Baked BBQ Chicken bao

bbq chicken bao

I used this recipe from an incredible blog, using boneless chicken thighs. I used about 200g, half a 450g pack, cooked the whole pack with char-siu marinade, use the rest for snacking…

The recipe is very easy to make as it’s just a standard yeasted dough, no tang zhong method or anything vaguely intuitive.

BBQ the chicken and make the filling the night before so it can cool. Let the dough first rise over night somewhere v v cool, then finish it the next morning, so you have fresh buns for breakfast! (after a long lie-in)

Char siu recipe to follow….

Makes about 12 (small buns) and the universal response was “must eat more”

Roti King – hot, fresh and flaky!

If Roti King were a man, he would be Takeshi Kaneshiro in the next installment of Magic Mike

Roti Canai aka roti paratha arrived in Malaysia and Singapore via India and is a light flaky flat “bread” (roti translates as bread although this is more a multi layered pancake), which is flipped/ folder/ layered and then fried in ghee, which is either crazy unhealthy or crazy delicious depending on your personal preference, or both! if you have an iron stomach like me…

Roti King is the only place in London to get these freshly made. With the possible exception of Malaysia Hall (which has closed according to Yelp). The decor itself is typical asian canteen style, but I like this. I don’t trust the shiny “new” places, all hipster beards and no sweat or tastebuds. If they’re spending too much money/ time/ effort on the interiors, that could all be better invested in the food… (or they’re trying to detract from the fact that the whole place is based on an overly drunken gap year “experience”). That’s why I can count on 1 hand (3 fingers, including Roti King…) the number of Malaysian restaurants I actually rate, where I could take family. Family that I like a lot.

roti-king

Savoury rotis are about £5 (more than one per person would be required for a main course). Roti Canai with chicken curry (also available lamb or fish) was delicious, the curry was quite mild, with large chunks of chicken breast. Murtabak (which is roti stuffed or folded around a mildly spiced minced meat), with lamb, came with dahl. For both these dishes, the heat and spiced of the curries were balanced perfectly with the rotis, which themselves were just amazing (I’ve waited so long for you… my beauties…).

The laksa was tasty but the flavour was not quite right, the soup was a little too sweet. Perhaps more lemon grass needed? It was perhaps closer to Curry Mee than Singapore Laksa, but still delicious at £6.50 a bowl. Taste 1 – Menu OCD 0.

Sweet roti canai are £3. Banana roti is roti folded around a banana filling, fried and drizzled with condensed milk. This is the food the human body is biologically programmed to enjoy. Below, see the answer to the question, how much roti canai could be eaten in 30 seconds (the time it takes to “remember” to take a photo).

Banana Roti Canai

I NEED TO GO BACK NOW!!! {For detailed assessment of the noodle menu and rigorous roti experimentation, of course}

Roti King on Urbanspoon

Diwana Bhel Poori House – Euston

Diwana Bhel Poori House is one of the cheapest eating out options in London, let alone Zone 1. This was my regular student lunch place/ BYO dinner option in 2008 and every now and again, I have dreams of coconut chutney… just me, and coconut chutney, and no-one and nothing else for miles around….

Also BYO (neighbouring off license), with a £6 lunch buffet, they have been feeding students and academics for decades. It’s easily possible to eat for £10 per person, even including mango lassis for hangover fuel.

But beware, when I say decades, I mean this literally. Which includes the decor. Classic pine ridged panels line the interior, which make me reminisce for the 80s (my childhood kitchen), so if you’re one of these sticklers for chandeliers, granite, marble, or daylight… this may not be the place for you. Similarly, the service is not exactly silver, but it’s decent, so, you’ve been told….

The house speciality is, obviously, Bhel poori, a popular savoury Indian street food snack. Including puffed rice amongst numerous other ingredients, crispy, with a hint of sweetness, sour-tang from tamarind…

    (All Asians have the appetites of stoners, discuss…)

So, of course, starters were **drum roll** bhel poori, obviously, and mixed Bhajis…. and, of course, a mango lassi… These were all really good. Bhel poori is made (compiled? chucked together?) to order, so crispy, crunchy, zingy flavours were all abounding.

The bhajis were light, not greasy, although, if I’m brutally honest, my primal instinct urges me to order 2 plates of bhel poori, just for me….

diwana-belpoori

Main courses were a sag aloo dosa, and mixed thali. The dosa was light and crispy, filled with lightly spiced sag aloo, accompanied by coconut chutney (yes!) a small pot of dahl and some other chilli, which was nice, but, hey, coconut chutney. What I tasted of the thali was great however, as “my” main was better, I was kinda distracted (full) so do not have a detailed run down to give at this point.

diwana-dosa

nb. if you, hungover, hungrily, over-order, you can get a doggy bag to take away. Coconut chutney tastes damn good at 2am… (I really gotta learn to make this for myself…)

Diwana Bhel Poori House on Urbanspoon

Cocoa Raisin Mochi

cocoa-mochi

Based on THIS recipe.
minor adjustments:
less sugar and more cocoa -> less sweet, more chocolate-y
no baking powder (to make the texture more mochi and less cake-y)
no coffee/ coconut/vanilla (I didn’t have any)
added raisins
substitute peanut butter for butter this also works (if you’ve, for example, run out of butter and can’t be bothered to put on outside clothes and go to the shop)

Recipe scaled down to 1/4 size as sticky rice concoctions don’t keep for long; about 2-3 days, after which they get kinda hard n nasty.
DO NOT REFRIGERATE!(see above – hard and nasty…)

Tastes like a chocolatey version of Soreen.

Makes a 7-inch round “cake”

1 cup/ 100g/ 4oz mochiko/ glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup/ 100g/ 4oz sugar (I used granulated, brown would give a deeper caramel flavour)
1/3 cup cocoa
1.5 TBsp melted butter
100 ml coconut milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 170 C/ 350F
Grease and line a 7″ round cake tin

Mix the dry ingredients together
Beat the wet ingredients together
Then incorporate the wet into the dry bit by bit (to avoid it going lumpy)

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes

Cool completely before cutting into squares (which makes it easier to cut)
Or eat it from the tin. Whichever you prefer.

Nasi Lemak Face-off: KL vs LDN

nb. GBP/ £1 = RM7 approximately

**spoiler alert – This isn’t a real Face Off – there are 3 “contenders” and they’re all awesome**
Although the food is better in Malaysia itself, OF COURSE

Contender 1: Little Penang Cafe, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Pictured is the take-out version of the Nasi Lemak with assam prawns and also some otak-otak on the side.
The cost of this is about MYR$10, and is more of a main course/ dinner version, hence is more substantial and varied than the other 2 Contenders.

nasi-lemak-lil-penang

Contender 2: Indian Hawker stall, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Cost: MYR$1
This is the most similar to the breakfast dish I remember getting from the side of the road. Simple, cheap, and you can always eat more than one….
This was the only one that came with peanuts! Which I always think of as a must-have although I’m sure plenty of people would disagree with me

nasi-lemak-hawker-wrapped

nasi-lemak-hawker-unwrapped

and if this teeny tiny $1 dish doesn’t fill you up, you can also have…. potato poori…. mmm

potato-puri

Contender 3: Malaysia High Commission, London, UK

Cost: GBP£3.50
The most “simple” of the three. It paled in comparison to the first 2 as the rice was a little harder and less coconutty/ fragrant, and the sambal was a tiny bit oilier than I would have liked.

nasilemak-mhc-lon-v2

The Result: Malaysia is better…. but no matter where you are in the world (or KL/ London….) you can always find something good….