Asian fusion food may be the norm now, but believe it or not, and this will depend on your age, in the not too distant past a night out at the local Chinese restaurant was considered a real treat.
You would order prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken, beef and black bean sauce, and egg fried rice, and even a strange sounding beer, and think it was the height of sophistication.
Today, of course, going into a Chinese restaurant (or the mostly horrendous all you can eat buffets as many tend to be these days) is as commonplace as going to a fish and chip shop or to a pub for a Sunday roast.
And with a plethora of other restaurants offering food from across the world – Mexican, Indian and Thai to name just a few – it can often be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.
There are, of course, some really amazing, Asian restaurants – they tend to be referred to as ‘fusion’ restaurants now so they are not restricted to food from just one country – where you won’t find chicken chow mein or prawn wantons on the menu, but dishes such as kingfish sashimi, California rolls and Japanese omelettes served with sushi rice.
Our current favourite is Korean food. We like it because it’s very light, tangy, healthy and like tapas it is made for sharing. The dishes that get our taste buds going include Bibimbap, which is rice with assorted vegetables and Bulgogi, which is beer marinated in soy sauce, garlic, onions and pear sauce, and, not forgetting, Kimchi, which is fermented cabbage.
Here’s a recipe for Korean fajitas, which includes the lovely Kimchi:
For the Chicken mix:
600g Sliced Chicken Thigh (bones removed)
60g Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
15g Ginger Paste
7g Garlic Puree
10g Soy sauce
15g Sesame oil
8g Brown Sugar
Toasted Sesame Seeds for sprinkling on top
For the Vegetable mix:
200g Whole Baby Corns
200g Sweet Peas
250g Sliced Red & Yellow Peppers
200g Sliced White Onions 200g
2 whole Pak Choi
10g Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
Soy Sauce 20g
Pinch of salt (taste & add more to suit)
Pinch of Cracked Black Pepper (taste & add more to suit)
Tortilla wraps of your choice, plain, tomato, herbed etc.
Wasabi Paste blended with Mayo (to taste) (1:10)
Fresh Coriander Leaf
Kimchi (Fermented Cabbage)
For the Chicken
• Pre heat an oven to 180Oc
• For the chicken, place the sliced chicken into a large bowl & pour over the rest of the ingredients except for the sesame seeds, massage the pastes into the meat with your hands, wear gloves as the pepper paste may stain your hands.
• Leave the chicken over night if possible to marinade, or for a few hours to take on the lovely flavours.
• Place onto a baking tray, spread out evenly & bake for 20-22 minutes.
For the Vegetables
• Heat a table spoon of oil in the bottom of a wok or large frying pan until smoking, add all the vegetables & the seasonings & sauces & toss together for 3-4 minutes over a high heat.
• The Vegetables should stay crunchy to eat.
• Warm the wraps in a microwave for approx. 20-30 seconds
• Place some of the Kimchi along the middle of the warmed wraps then
• Place 3 or 4 pieces of the cooked sliced chicken per wrap & add some of the cooked vegetables
• Pour over some of the wasabi mayonnaise dressing & sprinkle with the toasted Sesame seeds
• Finally roll into a sausage shape & cut in half.