Sticky Barbequed Chicken / Tofu Banh Mi

Here are some BBQ chicken Banh Mi’s to go tell yo nan about. We even tried, test (and certainly delivered) a tofu version for all you veggie lovers out there.

Packed with fresh eastern flavours, it’s as beautiful in colour as it is to taste. The tangy pickled salad balances out the sweetly marinaded chicken/tofu beautifully. And to top it all off, Sriracha mayo, mint leaves and coriander… Hooly smokes, you better make sure yo nan took her meds!

We whipped out the barbie for this one. This added an extra lovely hint of smokiness to the proteins. However, if you’re having a rainy day wack it on the kitchen grill and it’ll still go down a treat. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken thigh meat / firm tofu
  • 50ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown caster sugar
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded lengthways
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely shredded lengthways
  • 25ml light soy sauce
  • 25ml dark soy sauce
  • 150ml chilli sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 baguette
  • 5 tbsp mayonaise
  • 4 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • Small bunch coriander sprigs, leaves picked
  • Small bunch of mint, leaves picked

Method

  1. To make the faux pickled salad, mix the ginger, sugar and vinegar along with a heavy pinch of salt in a bowl before tossing the cucumber and carrot. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. For the marinade, combine the chilli sauce, garlic and both types of soy sauce in a bowl, and add the chicken (or tofu). Leave to mix and work its magic for 1 hour minimum.
  3. Whilst those flavours are getting to know each other we can rev the barbie up. Once the coals are past their initial intense heat and are a grey colour add the chicken – the marinade has a high sugar content so really high direct heat will char and carbonise the chicken so watch out for this. Continuously baste the meat with the left over sauce for 5 minutes before flipping the chicken to cook the other side, once the meat is cooked through remove and pull apart. If you’re using tofu, you literally only need to wack this on for about 5 minutes, till crispy.
  4. Drain your pickled vegetables and butterfly your baguette, place the bread over the BBQ evenly toasting, hopefully creating some nice charred bits in the process.
  5. Combine the Sriracha sauce and mayonnaise before spreading over the bread. Then stuff the bread with your chicken / tofu, pickled vegetables and herbs.

To take your banh mi to a higher dimension of gooey could ever plop a soft poached egg on top, here’s how to perfect those huevos!

Korean Dining at Bibigo

As lovers of asian cooking and fresh yet intense, aromatic flavours, an evening at Bibigo certainly didn’t disappoint. Their diverse and intriguing menu had us scratching our heads for quite sometime before we finally settled on our dishes for the evening.

Aromatic Korean Kimchi Pancake with Melty Mozzarella

For our starters Dan went for the Calamari dish and I the Kimchi Pancake. The latter sported a western twist by incorporating stringy mozzarella and parmesan. I know, I know, not exactly an authentic Korean dish! However, the indulgent creamy melty cheese in the pancake combined with the tangy spicy soy-based sauce was incredibleThis is definitely something I need to taste again… and soon!

Kimchi Pancake ‘lightly spiced Korean pancake with kimchi, mozzarella and parmesan’

A Flavoursome Fishy Encounter…

Now, I have been a dedicated, true to my guns vegetarian for almost 2 years. However, on this eve of my 22nd birthday I may have let a bit too loose.

The menu included  just two vegetarian marked main dishes and another that wasn’t marked with my favourite leafy green V. This was the ‘Soybean Paste Stew; A Korean traditional stew boiled with soybean paste, tofu, mushrooms, courgettes and chilli, served with rice ‘– sounds pretty veggie right? As we ordered the dish, the waiter did warn me that the stock contained fish, to which (with the help of half a bottle of plum wine) I turned a blind eye and told my self it was probably just a ‘dabble’ of fish sauce…whoopsie.

Dan ‘Mark-Weining’ over his Korean Spicy Ramyun ‘ramyun noodles in a spicy broth. Served with braised pork belly, kimchi, seaweed and enoki mushrooms’

 

My first mouthful of this very curious ‘veggie-but-not’ dish turned out to be an amazing balance of spicy, yet flavoursome, salty, yet warming and lastly FISHY… but delicious ;). Probably not one for the fellow veggies out there! But to anyone else – I’d definitely recommend trying!

Wined, Dined and Extremely Satisfied

Following our extremely satisfying starters and mains, we were too wrapped up in birthday celebrations and a yummy karaf of red wine to even think about dessert. This, along side the low-lit, cosy restaurant, made it really easy for us to get comfy and enjoy each others company for the rest of the night (…not that it’s ever a chore!).

 

Bellies full, wine glasses empty.