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Cookery Workshop at Busaba Eathai

2012 February 6
Chef Jude

Chef Jude

On what seemed to be an extra cold evening last week, I was invited along to Westfield Stratford to participate in one of the cookery workshops being held by some of the restaurants.

Having not ventured to Stratford before, I was surprised by the scale of the place. Located a stones-throw away from the Olympic stadium, it has over 70 food stores and restaurants. Oh, and there are some clothing stores as well if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

The cookery workshop I was there to attend was with the Thai restaurant Busaba Eathai. I am a fan of their other restaurants, so was looking forward to learning more about creating some of their dishes.

Trying to tie the pandan leaves. Pic: Megan Hart

Donning the chef whites and hair nets for health and safety reasons (or to get us in the mindset), we were taken into the kitchen where Chef Jude took us through preparing and cooking a few of their dishes.

These dishes were the pandan chicken, and a fried spicy chicken dish that’s not on the menu.

pandan chicken fried

pandan chicken being deep fried

Whilst Chef Jude was taking us through these dishes, it struck me just how easy they were to prepare and cook. The hardest thing seemed to be tying the pandan leaves into a pocket for the chicken to fit in.

The vital thing that stood out with the Busaba Eathai dishes, and any other reipe for that matter, is the freshness and quality of the ingredients being the key. Without that you just can’t get the flavours needed to make a dish successful.

pandan chicken

Here is the pandan chicken recipe for you to try yourselves:

You will need:
For the chicken:
200g chicken thighs, boneless
4pieces or more of pandan leaves
For the marinade:
4 cloves of finely
chopped garlic
4tbsp dark soy sauce
4tbsp light soy sauce
4tbsp oyster sauce
4tbsp finely chopped coriander
1tbsp sugar
8tbsp coconut milk
10pcs whole white peppercorns
1pinch salt and white pepper

For the sauce:
100ml dark soy sauce
150ml water
220g white sugar
5tbsp sesame oil
5tbsp sesame seeds
5tbsp white vinegar

For the chicken:
Start by cutting the chicken thighs into 5cm square pieces.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, add the chicken and mix so it is fully coated. This should marinade for at least 2 hours.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and either spread across a roasting pan and roast in oven at 200°C for 20-30 minutes, or cook in a wok for around 5 minutes.

To wrap the chicken in the pandan leaves:
Fold the pandan leaf, bringing the base up in front of the tip to make a cup. Put a piece of chicken in the cup, take the bottom of the leaf and wrap it around the chicken to look like a tie knot. Repeat until you have used all the chicken.

Deep fry in very hot oil for 5 minutes, drain and serve immediately with sauce on the side.

For the sauce to serve with the chicken:
Combine all the sauce ingredients (excluding the sesame seeds) together in a heavy pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temp before serving, adding a pinch of sesame seeds at the last minute.

Other Busaba Eathai dishes

Thai Calamari

Thai Calamari

A few other dishes also were bought out for us to taste that Busaba Eathai have on their menu.

The Thai Calamari was a dish I had not tasted before. After trying it, I will certainly order it on my future visits.

Tender with ginger undertones, it’s a dish that is a great starter as it is quite light, and readies the taste buds for more to come.

Green chicken curry

Green chicken curry

The green chicken curry is a dish that I’ve had many times before. It tends to have the right amount of spice for my spice-weak taste buds, and was very comforting for such a cold night.










Here are the videos of Chef Jude showing us how to prepare and cook the dishes:

Pandan Chicken:

3 Ingredient Challenge:

Thanks to Westfield Stratford City for the videos.

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