Chinese cuisine

Guyanese fried chicken and salted fish with coconut balls: Keshia Sakarah’s Caribbean recipes for summer | Food


The Caribbean is a cultural microcosm and home to a beautifully nuanced world of ingredients and dishes. The multitude of subcultures reflected across the islands owe much to the historical contributions of Native American Indians, Africans, British, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Irish, Indian and Chinese, and to celebrate my heritage, I try to explore so many Caribbean culinary culture possible, by sharing regional recipes to provide insight into its history and culinary practices.

Chinese Guyanese Fried Chicken

This is a super rich, salty and fried chicken dish that is often found in local Chinese takeout meals in Guyana.

Preperation 10 minutes
Marinate 2h +
to cook 20 mins
Serves 4

260 ml soy sauce
45 ml rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice
30g of fresh ginger
, peeled and finely grated
60 g dark brown sugar
1 kg of whole chicken thighs
– i.e. with the thigh and drumstick attached
1 liter of vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 new onions
, trimmed and finely chopped, for garnish

First make a brine by putting the soy sauce, vinegar, allspice, ginger and sugar in a bowl, then whisk to dissolve the sugar.

Put the chicken thighs in a ziplock bag, pour in the brine, seal the bag and massage to make sure the chicken is well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, and ideally overnight.

Once marinated, remove the chicken thighs from the liquid, dry them with a kitchen towel and place them on a baking sheet. Reserve the marinade for later.

Put the vegetable oil in a saucepan and heat it slowly to 170-180C. Once the oil is up to temperature, place the chicken skin side up and keep the thermometer in the pan to monitor the temperature (it may drop a bit after the chicken is set, in which case increase the heat slightly, then reduce. -the again once the oil has returned to temperature). Fry the chicken for five to seven minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Once cooked, transfer to a wire rack or large plate lined with paper towel, to drain.

Using a large, sharp knife, separate the drumsticks from the thighs, cut them in half through the bone, so as to have three pieces from each thigh, then place them on a dish.

In a small saucepan, combine the sesame oil with half of the reserved marinade (discard the rest or use as a base for a sweet and tangy sauce), bring to a boil and cook and reduce for one minute. Drizzle the chicken with the thickened sauce, garnish with spring onions and serve with fried rice.

Fried rice

Cassareep, an indigenous ingredient made from cassava root, gives the rice a slightly sour undertone. You can buy it at any good Caribbean food store and online; if you cannot get it and want to reproduce the effect, mix a tablespoon of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce in 80 ml of molasses.

Preperation 20 mins
Costs 2h +
to cook 25 minutes
Serves 4

500g long grain rice
Salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 brown onion
, peeled and diced
60g green beans, garnished and cut into 2 cm pieces
60g carrots, washed and diced
60g white cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Scottish beanie
, diced (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of black soy sauce
2 teaspoons of cassareep
(optional)
½ teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

4 new onions, trimmed and sliced, for garnish

Put the rice in a colander, wash it under cold water to remove excess starch, then set aside.

Put 500 ml of water and a teaspoon of salt in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, then add the washed rice; if necessary, add a little water so that it rises just above the rice. After the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, drain it, then spread it out on a large platter, cool, cover, and refrigerate, ideally overnight – cold, stale rice always works best for fried rice. , so the longer, the better.

Put the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add the chopped onion, green beans, carrots, cabbage, garlic, ginger and chili, and sauté gently for a few minutes, to soften. Add the cooled cooked rice, stir until well combined, then add the sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cassareep and all five spices, making sure they are evenly distributed in the rice mixture, and cook for a few more minutes.

Once the vegetables are cooked but still have some crunch, transfer the rice to a large bowl, sprinkle with the spring onions and serve.

Salted Fish Stew with Coconut Dumplings and Roasted Breadfruit

Keshia Sakarah’s salted fish stew with coconut balls and roasted breadfruit. Photograph: The Guardian. Food styling and accessory: Kitty Coles. Food assistant: Clare Cole.

It is the national dish of Saint Kitts and Nevis, two sister islands located northeast of Antigua. The main ingredient, salted fish, was imported from the North Atlantic as early as the 15th century in exchange for sugar during the transatlantic slave trade, and it eventually made its way into local cuisine. This is one of my favorite ways to eat salted fish, the coconut milk making it deliciously rich and comforting.

Preperation 20 mins
Rest 30 minutes
to cook 45 minutes
Serves 4

For the salted fish stew
500g of salted fish
, skinless and boneless
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1 brown onion
, peeled and roughly diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 sweet peppers, halved, pith and seeds removed, then diced
1 Scottish beanie
, diced (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
2 tomatoes, roughly diced
2 teaspoons of black pepper
300 ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
2 new onions
, trimmed and thinly sliced

For the coconut balls
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
cc of baking powder
1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil
, plus 1 additional teaspoon to finish
75g grated fresh coconut, or desiccated coconut
125 ml coconut milk

For the roasted breadfruit
½ fresh breadfruit, peeled and cut into lengths
2 tablespoons of vegetable or rapeseed oil

1-2 teaspoons of salt

First, start with the dumplings. Put the flour, half the salt and the baking powder in a bowl and mix. Add the butter or coconut oil and mix. Add the grated coconut, mix again to ensure a good distribution, then incorporate the coconut milk little by little, until the dough begins to form.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and, using both hands, knead it lightly until it forms a ball, then wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, continue with the salted fish and breadfruit stew. Heat oven to 190C (170C fan) / 375F / gas 5. Place breadfruit on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Arrange the breadfruit slices on the platter in a single layer, then roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Keep warm.

While the breadfruit roasts, put the salted fish in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cook for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan, then brown the onion, garlic, peppers and scotch bonnet for a few minutes, until they start to soften.

Add the diced tomatoes, ground black pepper and salted fish, toss to coat, then pour in the coconut milk and stir in gently so that the fish does not break. Increase the heat slightly so that the coconut milk begins to bubble, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for five minutes.

While the salted fish is bubbling, cook the meatballs. Put a large pot of water on the stove with the remaining teaspoon of salt and butter and bring to a boil. Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll into balls. Just before adding them to the boiling water, flatten them slightly so that they look a bit like burger patties. Gently immerse the meatballs one by one in boiling water, cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, until they float to the surface and are dense to the touch. Lift with a skimmer.

To serve, place a generous dollop of salted fish stew in each of four bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and scallion. Place two meatballs and a few slices of roasted breadfruit on the side and serve with a hot pepper sauce if you want a little extra heat.


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