Recipe: chicken bulgogi

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This Korean chicken dish has everything I want from a dish; plenty of flavour, seriously tender meat and a little heat.

The first time I made it I had it with rice, thinly cut carrots and pickled cucumber (using rice vinegar instead). The second time I used to fill steamed buns (recipe to come) and both ways were delicious.

Apart from flattening the chicken this recipe is as easy as making a marinade and forgetting about the chicken until the next day, when it takes a mere 5 minutes to cook it.

The recipe is courtesy of David Leibovitz via Koreatown: A Cookbook.

Chicken bulgogi, serves 4

Adapted from David Leibovitz’s recipe.

125 ml soy sauce

1-2 tbsp Korean chilli sauce gochujang 

1 small onion, finely chopped of puréed

2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

1 tbsp mirin or rice vinegar 

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

black pepper

2 tsp sesame seeds (I omitted these)

4-5 chicken thigh fillets  

Mix soy, chilli sauce, onions, sugar, mirin/rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil and ginger in a large ziplock bag. Also add black pepper and sesame seeds.

Cover a plastic chopping board with cling. Place a chicken thigh fillet (or two) on top. Cover with cling and flatten it by bashing it gently with a rolling pin. Repeat with all the chicken. 

Add the chicken to the marinade in the ziplock bag, squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Place it in the fridge overnight. 

Grill or fry for approx five minutes of medium-high heat. Brush with extra marinade while cooking. Slice thinly and serve. 

 

Marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs

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That weekend in the countryside the maincourse was a buffet with plenty of options. We had sausages and burgers from Waitrose as well as chicken drumsticks with sweet chilli marinade and marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs.

For the sausages and burgers we had buns, mustard, ketchup, mayo, sliced tomatoes, onions and pickles.

The other trimmings were a regular salad with avocado and spring onions, couscous salad with grilled peppers and chickpeas, bean salad with Dijon and feta, classic potato salad (with parsley instead of dill) and slaw.

Marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs, serves 6-8

2 pork fillets/tenderloins approx 400 g each

150-200 ml mild olive oil

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 tsp honey

1 garlic clove

5-8 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

5 sprigs rosemary, chopped

Trim the meat of any fat/tendons and cut into 1 inch thich slices. Flatten them a bit. Season the meat. 

Mix the marinade and cover the meat (either in ziplock bags or a ceramic tray/bowl. Leave to marinate in the fridge at least over night or for 48 hours. Barbecue. 

Marinated chicken skewers with mint, chilli and lime

IMG_7951After bubbly and crostini we moved in to a rosé from Languedoc, barbecued chicken and vegetable skewers and my favourite potato salad with pears and blue cheese, asparagus and two cold sauces.

The chicken had marinated in the fridge for two days and really soaked up the flavours of chilli, mint and lime from the marinade. The vegetable skewers with peppers, red onion and mushrooms and a basic sweet chilli dressing were lovely too. IMG_7956The asparagus was just steamed, paired with a bit of butter and placed on top of some rocket. There were enough flavours in the potato salad and skewers not to over-complicate things. IMG_7967The dinner party went really and it was lovely to have the girls over. I just love cooking for others! 🙂

Marinated chicken skewers with mint, chilli and lime, serves 6

Adapted from Diana Henry’s recipe in A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious.

12 skinless chicken thigh fillets 

zest from 4 limes, juice from 6

2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp fish sauce

6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tbsp chopped mint

3 tbsp olive oil

Remove fat and tendons from the chicken and cut into chunks. Place in a dish or bowl and season. Mix the ingredients to the marinade in a bowl and pour it over the chicken, mixing well so all the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Cover with cling and refrigerate over night (at least). Soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes then thread the chickens onto them and barbecue. Serve with more lime juice and chopped mint.  

Chicken drumsticks with za’atar marinade

I discovered the lovely herb blend za’atar on my trip to Syria about a year ago. It consists of sesame seeds and dried thyme, but depending on the blend it can taste quite different. I bought a large bag of my favourite blend, a special blend a Damascus spice wholesaler made so it is probably one of the best you can get.

I love to cook with this blend and have used it in a few different dishes. Last week I marinaded drumsticks in a mixture of za’atar, lemon juice, Japanese soy, olive oil and garlic for about 48 hours and the cooked chicken was lovely and moist and coated of a golden layer or the marinade.

I used dried limes (also purchased in Syria) and whole cardamom pods to flavour the rice, which is popular in the Middle East. Once drained and the spices removed I sprinkled some sumac on it for extra flavour. The sauce is a simple mix of creme fraiche/soured cream, sambal oelek and fresh lime juice.

If you don’t want to eat the chicken with rice for supper the drumsticks work well on a picnic as well.

Chicken drumsticks with za’atar marinade

6 chicken drumsticks

4 tbsp za’atar

1/2 lemon, the juice

2 tbsp Japanese soy

2 whole garlic cloves

1/2 olive oil

salt, black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Leave in the fridge to marinade for at least 24 hours, but preferrably 48. Cook in a 200C oven on a rack with a tin foil covered roasting tray below for about 20 minutes.