Sunday, 19 June 2016

Chicken and Rice Cookbook bits and pieces

Out-takes from the cookbook photoshoot and memories of a wonderfully British and grey BBQ: 
Nyonya barbecued quails, sticky spicy soy sauce wings, kohlrabi som tum (photo by Susan Bell)

It’s been more than a month since the launch of Chicken and Rice– and while this means I’m more than a month late with updates, I thought I might get away with doing a cheeky overall roundup of the past couple months of Chicken and Rice-related news. I also thought I'll take the chance to tempt you all with photos of food you can find in the book should that give you the final push to get a copy.

The launch itself was a wonderful rush of emotions, that odd feeling you get when you finish school: excitement, relief and also a bit of wistful nostalgia at closing a chapter of your life. It was also the warmest feeling having friends whom I’ve made through this wonderful world of food over the past years, all gather to celebrate (and for the unlucky few, get roped into kitchen/ door-keeping duties, thank you). I remember Sam, for instance, bringing kegs of his home-brewed “hobby” beer to my birthday party years ago. That night he delivered cases of beers from his craft brewery Pressure Drop, now one of the best in London. “Some things don’t really change,” I remember thinking– as we all swigged bottles of Wu Gang Chops The Tree in between bites of lamb satay dipped in tamarind peanut sauce. I'm not going to bore everyone with details and let photos do the talking this time.

Asparagus with salted egg mayo, caramel pork ribs, cashews roasted with
kaffir lime leaves and chilli, spoons of coconut herb rice, and lettuce cups filled with braised mooli carrots shiitake and fried shallots 

Thank you speeches/ my editor Juliet embarrassing me 

To my mates: Spot yourself (photos of the night by Erik Sellgren)

I can only imagine the feelings a new mother goes through; and while I can hardly compare me writing a book to the miracles of childbirth– I felt very much like a proud mama holding Chicken and Rice in my hands after months of labour (sorry to be dramatic). Later, when I saw my book on the shelves at Waterstones for the first time, I beamed proudly and stupidly to myself– much like a mother would over her toddler’s debut stage performance as a tree I guess.

It’s also the most surreal feeling having other people tag me in their delicious #ChickenAndRiceCookbook dinners on social media– and it’s such a good sort of surreal that I’m going to greedily call for more of you do it if you if you’ve made something from the book, or even from the blog. My editor also wants me to remind everyone that Amazon reviews are very much appreciated.

Same face: Minutes before the launch at Uyen Luu's studio; at Waterstones 

There’s a handful of great media shouts, awkward cooking videos, interviews, cookbook sneak peeks and recipe tips floating around the Internet that I haven’t had the chance to properly share. So here’s a selection of reads, compiled neatly for you to browse lazily through over the weekend:

Cook from the book – loved Juliet's cheeky sub of Fino for Shoaxing rice wine, in the true asian spirit of 'agak agak'


And while this isn’t a recipe blog post I’m afraid, I do have an illustrated recipe for Kai Yaang from the book to share with you all (and recipes/ videos from above). This one is a delicious adaptation of the Thai spit-roasted classic, tweaked for the grey wet British weather and served with a fragrant green stuffing– a killer-breath combination of coriander, garlic, and lemongrass.

To round up the last of the shameless plugs,
Vote Chicken and Rice for Observer Food Monthly's new cookbook award (I know I'm going up against the likes of some ridiculously good authors this year but any votes are greatly appreciated)