Monday, 24 June 2013

Five spice curry,a foray into the unknown


Until yesterday I never thought of curry as being a part of Chinese cuisine. Curry spices and powders are something I normally associate with Thai or Indian cuisine.
I found myself with a whole batch of left over quail that I had roasted in a five spice marinade.I had misjudged the quantity I needed and had to put my thinking cap on to capitalize on my mistake.Curry was foremost in my mind,but the quail was flavoured predominantly with the classic 5 spice mix of cinnamon cumin, nutmeg clove and star anise, not the combination of spices that would normally constitute one of my curries.The quail was already hot and spicy and did not need much more help in that area.A Chinese fusion curry? Why not.Exactly the same principals of making a curry would still apply and my meat was already pre-cooked and ready to be thrown in at the final stage. I had a very posh jar of "Melange 5 parfums Hung Liu"from the gourmet house of M.de Turenne.Their products are not cheap in times of adversity but are unique and I would strongly advise next time you're in the international food aisle of your supermarket, or "posh ingredients" section, as I call it,  take a look for their product range or check them out online.
I was fascinated by the result because the curry flavour was familiar yet very different to the curry flavours found in Indian/Sri Lankan cooking. I'm now really looking forward to taking this experiment further.Here´s how I did it.If you don´t have quail, duck or chicken would work just as well.

A spicy fragrant 5 Spice curry

500g (1lb ) quail duck or chicken

FOR THE MARINADE
1 large garlic clove crushed
1 tbsp crushed piri piri chilli flakes
2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp ground nut or virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and rub all over your selected meat.Put in an airtight container and leave in the fridge overnight.Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.Put the meat and marinade in aroasting tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes.Set aside and when cool carefully shred the meat from the bones

FOR THE SAUCE
1 medium onion chopped
large handful of coriander stalks finely chopped 

1 Tbs of crushed garlic and 1 Tbs of fresh ginger grated)
1 soup spoon of Chinese five spice powder
1/2 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 can (15oz) coconut milk
Heat some groundnut oil and a nub of butter in large frying pan and add the onion, coriander stalks, ginger and garlic and fry gently till softened and melded but not coloured. Stir in the five spice and mix well.cook for another minute before adding the soya sauce and then the coconut milk.Cook until the sauce starts to thicken 10 -15 minutes and then mix in the shredded meat.Cook until the meat is completely heated through then serve with basmati rice or any savoury rice of your choice( herb, lemongrass or other).


Note: Your "gravy" should thicken up on it's own, mine did. If you need to thicken up your gravy, just take 1 tbs of cornstarch to 2tbs of water and mix well then add it to the gravy and allow to boil until the gravy thickens up.

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