A couple of weekends ago, my sisters and I went to see George Calombaris in action during his Asian Tour. Slightly strange set-up with the stage lights taking precedence over viewability, it was still fun to watch this super-chef in action. Before the event, there was an online vote for the top three Malaysian dishes for him to try. The finalists were: Nasi Kerabu, a traditional rice dish from Kelantan, mixed with lots of herbs and naturally tinted blue with butterfly-pea flower, served with chicken and fish; Asam Laksa, a tamarind fish soup with noodles; and oyster omelette, or **, both originating from Penang. He tried each dish and gave very chef-y comments discovering the ingredients used in each dish, and surprisingly chose the oyster omelette as his favourite.
He then went on to the cooking demonstration segment where he prepared an Asian-marinade chicken, cooked sous vide and rolled in black and white sesame seeds, served with a miso hummus and a quick-pickled green mango salad, with puffed wild rice. It looked stunning and I really wish I could’ve had a taste! I can totally imagine already what each component tastes like. During the demonstration, he shared with the audience how to make the perfect hummus, and my goodness it’s a process! The steps were something like this: boil dried chickpeas until soft, cool in the fridge in the cooking liquid, and then blend it with ice (if I’m not mistaken) as the cool temperature is important to keep any bitter aftertaste out. This is why being a chef is an actual profession!
Cooking chicken ala sous vide sounds daunting, but when I think about it I’ve actually poached eggs at home using a similar method, so I might just try this out too. What can I say, I’m really adventurous in the kitchen! Since attempting sous vide chicken that might be a little while away, I decided to try out a miso hummus myself at home first since that was a combo that really piqued my interest. I actually really love it! Not sure if my proportions are the same as his but I love the intense miso flavour. It pairs so well with dipping mediums such as carrot or celery. Start with maybe ½ a tablespoon of miso first if you are uncertain.
Miso is a fermented soy product commonly used in soups by the Japanese. It lends a deep, I guess you could call it umami, flavour to dishes. It is really salty as well, but the high sodium content in miso behaves differently and does not affect the cardiovascular system negatively. This is likely due to the fermentation process involved. Miso is perfect to quickly stir into homemade chicken broth, served with brown rice noodles and shredded vegetables for a nourishing meal in under five minutes. It works really well in this hummus as it brings so much flavour to it. A must-try!
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- Juice of ½ a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Splash of water, as needed to blend
- Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse. At this point you may peel the chickpeas to give a smoother texture to your hummus, but it’s not necessary at all. I didn’t do it, too much fuss!
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz away. You may need to add a splash of water to get things moving, but only just enough to do so. Blend until smooth.
- Serve with crudités or dipping medium of choice.
Enjoy! xx, Bee