The Red Spice Road Cookbook

The Red Spice Road Cookbook

The Red Spice Road Cookbook

"A culinary journey through Southeast Asia. Combining centuries-old recipes with modern ingredients and know-how."

The Red Spice Road Cookbook is a sumptuous collection of recipes from the kitchen of the popular Melbourne restaurant.

Combining centuries-old recipes with modern ingredients and know-how, Chef John McLeay shares his love of all things Asian. Mouth-watering recipes include: crab-filled betel leaves, prawn and sticky pork salad, prawn jungle curry, and crispy five-spice quail.

There are also common favourites such as Penang curry, chilli basil chicken, mapo tofu and pork belly as well as easy, delicious desserts.

Included is a 'basics' section which instructs the home cook how to make fundamental stocks, pastes and garnishes, and the book finishes with an Asianinfluenced cocktail section"the perfect accompaniment to a delicious banquet.

The Red Spice Road Cookbook
New Holland Press
RRP: $35

Rockling Stir-fried with Gai Lan, Garlic Stems, Coriander and Baby Corn

Serves 4 as part of a shared meal.

Rockling is great for stir-frying as it holds together really well. If it's not available, use any other firm white fish fillet.

250 g (8 oz) rockling fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
75 ml (2 1 ⁄ 2 fl oz) soy sauce
250 g (8 oz) tapioca flour
1 teaspoon chilli powder
250 ml (8 fl oz) vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
100 g (3 1 ⁄ 2 oz) baby corn, cut in half lengthways
200 g (6 1 ⁄ 2 oz) gai lan (Chinese broccoli), chopped
3 garlic stems, cut into 1 cm ( 1 ⁄ 4 in) lengths
1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
30 ml (1 fl oz) stir-fry paste (see Basics)
50 ml (1 3 ⁄ 4 fl oz) chicken stock or water
50 ml (1 3 ⁄ 4 fl oz) shao xing wine
175 g (6 oz) coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 ⁄ 2 lime

Combine fish and soy sauce in a bowl, then coat the fish in tapioca flour and chilli powder. Heat the oil in a wok or frypan until it's smoking, add the fish and fry until golden brown.
Remove fish and drain on paper towels. Set aside until required.
Pour most of the oil out of the wok, leaving just enough to stir-fry. Add garlic clove, baby corn, gai lan and garlic stems, continue to stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes.
Add the chilli, spring onions, stir-fry paste, stock and shao xing. Return fish to the pan, add half the coriander and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining coriander and lime.


Passionfruit Brulee with Puffed Wild Rice

Makes 6, depending on the size of your serving dishes.

OK, so a brulee doesn't really seem to be technically Asian, but I don't really care because this one's delicious.

Brulee 200 ml (6 1 ⁄ 2 fl oz) passionfruit pulp
400 ml (12 fl oz) thickened cream
100 g (3 1 ⁄ 2 oz) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water
50 g (1 3 ⁄ 4 oz) caster sugar
10 egg yolks

Puffed wild rice
50 g (2 oz) wild rice
150 ml (4 1 ⁄ 2 oz) vegetable oil

Combine the passionfruit pulp, cream, caster sugar and the vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
Place the yolks in a stainless steel mixing bowl then pour over them the hot passionfruit cream, while whisking. Add the gelatine leaf. Place the mixing bowl on a low heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens slightly. Make sure you don't bring the mixture to a boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and immediately strain into another stainless bowl.
Divide the passionfruit custard between the serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Meanwhile, make the puffed wild rice: heat the oil in a large saucepan until it starts to smoke. Add the wild rice to the oil – it should crackle and puff up immediately. Strain the rice carefully and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Allow to cool. When cool, dust with icing sugar and set aside.
When ready to serve, sprinkle custard with some extra aster sugar and with a kitchen blowtorch, caramelise the sugar to a rich golden brown. If you do not have a blowtorch, sprinkle over some praline instead.
Serve brulee with the puffed wild rice and coconut ice cream, if desired.


The Red Spice Road Cookbook
New Holland Press
RRP: $35