Pomegranate Miang with ginger, chilli, lime, peanuts & toasted coconut

Photography by Zeren Wilson, @bittenwritten

Photography by Zeren Wilson, @bittenwritten

Wow, even looking at my own words feels like a blast from the past these days, it seems I have truly mastered the art of consistently inconsistently writing- absolutely nailed it!

Now I’ve had bloody busy year, however I still can’t really Justify not putting up a post for nearly a year and a half, that’s mental. So I’ll attempt to give you guys an overview of my year in a nutshell, I will also try my utmost hardest to finish this post before I’m 40 and before you guys are bored to death of my bad English, typo’s and made up words.

Right so where was I when I last shared a recipe? Bloody hell I think it was the begging bowl, seems like a lifetime ago now. I’ve since moved on to launch a Thai barbecue restaurant on Denmark Street in soho, called the smoking goat. My head chef position here was a fun experience and really pushed my chef ability above and beyond. I’ve worked with some amazing people during my time smoking goats. We successfully managed to combine a style of cooking which, I believe, is relatively saturated in London, ‘barbecue’, with a cuisine which, for me, is just birthing and shaping itself as something truly respected and delicious when it is made with love, ‘Thai food’. I’m proud of what I managed to achieve at the smoking goat, with consistent great reviews and queue’s outside the door I don’t feel there is much to complain about.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/02/smoking-goat-old-tom-english-restaurant-review

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/the-smoking-goat-restaurant-review-9858355.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/restaurants/fay-maschler-reviews-smoking-goat-9840423.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-2921762/Tom-Parker-Bowles-reviews-Smoking-Goat-London.html

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/magazine/article4342089.ece

me and the EatGrub lads have also been pretty busy over the last year writing our cookbook, which is now finished and out next year. Shami and Neil are still smashing it at Grub and the company is on to wonderful things. I’m still loving working with them although I may have driven them mad trying to write a cookbook at the same time as running the smoking goat (not to mention I must have drove the lads crazy at work having to put up with a mental head chef leaving insects around the office). I can tell you now as a true fact that it is not easy to write a cookbook, and run a busy kitchen at the same time. It’s incredibly satisfying to have completed the book, I’m also happy to be done with the sleepless nights cooking insects and writing recipes to the early morning (everyone knows what I mean, right?).

This now brings me on to the most recent chapter of my journey. I’ve now moved on from the smoking goat to begin my journey on my own. I’ve worked incredibly hard in this industry and have a lot of great people on my side so I’ve decided to continue in the food industry the way I want. Pestle London is currently a pop up restaurant with a key focus on making banging Thai curries and small plates, all from scratch- no peanut butter! We open on Wednesday 30th September, 19:00-22:00, Wednesday to Friday nights at sacred cafe next to Holloway Road station. It’s going to be a cool relaxed vibe, good music, good drink, and absolutely shit food (joking! I’ll try my hardest).

Right- that’s enough of my crap for at least one more year, let’s get you guys cooking. Today’s recipe is one from my menu at the moment and it’s been a hit with the customers. Miang with a sweet, salty, sour and fresh heat is the perfect accompiniment to a dinner of curry and noodles. It’s a great one for at home as you can make a mix up and then all help yourselves, easy to share and delicious. Be carful though, one of the little basterds always ends up with all the birds eye chilli in it.

This recipe makes enough for 4-5 people to snack on, if any is left just wack it in the fridge, it’ll keep for 2-3 days as long as it’s covered. You can find all of these ingredients in any good Asian supermarket, I prefer new loon moon in Chinatown for fresh goods as they have a large range of fresh goods in comparison to other shops.

ingredients

(for the miang sauce)

-150ml, tamarind water

-500g, palm sugar

-150g, fish sauce/ soy sauce if you are vegetarian

-100g, toasted peanuts, semi-pounded in a pestle and mortar

-100g, toasted dessicated coconut

-1 tablespoon dried shrimp, pounded to a floss in a pestle and mortar /don’t include if making vegetarian

-2, green birds eye chilli

-1 teaspoon, fermented shrimp paste ‘gapi’

(for the rest)

-1cm cubed, piece of ginger, peeled and diced

-6 Thai shallots, peeled and diced

-1/2 a whole lime, diced with the skin on

-2 tablespoon, toasted coconut

-3 tablespoon, semi-pounded peanuts

-2 red birds eye chillies, thinly sliced

-a small handful of coriander leaves, washed

-1 pomegranate, de-seeded and all pith removed.

-20 betel leaves/ if you can’t find any then you can use baby gem, or spinach leaves, washed

method

1.firstly make the miang sauce. In a pan heat the palm sugar, and fish/soy sauce, and the gapi paste on a medium heat, stirring regularly and making sure it doesn’t stick to the sides.

2. In the meantime, using a pestle and mortar pound the 2 green birds eye chillies. Then one by one add the rest of the dried ingredients so that they all end up making one dry mix that includes the coconut, peanut, dried shrimp and chilli. Keep heating the palm sugar and fish sauce until all sugar has melted and the sauce has just started bubbling, then add the tamarind water and temporarily remove from heat.

3. Next add the pounded dry mix that you have pre-prepared to the sauce and whisk, ensuring that you separate any clumps of dried ingredients. This makes sure that the ingredients are well distributed and helps to balance flavours.

4. Lastly add all the fresh ingredient to this sauce except for the betel leaves, mix delicately, being sure not to damage any of the ingredients that you’re mixing. Once everything is evenly distributed place a spoonful of this mixture into the middle of the betel leaves and arrange neatly on a plate. Then eat them up!

So there you have it, pomegranate miang to make at home, I hope you enjoy the recipe

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

seb

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Lightly Spiced Tiger Prawn, Sweet Potato, Daikon & Thai Basil Fritter, Served With a Green Nham Jim Dipping Sauce

Lightly Spiced Tiger Prawn, Sweet Potato, Daikon & Thai Basil Fritter, Served With a Green Nham Jim Dipping SauceFinally I’m back behind the keyboard, I have an increasingly large list of events, recipes, anecdotes and articles in the back burner for ‘Articuleat’, (I just need to find the damn time to write them up).

The London pop-up scene has swallowed me up whole at the minute, in a big pile of edible insects and Thai food. Its amazing fun! Not to mention that the Begging Bowl is busier than ever. Thai food in London is booming and why not? It’s awesome! I feel privileged to be part of it.

I will soon be updating you all with what I’ve been up to in my ‘behind the whites section’. I’ve just finished another pop-up with EatGrub at the ‘Hot House Rooftop‘ in London Fields. I’m also going to be helping Andy Oliver at his next pop-up with ‘Som Saa’, at the chilli festival ‘chilli chilli bang bang’ in Dalston Yard – all exciting stuff.

Now anyway I’m getting ahead of myself again. This recipe for you today is a fairly quick one to put together (once you have dried your own turmeric and ginger). It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day, which we all know should be enjoyed with a nice cold pint in one hand and a fork in the other (not that I’ve got out of the shade of the extraction fans much recently).

When I make this dish I like to make my own mild curry powder to add to my egg batter before frying. Fresh turmeric, like ginger, is a rhizome – a thick underground stem. Due to this it take a lengthy, but simple process to dry it out and grind to a powder. Both fresh spices can be dried in the same way – peel, thinly slice and dry in a warm dry place, on a drying rack for at least 24 hours (May need longer dependent on environment). You can buy pre-dried turmeric and ginger but it’s in no way as good, or even similar to the real thing, try making it you’ll love it (why not make loads and leave it in the kitchen for another day?). However, when working with red turmeric be carful, the stuff stains your bloody hands orange for days. The last thing you want is everyone thinking that you look like an ‘umpa lumpa’ from the neck down!

I also think it’s important for me to talk you through making your own chilli powder. At the begging bowl we always use dried chillies and call it ‘blue tongue’? Now that I think of it, I actually have no bloody idea why or where that came from? I’m assuming it’s something to do with the fact that it’s fucking hot and it will certainly leave you with a burning mouth if you’re not careful. Now I’m lucky when making this as for best results it should be made in a wok (which I have at work), with a wok burner (very high heat). The intense temperature of the wok smokes the chillies whilst crisping them, making them easy to spice grind into a smoky, hot powder. I appreciate that unless you are some kind of maniac, you probably don’t have a wok burner to hand at home? I have found the best way to do it at home is in a dry pan on a high heat on the stove top, keep the chillies moving until they start smoking, then cover with tin foil and place in a hot oven for 2-3 minutes allowing to smoke a little. Carful- if you breathe in the smoke, you will cough. I also like to use 50/50 dried birds eye chillies to dried long red chillies, this gives the chilli powder a fiery hot, smokey and sweet flavour. It’s great when added to the curry powder.

When grating the vegetables to make this fritter (the daikon and sweet potato), it’s important to julienne them evenly to ensure it all cooks at a similar rate when being deep-fried. If your knife skills are still in practice, I suggest using a papaya shredder, or something of similar function. For anyone that is unsure what a Daikon is, it’s a type of radish. It’s also known as ‘mooli’ or Oriental radish and is much larger than a normal radish, they can be found in most good Asian supermarkets with a fresh vegetable section. If grating daikon (which we are) it’s important to use it as quickly as possible to retain the crisp, crunchy freshness.

The natural sweetness of tiger prawns are a great accompaniment to this lightly curried fritter. Once our home-made curry powder is completed, the vegetables, prawns and Thai Basil are tossed through a light egg batter and deep-fried to make the fritters. This is then served with a sweet, sour and fiery hot Nham jim dipping sauce- delicious.

This recipe was adapted from something I was shown from Andy Oliver, it is in no way the same (or as good) but feel I should credit him anyway – cheers Bandy Boliver.

I think that’s enough from me for one day and I’m sure you guys want to get cooking so I’ll leave you to it.

 

Enough to satisfy two people with a light lunch:

Ingredients (leaves loads spare to use another time, scale down if you want)

(For the curry powder)

-1tbspn, black peppercorns

-3tbspn, coriander seeds

-3tbspn, cumin seeds

-1tbspn cloves

-1tbspn fennel seeds

-15, Thai cardamom pods

-15, pik kwan, stems removed

-3tbspn home made chilli powder (1tbspn dried birds eye chillies, 1tbspn dried long red chillies, follow instructions above)

-5tbspns, ground, home-made dried ginger (follow instructions above for drying)

-7tbspns, ground, home-made dried turmeric (follow instructions above for drying)

(For the Nham jim dipping sauce)

-7, peeled garlic cloves

-5, green birds eye chillies, roughly chopped

-2tbspn, coriander root, finely chopped

-3tbspn, caster sugar (might need more to taste)

-300ml, fresh lime juice (might need more/or less to taste

-150ml, fish sauce, I like the mega chef brand best (might need more/or less to taste)

-2, mandarins, juiced

(For everything else)

-6 whole tiger prawns, body shells and shit removed, tails and head still attached

-1, sweet potato, julienned or shredded

-200g, daikon, julienned or shredded

-20g Thai Basil, picked

-10g, white sesame seeds

-2, free-range eggs

-100ml sparkling water

-1tbspn, rice flour

-1pinch Malden sea salt

-2 litres, cooking oil (for deep-frying)

Method

  1. Ok so firstly let’s get the spices toasted and the curry powder made. Have all you spices separated to start, as they need to be added to the pan at different times. The ginger, turmeric and chilli powder is already good to go if you followed my instructions in the writing above. In a large flat pan toast the spices on a low heat. When toasting spices you should always heat them in terms of their size, larger spices first and for longer ( as a larger object takes longer to toast). Once a spice begins to change colour and release a fragrant smell it is ready to use. The only spices that should not be toasted according to size are peppercorns as they pop and explode, just add them at the end and let the other spices warm them through. One toasted, add the ginger, turmeric and chilli powder then spice grind together to make the curry powder.
  1. Next make the fritter, heat the oil in a deep pan to 180 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together   1tbspn of the home-made curry powder, 1tbspn of rice flour, 1 pinch of Malden sea salt, the sparkling water and the eggs, beat to a pale mixture then rest in the fridge for a few minutes. In another mixing bowl, combine the prawns, shredded sweet potato, daikon, sesame seeds and the Thai basil. Pour the batter over all of this then mix with your hands until everything is covered in the egg mixture.
  2. Now the fritters are ready to be cooked. However if you throw the mixture in as is, it will break up and not cook together. Use a kitchen spider (large spoon with holes it it) to gently lower handfuls of the fritter mixture into the oil, making sure that the vegetables have cooked together, holding the fritters in one piece. Cook batches of the mixture one at a time for around 2-3 minutes in the oil, moving regularly to ensure an even cook. When ready remove from oil and leave to drain on kitchen roll.
  3. Meanwhile make your Nham jim dipping sauce, fresh is always best with a lime juice based product. In a pestle and mortar, pestle the coriander root, garlic then chillies in this order to a coarse paste, using sea salt as an abrasive if necessary. Next add the caster sugar and pound for a few seconds using the sugar as a second abrasive. Lastly add the lime, mandarin juice and fish sauce to make the dipping sauce. It should taste sweet, salty, sour and hot, adjust seasoning accordingly. An exact recipe is impossible as ingredients strengths change constantly.
  4. Serve the fritters garnished with some fresh Thai Basil leaves and enjoy.

Lightly Spiced Tiger Prawn, Sweet Potato, Daikon & Thai Basil Fritter, Served With a Green Nham Jim Dipping SauceThanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and Lime

Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and LimeFunnily enough I got the inspiration to make this dish when I got chatting to a local Thai chef in Brixton. I was aimlessly walking around ‘Wing Tai’, one of my local oriental supermarkets. I was, as I find myself lots these days, lost in the weird and wonderful labyrinth of Asian produce; this must have been pretty obvious to the outside world as this guy felt the need to take time out of his own day and offer me a hand.

He asked, “What is it you’re looking for, what are you going to make?” to which I swiftly and unhelpfully replied “something that I have never made, seen, or heard of before”. To this I half expected him to instantly assume that I was a bit of a fruit loop and see himself off, however he asked, “Do you like Jam?” – “Yes” I replied (please don’t ask me to come for breakfast!!!). “Do you like bananas?” –umm… Yes” I replied (please, please, please don’t ask me to come for breakfast!!!), “how about banana jam?” – “few… I mean yes that sounds delicious”.

All jokes aside he was an extremely nice man, as he even wrote down a rough guide for me to come home and try (and if you’re reading this I would happily come for breakfast).

Now I have made many Jams in my time, however I have never heard of banana jam, this is why I thought it a perfect recipe to include on Articuleat. I love cooking things for the first time, not only do you learn a new recipe but, especially with Asian cuisine, you gain a wider perspective of certain ingredients. I have now been cooking Thai cuisine professionally for over a year and every day is a school day – exciting stuff. Saying this, I don’t think this dish could strictly be categorized as Asian (it’s more fusion), but it did find its way into my recipe book via a Thai chef and his mother’s recipe, so screw it – lets say it’s Asian.

After making this a few times I have changed the recipe slightly to ‘articuleatise’ it. He recommended using gelatin to set it (no thanks); I have used natural pectin as a setting agent. Pectin is a chemical found in fruits (predominantly apples), that can be used to set jams and jellies. As bananas contain such a small amount of pectin naturally, it is necessary to add a little more to guide it towards setting like a normal jam.

He also recommended serving it with tinned coconut cream, however here at Articuleat that just won’t do. For my recipe I have cracked and pressed my own coconut cream. This is a much lengthier process but the final product is in a league of its own. Any tinned coconut cream always has a certain aftertaste to it – this is all the preservatives that it is packed full of. If you ever find the time I recommend that you try cracking your own coconut cream.

Lastly I grated and toasted the remaining coconut flesh and included it in the peanut praline. This adds a little necessary texture to the dish. Although this is an unusual form to see these ingredients in, they compliment each other perfectly in this dish. The salted coconut cream balances out the softly sweet and sharp banana jam, all topped with a crunchy peanut praline and a squeeze of lime – perfect.

Apologies if any anonymous Thai chefs from around the Brixton area have suffered emotional trauma during the reading of this recipe – please do send me a complaint and I will reply as swiftly as possible.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for today – happy jamming.

Ingredients

(For the coconut cream)

-8 coconuts, cracked with a hammer and peeled to the flesh (if you want, drink the coconut water that is released when cracked – it’s very good for you)

-2litre, water, boiling

(For the praline)

-200g, white sugar

-100g, peanuts, toasted and semi-pounded in a pestle and mortar

-40ml, fresh lime juice

-20g, toasted coconut flesh (use coconut that has been cracked for cream)

(For the banana jam)

-1500g, ripe bananas, chopped into chunks

-60ml, fresh lime juice

-70g, unsalted butter

-1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

-1tbspn, pectin

-1000g, white sugar (light brown also works well)

(For the salted coconut cream)

-200ml, fresh coconut cream

-1tspn, white rice flour

-1 pinch Malden sea salt, crumbled as fine as possible

Method

  1. Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard of the outer shell. This leaves you with the inner flesh of the coconut which has an inedible skin attached to it. Using a peeler remove this skin to leave you with only the fresh, white coconut flesh. Next put this flesh through a mincer, or grate it and add to the boiling water, combine thoroughly using a stick blender for around 5 minutes. Once combined filter the liquid from the flesh by ringing it out in some muslin, or a cloth. Once separated place the liquid in the fridge and leave to cool. As it cools the cream will separate from the water, the white cream on the top is what you want. Keep the coconut water as it can be used to let out curries and soups. Any leftover coconut cream can be boiled down until it splits (cracks); this can then be used as coconut oil (coconut crack) which we will talk about another time. Once finished take some of the grated coconut left behind and toast on a medium heat in the oven, until golden brown and crunchy.
  2. Secondly make the peanut praline, this is a real simple one and only takes minutes to achieve.  Place the sugar and lime juice in a pan and melt on a medium heat, stirring constantly to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Once melted turn up the heat and continuously stir, until the mixture begins to darken and caramelise (around 3-4 minutes when boiling). Lastly add the peanuts and toasted coconut and pour onto a tray with parchment paper underneath, with a spoon spread the mixture as thin as possible and then leave in the fridge to set. Once solid, hit it with a rolling pin to break up into portion sized pieces.
  3. Now for the banana jam, you will find it much easier with a sugar/jam thermometer, however not to worry if not you will just have to keep a close eye out. Firstly add the bananas, lime juice, scraped vanilla seeds and the remaining pod and the butter to a non-stick pan. Combine as much as possible using a potato masher, cook out on a medium heat for around 7-8 minutes until the banana begins to break down and cook (keep it moving or it will stick). Next add the pectin to the sugar and combine, then pour this fast into the bananas and keep stirring. Boil to 104-105.5 degrees (jam setting temperature), if not using a thermometer then look for when the bubbles get larger, you can see the change in heat bubbles in the pan. Pour this straight in a sterelised jam jar or molds if you wish. The banana jam is great on toast or in natural yoghurt and keeps for around 5-6 months.
  4. Lastly make the salted coconut cream. Bring the cream to a simmer and then add the rice flour and whisk thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook out the flour for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Once the coconut cream has thickened add the pinch of salt and leave to one side to cool. To plate place the banana jam upon the coconut cream and top with some peanut praline, sprinkle with toasted coconut to finish – then enjoy.

Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and LimeThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes