So sorry for the long delay in posting. I’ve really been struggling to keep up with everything in the last few weeks. I’ve had extra paid work in other places to supplement the business and things just keep popping up that keep me out of the kitchen and away form the keyboard. In responce to this i’m afraid i’m going to have to push the blog to a fortnightly post. It will mostly be recipe posts with some others thrown in sporadically when i finish them. I really like writing the blog and while i’d rather it be a weekly thing I just cannot sustain it… Thanks everyone for your patience and support.
On to this weeks recipe, Wallaby San choy bao. A few weeks ago I was in Sydney and had the opportunity to go to Billy Kwong. Expectations were high but I was still extreamly impressed by Kylie Kwongs cooking, her balancing of native flavours with chinese flavours and technique was dazzling. We had some exceptional duck in rosella and davidson plum, a wonderful Australian green stirfry, wallaby glass noodles and some excellent salt bush fried dumpling. But the star of the show was almost certainly the wallaby san choy bao. It was bright, it was rich, it was fragrant and the flavours were exemplary. So obviously first chance I got when i came home was to give it a crack.
The recipe I used is from the gourmet traveller website which I will link to at the end of the recipe. While it turned out very tasty, there are definitely some elements of Kylie Kwong’s restaurant recipe that differ from the published one. I suppose i’m just going to have to keep experimenting. But for now here is the recipe as it is on the website (give or take a few minor changes I made).
Oh and the reason for the discrepancy between the photo with the iceburg lettuce in the ingredient line up and the cos lettuce in the final photo… I made the san choy bao the day after I took the photo and the iceberg lettuce froze… So there is that 🙂
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 200 gm wallaby fillet, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp julienne ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 3 shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 160 gm bean sprouts (½ cup)
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 4 small iceberg lettuce leaves, soaked in iced water for 1 hour to crisp, drained well
Heat peanut oil in a hot wok over high heat, add wallaby, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
Add onion and mushrooms, and stir-fry until beginning to soften (20-30 seconds), then add wine, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil, and stir-fry until wallaby is cooked through (1-2 minutes).
Add sprouts, spring onion, carrot and celery, and toss to combine, then spoon into lettuce cups and serve scattered with coriander sprigs.
I changed the method slightly by allowing the meat to marinade with the wine, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. This was probably unnecessary however as you might lose a little of the true wallaby flavour with this method. Kwong also serves a house made chilli sauce of exceptional quality. I made my own simple chilli sauce (see below) but for a more authentic experience you might want to buy a good quality szechuan chilli sauce.
To make a simple chilli sauce:
Place 2 long red chillies, 2 cloves garlic, 1 inch knob of peeled ginger in a food processor. Add a splash of rice wine and wizz until crushed but still a little chunky.