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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a banquet

The season of spring at Billy Kwong always calls for an asparagus stir-fry, sliced and cooked very lightly and quickly. It is interesting to use salt sometimes as the flavour enhancer, rather than using soy. This method is also great with fresh snowpeas, zucchini flowers, bok choy or Chinese white cabbage.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches green asparagus (about 500g)

2 tbsp peanut oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp salt flakes

2 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

⅓ cup vegetable stock or water

1 tsp sesame oil

METHOD

1. Wash asparagus, trim and discard woody ends. Peel lower parts of stems, if necessary, and slice stems in half on the diagonal. Wash and drain well.

2. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add garlic and salt and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add asparagus and stir-fry for one minute. Add wine or sherry and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in stock and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds or until asparagus is just tender. Lastly add sesame oil and serve immediately.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED SCALLOPS WITH SNOWPEAS & GINGER

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a banquet

I usually try to source Queensland saucer scallops for this dish, with their firm-medium, flavoursome flesh. Be sure to pat the scallop meat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before cooking and only cook this dish "a la minute" – the scallops should be rare and the snowpeas bright green and crunchy. You could of course substitute fresh green prawns for the scallops. If you are allergic to peanuts, use vegetable oil.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp malt vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp peanut oil

24 scallops, removed from their shells (about 240g scallop meat)

120g snowpeas, topped and tailed

3 spring onions, cut into 7cm lengths

4 ginger slices

2 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

METHOD:

1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add scallops to wok, in two batches if necessary, and sear for 30 seconds on one side, then turn over and sear the other side for 10 seconds so they are nicely caramelised. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Add snowpeas, spring onions and ginger to wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add wine or sherry and cook for 10 seconds.

4. Return scallops to wok, add soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

CHILLI SALT & PEPPER SQUID WITH FRESH LIME

Serves 4 as a starter

This dish is best cooked "a la minute" so make sure you have all of your ingredients prepared, your serving plate with lettuce cups and fresh herbs ready to go, and your guests seated before you begin frying the squid. It only takes a few minutes to cook and is so delicious eaten piping hot.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

500g squid

1 ½ tbsp  cornflour

1 ½ tbsp plain flour

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp crushed Sichuan peppercorns

vegetable oil for deep-frying

4 small iceberg lettuce leaves, chilled

2 limes, halved

handful coriander sprigs

handful mint leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1. First, clean and score the squid (see step-by-step guide below).

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, chilli powder and Sichuan pepper. Add squid and toss to coat, shaking off any excess flour.

3. Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the squid and deep-fry for about 1½ minutes or until just tender and beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat process with remaining squid.

4. Arrange chilled lettuce cups on a platter and top with squid. Serve immediately with lime halves and fresh herbs.

How to clean and score squid

1. Gently pull the head and tentacles away from the body and discard the entrails.

2. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Reserve the tentacles and discard the head.

3. Remove and discard the fine, purplish-black membrane from the body.

4. Trim the side "wings" from the body and set aside.

5. Pull out the clear "backbone" (quill) from inside the body, then rinse body, tentacles and wings thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen paper.

6. Cut squid down the centre so that it will open out flat.

7. Using a sharp knife, score shallow diagonal cuts in a crisscross pattern on the inside surface, taking care not to cut right through the squid. Scoring squid makes it curl on contact with hot oil, while also allowing flavours to penetrate into the squid.

8. Cut the scored squid in half and then into four-centimetre strips.

9. Trim the reserved "wings", then cut in half.

 

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

SLOW-COOKED RED-BRAISED PORK BELLY WITH CARROTS, EGGS & SHALLOTS

With a bowl of steamed rice, this Chinese casserole-style dish provides a delicious, flavoursome and substantial meal during cooler months. It can be made the day before then simply reheated to serve.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

3.5 litres red braise master stock (see below)

450g free-range boneless pork belly, skin on, at room temperature, cut into 2cm pieces.

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature

3-4 carrots, halved if large

4 red shallots, peeled but left whole

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp malt vinegar

¼ tsp sesame oil

For the red braise master stock

4 spring onions, trimmed and halved

80g ginger, thickly sliced

6 garlic cloves, crushed

4 strips (about 6cm x 1cm) orange peel, white pith removed

8 star anise

4 cinnamon quills

375ml (1½ cups) light soy sauce

250ml (1 cup ) shao hsing wine

185g (1 cup) lightly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

3 litres cold water

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1. Make the red braise master stock (see recipe below) in a large stockpot that will later fit the pork, eggs, carrots and red shallots.

2. Meanwhile, place pork belly in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. This will remove any impurities from the meat.

3. Place eggs in a small saucepan of boiling water and cook for seven minutes (or eight minutes if using eggs straight form the fridge). Remove eggs using a slotted spoon and refresh under cold water. Carefully peel eggs and drain on kitchen paper to remove excess liquid.

4. When the stock is ready, return to the boil. Add pork, eggs, carrots and red shallots, cover the entire surface with a round of baking paper and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until pork is tender. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary. To check it's ready, pierce the pork with a small knife – you should meet no resistance.

5. When the pork is just about cooked, scoop out 250 millilitres (1 cup) stock from the pork and place in a small saucepan. Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes or until sauce is reduced by half and syrupy.

6. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the pork belly, carrots, shallots and braising aromatics from the stock pot and place on a large platter. Scoop out the eggs and cut in half.

7. Spoon the sauce over the pork and arrange the egg halves on top to serve.

8. Strain and freeze the master stock to use again.

Red braise master stock

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

2. Use as directed in recipe or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or strain and freeze to use again.

Makes 3.5 litres

Tips: Feel free to add exotic Asian mushrooms such as shiitake, shimeji or oyster mushrooms. If you do not eat pork or are a vegetarian, omit the pork entirely and add your favourite vegetables – thick slices of white radish and cauliflower florets plus chunks of zucchini, potatoes or fennel. For a less hearty version, simply omit the boiled eggs.

After cooking with the stock, you can strain it and freeze it indefinitely to use again. It will develop a stronger flavour each time you use it.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED EGGPLANT WITH CHILLI & GINGER

We Chinese cooks love to prepare eggplant in many different ways: braised, pickled, steamed, grilled, smoked, roasted or simply stir-fried, as in this recipe. Roughly sliced regular eggplants are fine to use instead of Japanese eggplants.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

400g Japanese eggplants 

3 tbsp peanut oil

5cm piece ginger, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, roughly crushed

¼ cup shao hsing wine

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp malt vinegar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large red chilli, finely sliced lengthways

METHOD:

1. Remove stems from eggplants and cut into one-centimetre slices on the diagonal.

2. Heat two tablespoons of the peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add eggplant and stir-fry for about 2½ minutes, being careful not to let it burn.

3. Add remaining peanut oil to wok with ginger and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.

4. Add shao hsing wine and sugar and stir-fry for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further minute. Serve immediately.

This rich and intensely flavoured dish makes a great accompaniment to a more delicately flavoured dish such as steamed snapper with ginger and shallots, or alongside fried rice for a simple and quick meal. You can substitute a splash of leftover red or white wine for the shao hsing – a hint of alcohol adds depth and character.

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VILD MAD

Feeling SO inspired by René Redzepi and MAD's newest endeavour VILD MAD which launched recently. VILD MAD ( "wild food" ) is a comprehensive and free resource designed to help the Danish public sustainably explore and cook with wild food. Watching the VILD MAD video on the MAD Feed I felt so energised - I loved it when René Redzepi likened being in nature to being in a 'supermarket' - it instantly reminds me of a time some years ago, when 'Uncle Max' ( as he is widely known, or Max Dulumunmun Harrison, an Aboriginal Elder of the Yuin people, who lived throughout the south coast of NSW ) took a group of us on a tour of the bush, as part of a Zen Buddhist retreat which Nell introduced to me. As we walked, Uncle Max spoke about 'Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon' and pointed out all of the delicious edible native plants and seeds. In 2009, Uncle Max and photographer Peter McConchie published a special book, 'My People's Dreaming' ( Finch Publishing Sydney ). As Uncle Max conveyed to us over that amazing weekend, and as he writes; "We are not following the sun, we are following the crops. Following the cupboards or the aisles of what I call the ancient supermarkets of the bush ... It is so important to read the land, to be observant of the changing colour of the leaves, and the changes in behavior of the animals, so we become aware and recognise the messages the land is sending us." Initiatives that deepen our understanding of where our food comes from are crucial. Thank you René Redzepi and the MAD team for your meaningful work with VILD MAD and, back here on our own shores, again, the deepest bow, especially to Mike and Gayle Quarmby of Outback Pride Fresh for providing we Australians the opportunity to cook and learn about the precious native foods of this country. 📸For Australian native plant stockists head to Wholefoods House and Outback Pride Fresh.

Image - Alfred Caliz & www.madfeed.co

Image - Alfred Caliz & www.madfeed.co

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'A MUSHROOM OF ONE'S OWN'

The MAD Feed recently posted 'A Mushroom of One's Own' by Nancy Lee, a reflection on the work of Chido Govera and her trip to Australia earlier this year.  Thank-you very much to Nancy for this great read - "MAD seeks to encourage change through conversation and nurturing ideas, but they also realize that there are practical aspects to enabling action. Chido Govera is changing the lives of women through mushroom farming. A scholarship from MAD facilitated her trip to Australia in April 2017 to share some of her work in Sydney and Melbourne. MAD hopes, with the right support, to fund more such scholarships in the future." 

Click on 'A Mushroom of One's Own' to read Nancy Lee's words on one of the most inspiring women I have ever met, Chido Govera. For more on Chido and her work head over to The Future of Hope Foundation.

Image www.madfeed.co

Image www.madfeed.co

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STEAMED SNAPPER FILLETS WITH GINGER & SHALLOTS

It's not unusual for me to eat seafood five times per week, so I make the most of the fresh fish we have available in this country. The wonderful smoky-nuttiness of the hot peanut oil brings this classic Cantonese recipe together, infusing the aromatic ginger, soy and sugar.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

4 x 100g snapper fillets

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp shao hsing wine

2 tbsp ginger julienne

1 Chinese cabbage (wombok) leaf

1/2 tsp white sugar

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/4 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup spring onion, julienned

1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil

1/4 cup coriander leaves

METHOD:

1. Place fish in a shallow heat proof bowl that will fit inside a steamer basket. Pour water and wine over fish, then sprinkle with half the ginger. Place bowl inside steamer and position over a deep saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam, covered, for 5-6 minutes.

2. Cut Chinese cabbage leaf into four squares and slip inside steamer. Cover and steam for a further 2-3 minutes, or until cabbage has warmed through and fish is just cooked. The flesh should be white; if it is still translucent, cook for another minute or so.

3. Remove cabbage from steamer and arrange on a serving plate. Using a spatula, carefully remove fish fillets from steamer, and place on top of hot cabbage.

4. Pour any liquid left in bowl over fish, sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with combined soy sauce and sesame oil, then sprinkle with remaining ginger and half the spring onion.

5. Heat peanut oil in a small frying pan until moderately hot, then carefully pour over fish. Sprinkle fish with remaining spring onion, coriander, and serve at once.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

SCALLOP & GINGER DUMPLINGS WITH SICHUAN CHILLI DRESSING

This simplified version of Sichuan chilli dressing was inspired by my travels and provides a delicious combination of smoky, sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavours. This dressing is not only delectable when served with dumplings but also suitable for other seafood dishes and poultry. Of course, if you are sensitive to chilli, you can omit garnishing the dumplings with the darkened chilli flakes.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

METHOD

For Sichuan chilli dressing

1. Place chilli in a heat proof bowl.

2. Heat oil in a small heavy-based frying pan until the surface shimmers slightly.

3. Carefully pour hot oil over chilli in the bowl to release the heat and flavour.

4. Stir to combine and stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

5. Strain cooled oil mixture through a fine sieve and reserve the darkened chilli flakes.

6. Stir in remaining ingredients, except Sichuan pepper and salt, and set aside.

Meanwhile make the scallop dumplings

1. Combine all ingredients except wonton wrappers in a bowl.

2. Next, fill and shape the dumplings (see below).

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.

4. Drop dumplings into the water and boil for 2 1/2 minutes or until cooked and wrappers are translucent.

5. To test if the dumplings are ready you will need to remove one and cut into it with a sharp knife to check that the filling is hot. When ready, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate.

6. Arrange dumplings on a platter. Stir chilli dressing well to combine before spooning over the dumplings. Serve immediately sprinkled with the reserved darkened chilli flakes and Sichuan pepper and salt.

Filling and shaping dumplings

1. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper.

2. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.

3. Gently lift one corner of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half over the filling, creating a triangle.

4. Lightly press around filling and along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

For Sichuan pepper and salt

1. Dry-roast peppercorns and salt in a heavy-based pan. When peppercorns begin to "pop" and become aromatic, take off the heat.

2. Allow to cool, the grind to a powder in mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Store leftovers in an airtight container

INGREDIENTS

Sichuan chilli dressing

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp hot water

1 tbsp malt vinegar

2 tsp white sugar

pinch Sichuan pepper and salt (see at end of recipe)

Scallop dumplings

16 fresh scallops (180g), halved crossways

2 spring onions, finely sliced

5cm x 1cm knob (15g) ginger, finely diced.

1 tsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp white sugar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

16 fresh wonton wrappers (about 8cm square)

Sichuan pepper and salt

1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns

3 tbsp sea salt

 

An additional note: 

I can still smell the distinctive and intense, heavenly aroma of Sichuan peppercorns from my first trip to the stunning spice markets in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. When infused with chilli oil, the haunting woody fragrance of these peppercorns becomes amplified, and when combined with the heat of chillies, the effect is simultaneously numbing and spicy.


More tips:

  • I love the versatility of the Sichuan chilli dressing and find it goes perfectly with: white cooked chicken, steamed or grilled fish, steamed or grilled prawns or grilled calamari.
  • It's also delicious as a sauce for noodles – add some freshly julienned cucumber, beansprouts and coriander to garnish.
  • The dumpling filling can be made from prawns instead of scallops.
  • Wonton wrappers are available from supermarkets and your local Chinatown.
  • Omit the chilli flake garnish if sensitive to heat
  • You can buy chilli oil already made if time poor
  • Make the dumpling filling the day before if you have to, but best to fill and roll on the day of use, to avoid soggy dumplings.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

SPICY-SALT DUCK BREASTS WITH LEMON

In our family, duck dishes are usually only offered on special occasions and in my restaurant, the signature dish of almost 17 years has been our deep-fried duck with orange and plum. Many may feel intimidated by cooking a whole duck, so this recipe, using duck breasts, works really well for everyday use. Excellent quality, locally produced duck is available from many farmers' markets. In this recipe, you simply steam the duck breasts then deep-fry for texture.

To view the recipe on goodfood.com.au or browse more recipes click here.

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

METHOD: 

1. For spicy salt, combine all ingredients in a heavy-based frying pan and dry-roast over medium heat, tossing occasionally. When the peppercorns begin to pop and become aromatic, about 1-2 minutes, take off the heat. 

2. Arrange duck breasts, skin-side up, on a heatproof plate that will fit inside a steamer basket. Place plate inside steamer, position over a deep saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam, covered for 12 minutes or until duck breasts are half cooked.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour with spicy salt. Carefully remove plate from steamer basket, transfer duck breasts to a rack and set aside for 25 minutes to cool slightly.

4. Add duck breasts to spicy-salt mixture and toss to coat well, shaking off any excess flour. Heat oil in a large hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add duck breasts and deep fry for about two minutes or until just cooked through and lightly browned then remove and drain well on kitchen paper.

5. Cut duck on the diagonal into 1cm slices and arrange on a platter. Garnish with chilli, spring onion, coriander and serve immediately with lemon halves.

6. Allow to cool, then coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Tips:

Be sure to cool the duck for the 25 minutes specified in the recipe, so the meat can rest well ensuring juiciness and tenderness.

Store any leftover spicy salt in an airtight container 

Use this recipe as a base and swap the spicy salt for your preferred sauce – eg, sweet and sour, or a sweet, syrupy citrus sauce with orange, mandarin or tangelo. Sweet-chilli would be a great dipping sauce.

Serves: 4 (with steamed rice) or 4-6 as part of a banquet

INGREDIENTS: 

4 x 200g duck breasts, with skin, trimmed of excess fat

2 tbsp plain flour

2½ tbsp spicy-salt mix ( see below)

vegetable oil for deep-frying

1 large red chilli, finely sliced on the diagonal

2 tbsp spring onion, julienne

handful of coriander sprigs

2 lemons, halved

Spicy salt: 

1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp salt flakes

Makes 2½ tablespoons

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Chef On Chef

"Who would I love to most interview for the inaugural ‘Chef on Chef’ column for the Australian Financial Review? The extremely special Josh Niland of Sydney fish restaurant Saint Peter, Paddington. Enjoy reading about this young chef’s views on sustainability, social media and the future of food. Thanks so much Josh and thank you Jill Dupleix and the AFR for inviting me to take part in this great new concept, KK!"

Full Article: Chef on chef: Kylie Kwong interviews Josh Niland

Photography | James Alcock

Photography | James Alcock

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The New York Times & The W50B Restaurants Awards

The New York Times has weighed in on the choice to host the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Melbourne with this piece published today 'How Melbourne Landed The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards'.

Kylie had the opportunity to serve some of her iconic Billy Kwong dishes at the Chefs' Feast event, a showcase of local produce and flavours, ahead of the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards Night. 

'SO AMAZING to have the opportunity to offer some of the world’s greatest chefs and foodies our stunning Australian produce and generosity of spirit, last Tuesday on St.Kilda Beach, Melbourne, for the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Congratulations to Ben Shewry, Dan Hunter and David Thompson in particular, KK! XXXX'

Kylie Kwong at the Chefs’ Feast, a showcase of local produce and flavors at St. Kilda Beach, ahead of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Image – Simon Shiff for The New York Times.

Kylie Kwong at the Chefs’ Feast, a showcase of local produce and flavors at St. Kilda Beach, ahead of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Image – Simon Shiff for The New York Times.

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