Have you ever wondered how chefs come up with the dishes that come out of their kitchen? Time after time, we find ourselves marvelling at their skills and inventiveness, so we decided to try and find out how they do it.
In the first of a special new series, Time Out Dubai goes behind the scenes of Dubai's most popular restaurants, taking with us a camera crew and Mystery Box, challenging the chef to come up with a dish based on the ingredients inside.
The chefs had no idea what the five items in the hamper were, but they had to use them, plus ten store cupboard ingredients, to come up with a meal in just 20 minutes.
First up is chef Kevin Farrington from Le Gourmet, in The Dubai Mall’s Galeries Lafayette.
He decided to make a dish inspired by Asian street food hawker stands, to tie in with the venue’s Le Gourmet Food Fest 2016, a three-day event (Sept 22 to 24) featuring 11 live food stations, cooking demos by chefs, chances to taste dishes from around the world and the opportunity to take some of the ingredients home.
Watch the video below, and scroll down to follow the recipe yourself.
200gm chopped onions
2 small red or green chiles (such as serrano or jalapeo), seeded and diced
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
10g cloves garlic, crushed
15ml tablespoons fish sauce
10g dark brown sugar
15g ground coriander
10g ground cumin
5g curry powder
5g ground turmeric
5g ground pepper
30ml peanut oil
3l chicken stock
500g skinless chicken breast, trimmed (4-5pcs)
400ml Coconut milk
15ml lime juice, or to taste
15ml Soy sauce
400g package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
150g diced tomatoes
300g bean sprouts
400g bean thread noodles
3 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Put onions, chilies, ginger, garlic, nuts, fish sauce, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, fennel and pepper in a blender. Puree until the mixture forms a paste.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Using a spatula, scrape in the paste and cook, stirring, until it starts to color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth (or stock) and chicken and bring to a simmer. Simmer, turning the chicken once or twice, for 10 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and soy sauce and simmer for 5 minutes more.
3. Remove the chicken and shred into bite-size pieces with two forks. Add tofu, tomatoes and bean sprouts to the soup and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken.
4. Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package directions.
5. To serve, divide the noodles among 8 soup bowls. Ladle soup over them and top with egg slices, scallions and cilantro.
6. Serve with hot sauce and lime wedges, if desired.