PREPARATION: 15 MINUTES, PLUS OVERNIGHT BRINING • COOKING: 1 HOUR • SERVES: 4–6 AS A STARTER
There are fast-food chains and trucks whose menus are solely devoted to this addictive chicken. Generally it's fried twice to crisp the skin and then rolled in a sweet vinegary chilli glaze made from the insanely good gochujang chilli paste. Since frying chicken on the bone can be a bit messy, I played around with the method to bake them crisp first. The end result is just as salivatingly good.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) chicken wings, halved, tips removed
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons rock or sea salt
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds, toasted
(KOREAN CHILLI PASTE)
A thick Korean fermented soybean paste that includes red chilli and ground rice. Its spicy but sour taste adds a unique dimension to glazes, soups, stews and marinades. Buy it in tubs from Asian grocery stores and keep refrigerated once opened. If you think sriracha is good, this might become your new favourite.
Put the chicken wings in a resealable plastic bag or large bowl. Add all of the brine ingredients, combine well, then seal or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) or 200°C (400°F) fan forced.
Drain, rinse and pat dry the chicken wings using paper towel. Place in a single layer in a large roasting tin and bake for 45 minutes, tossing several times during cooking.
Meanwhile, to make the glaze, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
After the wings have roasted, drain off the excess oil and pour the glaze over the top. Bake for another 10–15 minutes until golden and sticky. Serve on a big platter.
PREPARATION: 15 MINUTES, PLUS OVERNIGHT MARINATING • COOKING: 10 MINUTES • SERVES: 4–6
All South American countries have their particular method of 'churrasco', which is the Spanish word for grill. In Brazil the cuts of meat are skewered and slowly roasted on a rotisserie over charcoal. As the sides cook, the meat is thinly sliced off, like a kebab. Since most of us have pretty basic barbecues, I've devised a marinade that pimps up any cut of meat no matter what grill you use. Try it with one or all three of the sauces.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) beef skirt (onglet), flank or bavette steak
3 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 2 limes
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, grated
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
or chilli flakes
1½ tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Also known as pul biber, this ground spice is made of dried Turkish chillies that pack a fruity, smoky taste but aren't too spicy. The seeds are removed before grinding, so the pepper won't overpower your cooking with too much heat. Once you've tried it, it will become your go-to chilli powder. Substitute crushed red chilli flakes if you don't have any Aleppo pepper.
Cut the steak into 4–6 even portions and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides, then put the steak in a shallow non-metallic dish. Put the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the marinade over the steaks, turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to bring the meat back to room temperature.
Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan until very hot. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry on paper towel, then drizzle with a little extra oil and season with extra salt and pepper. Thread two long metal skewers through two of the steaks and repeat with the others. Grill for 3–4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the sauces.
GET AHEAD: Marinate the meat up to 24 hours ahead. The sauces are best made earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated; however, the herbs in the Chimichurri Sauce will stay brighter if it is made 1–2 hours before serving.
CREAMY AJI VERDE SAUCE
¾ cup coriander (cilantro), leaves
1 thumb-size green chilli, stem
and seeds removed
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
Process all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into a serving bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 small pickling onion or large French shallot, finely chopped
1 thumb-size green chilli, halved, seeded, finely chopped
80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
Chop the herbs and put them in a bowl with the garlic, onion and chilli and combine well. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar, then season to taste with salt.
SMOKY TOMATO CAPSICUM SALSA
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small handful of coriander (cilantro) stems and leaves
125 g (4½ oz) cherry tomatoes (grape or pomodorino, if available)
½ red capsicum (pepper)
2 teaspoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
pinch of sugar
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Alternatively, you can chop all the vegetables and herbs by hand. Pour into a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
PREPARATION: 30 MINUTES • COOKING: 15 MINUTES • SERVES: 4–6
I wasn't awakened to the pleasures of tonkatsu before visiting Tokyo but it's now frequently part of my weekday supper repertoire. Coated in panko breadcrumbs and then shallow-fried until golden and crisp, it has a leg-up on your usual crumbed meat. The thick spicy sauce served alongside is like HP or steak sauce with soy and spicy mustard. Most Japanese buy the famous brand called 'Bulldog' but making your own is easy and you know exactly what's in it.
700 g (1 lb 9 oz) pork tenderloin, fat trimmed
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
3 eggs, lightly beaten
300 g (10½ oz/5 cups) panko breadcrumbs
vegetable or peanut (groundnut) oil, for shallow-frying
Lime wedges, to serve
1 small cabbage, about 400 g (14 oz), shredded
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) soy sauce
2 tablespoons yuzu juice or 1 tablespoon each lime and grapefruit juice
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
100 ml (3½ fl oz) tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon English mustard
To make the slaw, put the shredded cabbage in a bowl of lightly salted water with some ice cubes and refrigerate for 30–60 minutes. This will help it stay crisp when you mix it with the dressing later. Drain the cabbage, spin dry in a salad spinner and transfer it to a bowl. Combine the soy sauce and yuzu juice in a small bowl and toss through the cabbage just before serving.
Meanwhile, to make the tonkatsu sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Slice the pork tenderloin about 3 cm (11/4 inches) thick, cover with a piece of baking paper, then gently pound it with a rolling pin until it is 1.5–2 cm (5/8–3/4 inch) thick. Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Season the pork with salt and pepper, then dust with flour, dip in the beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs.
Heat 2 cm (¾ inch) of oil in a very large frying pan over medium–high heat. When hot, cook the pork in batches until brown and crisp on both sides. After 2 batches, you may want to wipe the pan clean and add clean oil. Cut the pork into 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide strips and serve it hot with the tangy slaw, tonkatsu sauce and lime wedges.