Southeast Asian flavours to enjoy

White & Wong’s Modern Asian Cooking in New Zealand,by Al Spary and Russell Gray, published by New Holland Publishers (NZ), RRP$49.99.
White & Wong’s Modern Asian Cooking in New Zealand,by Al Spary and Russell Gray, published by New Holland Publishers (NZ), RRP$49.99.
Award-winning restaurant White and Wong's is sharing some of its favourite recipes in a new cookbook.

The Auckland restaurant, which now has a sister eatery in Queenstown, is known for its take on modern Asian cooking in New Zealand.

Both businesses are part of Good Group run by Al Spary and Russell Gray, who also own Queenstown's Botswana Butchery.

White and Wong was awarded the ''best restaurant'' in the Hospitality New Zealand Annual Awards last year, with the judges saying its menu of Southeast Asian favourites ''will take you on a culinary journey of flavours throughout Asia''.

The cookbook features some of the restaurant's signature dishes such as Shakiing beef and Wagyu beef dumplings which are never removed from the menu which changes seasonally.

There are sections on ''bites'', raw and cold cuts, dumplings, soups, barbecue, hot starters, curries, rice and sides and desserts - some are quite complicated but there are some simple recipes.

Included is a chapter on the sauces, curry pastes and dressings used in the recipes.

And if you ever wondered how to stuff a Peking duck, there is a comprehensive pictorial guide to it in the book, and the same for dumplings.


Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied
Chinese roast pork belly with hoisin sauce

Serves 6

2kg free-range pork belly
100ml white vinegar
500g rock salt
100ml shaoxing rice wine
50g five-spice
30g spring onions (scallions), sliced
50g hoisin sauce

Ask your butcher to score lines all across the pork belly skin. Only go one way and don't pierce through to the flesh. Also, ask your butcher to cut the belly into 4 even-sized pieces.

Lie the pork belly on the bench skin side up. If possible, put the shaoxing wine into a small spray bottle and the white vinegar into another spray bottle. Otherwise use a pastry brush.

Spray the skin with vinegar, then rub half the rock salt over the skin. Turn the belly over and spray the flesh with shaoxing, then rub over the five spice on to the flesh side only.

Place on to a tray, skin side facing up, covered with the remaining rock salt for 2 hours in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 140degC. Remove the pork belly from the fridge and lay each piece spaced out on the baking tray skin side up. Place the tray and pork belly into the preheated oven and roast for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes, remove the pork from the oven and brush off the rock salt. Turn the oven up to 185degC and put the pork belly back in the oven for a further 30 minutes. Turn the heat off, open the oven door and let the pork rest for 15 minutes.

Remove the pork from the oven and heat the oven to 200degC. Transfer the pork belly back into the hot oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and golden.

Remove the pork from oven and cut into 5mm slices. Serve with sliced spring onion and hoisin sauce.

Tip: You need to allow about 4 hours to make this recipe.

Wok-fried baby bok choy and choy sum with ginger, garlic and soy

Serves 2

80g baby bok choy (pak choy)
30g choy sum
2 Tbsp canola oil
15g ginger, chopped
15g garlic, chopped
15ml shaoxing rice wine
sugar and salt, to taste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
sesame seeds, to garnish

Wash the bok choy and choy sum and cut in half.

Heat the oil in a hot wok over high heat. Add the bok choy, choy sum, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the shaoxing wine. Add the sugar and salt, to taste, and the soy sauce.

Cook the greens for 3 minutes, or until tender.

Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Vege wonton

Makes 20

200ml mirin
220g Korean chilli paste
1.2kg Chinese cabbage (wong bok), finely diced
700g shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1.3kg hard tofu, finely diced
canola oil
2 Tbsp ginger, crushed
2 Tbsp garlic, crushed
60ml sesame oil
60g sugar
salt, to taste
100g coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 packet of wonton wrappers

To serve
chilli jam

Mix together mirin and chilli paste.

Heat some canola oil in a wok over high heat. Saute the Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger until soft.

Add the chilli paste mix and tofu and cook for a further 5 minutes. Place the mixture into a fine sieve and allow the excess liquid to run out.

Return the filling mixture back to the bowl and add the sesame oil, sugar and couple of good pinches of salt. Allow the mixture to cool before adding the chopped coriander.

Lay the wonton wrappers out on your chopping board 6 pieces at a time. Put 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of the wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into a ramekin of cold water and rub your finger along the outside of the wonton wrapper. Bring together the outside edges and crimp all along the edge.

Deep-fry the wontons in batches of 4-6 pieces in 180degC oil. They will only take 3 minutes to cook and go crispy. Serve with chilli jam.

Note: You can purchase packets of wonton wrappers from Asian supermarkets.

Chinese crispy chicken with satay sauce

Serves 4

1 whole chicken size 12
2L (8 cups) duck brine
100ml satay sauce
20g crushed peanuts
20g spring onions (scallions)
20g coriander (cilantro)
10g fried shallots
1 tsp chilli oil

Brining liquid
500g salt
15g sugar
400ml kombu extract
10 cassia bark (Chinese cinnamon)
20 star anise
45g Sichuan peppercorns
10cm piece ginger roughly sliced
1 bunch spring onions (scallions) roughly chopped
500ml (2 cups) Chinese rose wine
8L water

Maltose glaze
200g maltose
700ml Chinese red vinegar
20g sugar

Carefully remove the wishbone from the chicken. Place the chicken in a plastic container. Mix the brining liquid well until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the brine and leave to stand overnight covered in the fridge.

Remove the chicken from the brine and blanch it in boiling water by dipping the whole chicken into the boiling water for 12 minutes.

In another pot, add the maltose, sugar and red vinegar and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat.

Dip the whole chicken into the maltose glaze, making sure to cover all of the chicken with the glaze. Remove from the glaze and place on a tray. Chill in the fridge, uncovered to dry skin out overnight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge. Hang it on a hook over a dripping tray for 2 hours to dry out the skin before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 140degC. Place the whole chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 165degC and roast for a further for 10 minutes.

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat the satay sauce in a pan over medium heat.

Cut the chicken into pieces. Cut the legs away from the breast, then cut through the leg to separate drum and thigh. Try to remove the chicken breast from the body and slice the breast meat into five thick pieces. Transfer all of the chicken cuts to a large serving bowl and pour the satay sauce over it.

To serve
Garnish the chicken with crushed peanuts, spring onion, coriander and fried shallots, then drizzle over chilli oil.

Tip: Allow 48 hours to make this recipe.

Note: You can buy maltose from Asian supermarkets.

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