I happened to be watching a program of one of those TV chefs who is traveling through Southeast Asia and cooking all these fabulous meals. This put me on a panAsian (is that the correct phrase?) course to cook an Asian food kind of Sunday. I have to start with something I really enjoy and have some kind of recipe for. So I made a bahn mi. I don't have the patience or experience to make the proper pork belly for this scrumptious sandwich and besides, I have no pork belly anyway. That may not be entirely true as my freezer is busting, but I digress. I start with some lovely lean ground pork that I had ground for me at the butchers.
Make your pickled veg. Shred some carrots and daikon radish (I suppose a regular red radish would work as well but I've never tried), then just dump these puppies in a mixture of equal parts rice wine vinegar and sugar with a pinch of salt and a small amount of water. Let this sit for at least 1/2 hour before consuming. I like to keep a jar in the fridge. Then mix your spicy mayo. Just some good quality mayo spiked with Sriracha hot sauce, some sliced scallions, sprinkling of bright green coriander leaves (cilantro) and a drop of toasted sesame oil if you would like that extra warmth in the mayo.
And now for dinner! Dinner will come from the Kingdom of Cambodia, or what used to be called the Kingdom of Cambodia? Oh well, Cambodia. It is clay pot chicken, but not in a clay pot because I don't have one. So it goes like this, 1 chicken dried well. Then come the aromatics. I stuff the cavity with some bruised lemongrass stalks, 2 or 3 chopped shallots, galangal is traditional but I couldn't find any so I used some thickly sliced ginger, some kaffir lime leaves (my friend has a huge tree) and made my own addition of a garlic head sliced in half then I mixed all this together with some oyster sauce. Stuffed this lovely mix into the chicken cavity and brushed the outside with some teriyaki sauce and poured about half a can of coke over the chicken. Like I said no clay pot, so all this was in a roasting pan and covered with aluminum foil. Into a 350 oven for as long as it will take to cook this chicken. No pictures, but trust me it was delicious!
For my side I made some steamed jasmine rice and studded it with fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves. The smells are amazing. I think I shall finish this lovely chicken with a brushing of either hoisin or oyster sauce and place back in the oven for a few minutes and then serve! I also have some of my spicy mayo concoction left over that will go beautifully with the chicken, not to mention some leftover pork bahn mi meatballs. All this and some Alfred Hitchcock movies make for a perfect Sunday to complete a weekend that is just begging for my favorite time of the year. Autumn. This means baking for me so I should be busy updating my blog after my spring/summer hiatus. Keep cooking.