized chunks and put them in a basin of water with a pinch of salt. Place a bowl or weight on top of the veg for ten mins, then drain well (this process helps the aubergine to cook faster). Place your wok or pan over a medium heat, then add your oil. Once hot, cook the chucks for five minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove to a side plate.
In the same pan, but with a low heat, cook the finely chopped garlic until the oil becomes fragrant (don’t burn!). Add your green pepper, cut into bite sizes, and the aubergine, soy sauce and sugar. Stir for a couple of minutes until the peppers soften. Season with salt and serve.

Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.