Busaba Eathai, Cookery Masterclass, Pandan Chicken, Red Curry Chicken Wings, Guava Juice
It’s the weekend! Hoorah! Just got back home from freezing my fingers and toes off outside, plus my gloves got stolen from right under my nose! (let’s hope I don’t find them at the bottom of my bag later!)
Last week started off with a last-minute invite and visit to Stratford, Westfield Shopping Centre, to Busaba Eathai, the restaurant. I didn’t know this restaurant was based here, as I had only visited Cabana on the opposite side last year and I had frequented the Soho based Busaba before. The restaurants at Westfield are all located and nestled among each other, Wahaca, Cabana and more.. The centre is also home to The Great Eastern Market which has independently run restaurants such as the Caribbean Rhythm Kitchen.
I was lucky enough to have Head Chef Jude (head chef of all Busaba Eathai’s) demonstrate one of the restaurants signature dish of Pandan Chicken and I had the opportunity to re-create this under his tutelage and supervision in their kitchen! The event was also filmed by a small tv crew to go on the Westfield Shopping Centre site.
I approached this event with a nervous excitement of not knowing what to expect, once we were taken up to the professional kitchen’s I really felt in my element, so enthralled to be dolled up in a chefs outfit, hair net and hat! The kitchen was bustling with orders coming to and fro, chefs cooking up non stop dishes for their awaiting customers downstairs.
We got to previously choose three ingredients from a list of familiar ingredients used in Thai cooking, where on the day the chef would choose which combination he would create a dish with. I was excited is the word when he chose my choices of ingredients, which were the sweet basil leaf, lemongrass and red curry paste.
After the camera crew had set up ,we began the cooking, the exciting part! Chef taught us how to prepare a marinade of soya sauce light and dark, white sugar, coriander, garlic, white peppercorns, oyster sauce and coconut milk. Mix it well with the chicken pieces and leave overnight if possible to marinade, but we were time bound so missed out that part.
This is then fried down in a hot wok (they have at least 5 or 6 woks, stationed and lined up on the side of the kitchen, ready for cooking quick meals) till cooked throughout.The next step is to wrap the chicken in the Pandan leaves which is quite tricky! But Chef had to show us a few times, practice makes perfect!
He then created some delicious spicy marinated chicken wings, using the curry paste, basil and fresh lemongrass. It is seasoned with fish sauce , cooked in a wok with a splash of chicken stock.
The best bit was eating and trying out what was made and playing some part in its creation! The chicken wings were spicy, an orange reddish flame in colour, but so flavoursome, you could feel the fresh tang of the lemongrass on your palette.
The Pandan chicken was a joy to make, incredibly delicious to eat, perfect with the soy, vinegar and sesame dipping sauce, yet without it the chicken still remains juicy, succulent and soft. With a hint of sweetness, the caramelisation of the combinations of both soya sauces really enhanced the flavour. Wrapped in the pandan leaf was a novelty, a bit of theatrical dining I think, yet was an element of suprise opening up a parcel to find the secret inside. It was a great opportunity to learn the techniques and skill needed to make them. I will definitely like to try this recipe at home again and you should too! Find it here on their website Pandan Chicken
The staff and chef were lovely, we got to try out lots of dishes, especially my favourite Salt and Pepper calamari, plus even take some spicy thai green curry home, I was a happy lass.