Saturday 20 July 2019

Edward Hayden: Oriental Fruit Platter with Lemongrass, Cardamom and Star Anise Glaze

Chef Edward Hayden has just returned from Shanghai with IDEAS on putting a spicy twist to SUMMER DINING

Chef Edward Hayden
Chef Edward Hayden

Before this trip, my understanding of Chinese food was the somewhat westernised versions we see in the local Chinese takeaway.

During my time in Shanghai I spent lots of time learning how the Chinese chefs prepare and cook their meals. They use lots of various types of leafy green vegetables and aromatic leaves and as you can see from the photo above, some of their vegetables are visibly different to ours such as the aubergine.

I was there on a teaching exchange programme with Anne Grace Tubritt, my colleague from Waterford Institute of Technology.

As much as I tried to impress the fundamentals of our Irish cuisine on our Chinese students, I also tried very hard to soak up as much of the trends and culinary practices of China - which I factored into today's recipes.

They use lots of chilli, ginger, garlic and lemongrass as well as fresh herbs, and I found that the foods they serve are less sauced than their European re-creations.

Given the new Chinese beef contract for Irish producers, I thought it would be good to showcase a great beef recipe using some quintessential Chinese flavours such as the sweet chilli and the soy sauce which make for a very tasty combination in the salad.

In China, all fish was served in its entirety - head, tail, the works! It's not something we are as familiar with in Ireland so feel free to cut them off before cooking if desired.The gentle infused flavour from the coriander, chilli and lemongrass works wonderfully with the fish.

They eat lots of different types of mushrooms and one of the favourites was the enoki which I have teamed with some broccoli and oyster sauce as a side accompaniment.

We didn't see many desserts in restaurants, but after a meal they served lots of varieties of fruit including dragon fruit and lychees. I've made a deliciously fragrant sugar syrup to glaze the fruit and a platter of this type should be a big favourite with your dinner party guests.


Oriental Fruit Platter with Lemongrass, Cardamom and Star Anise Glaze

Serves 4


Fruit Platter:

1 dragon fruit cut in half

½ cantaloupe melon cut into wedges

½ watermelon peeled and sliced

3 oranges sliced into rounds

1 star fruit-sliced

14-16 black cherries

14-16 lychees

6-8 physalis (Chinese lanterns)

1 mango cut in half

½ pomegranate

2 figs cut into half

Edible flowers

Glaze: 5oz/150g sugar

1 lemongrass stalk cut in half

3 pieces of star anise

6 cardamom pods

4floz/110ml water


Put the sugar, lemongrass, star anise, cardamom and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled allow to cool and set aside

To Serve:

Serve the fruit on a large platter, garnished with some edible flowers. Drizzle with a little of the syrup to give the fruit a nice glaze. Serve some additional syrup with the fruit.


Sweet & Sticky Beef, Salad of Bok Choi, Chard with Lime, Chilli & Ginger Dressing

Sticky beef salad

Serves 4 as a starter


Lime, chilli & ginger dressing: 3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Juice of 1 lime

½ red chilli diced very finely

1 inch root ginger finely chopped/grated


1 carrot

1 head of bok choi

Large handful red chard

¼ head Chinese cabbage shredded

¼ head red cabbage shredded very finely

3-4 stems spring onions sliced

2 tbsp peanuts/cashew nuts

Sweet & sticky beef:

A little rapeseed oil for cooking

2 rib eye/striploin steaks (approx 10oz/300g each)

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

To garnish: Edible flowers

Pea shoots


1. Combine all the dressing ingredients together and store in the fridge until required.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of the carrot.

3. Pile the bok choi and chard onto a large serving platter. Neatly arrange the carrot ribbons, Chinese cabbage and red cabbage on top. Sprinkle on spring onions.

4. Heat a large griddle pan until smoking hot. Add the rapeseed oil and then place the steaks onto the pan and cook, depending on thickness, for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once cooked on each side coat the steaks with the sweet chilli sauce which will instantly begin to caramelise on the pan.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the steaks to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing the cooked steak and place it neatly and directly on the top of the salad. Drizzle with some of the prepared dressing and then sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately, garnished with the pea shoots and edible flowers.


Steam Roasted Fragrant Sea Bass with Chargrilled prawns & Roasted Lime

Steam Roasted Fragrant Sea Bass with Chargrilled prawns & Roasted Lime

Serves 4


4 whole sea bass

2 red chilli

2 stalks of lemongrass

Bunch fresh coriander (couple of stalks in each sprig)

Small drizzle of oil

Salt & black pepper

3floz/75ml water

2 limes, one juiced, one sliced

For the garnish: 16 prawns

4oz/110g sea asparagus

4floz/110ml good quality fish/chicken stock


1. Leaving the head and tail intact, clean out the sea bass or have the fishmonger prepare them for you.

2. Halve the red chillies and insert half a chilli in the middle of each sea bass. Insert half a stalk of lemongrass into the cavity also along with the sprigs of coriander. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas mark 5.

3. Stand the filled sea bass on a baking sheet, drizzle with the lime juice and a little oil and arrange slices of lime around them. Scatter with a little salt and cracked black pepper and place in the oven. Pour the water on top of the fish and cook the fish for 20-22 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

4. Preheat the chargrill pan with a little oil. Add the prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes on either side until cooked through.

5. Serve the fish whole with the chargrilled prawns, roasted limes and some wilted seas asparagus, and pour over the stock.

This is a very delicious accompaniment to serve as part of a Chinese-inspired buffet.


Sautéed Enoki Mushrooms with Whole Garlic & Broccoli

Sautéed Enoki Mushrooms with Whole Garlic & Broccoli

Serves 4


1lb/450g long stem broccoli

A little oil for cooking

12 cloves garlic

6oz/175g enoki mushrooms

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

3 tbsp oyster sauce


1. Heat a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Plunge the broccoli into the boiling water for 2 minutes and then remove and place it under ice cold running water until it has completely cooled down.

2. Meanwhile on a large pan heat the oil and add the whole garlic cloves and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.

3. Next add the enoki mushrooms and continue to sweat gently. Then add the broccoli and continue to cook for a moment or two to warm fully through.

4. Meanwhile mix together the sweet chilli sauce and the oyster sauce and pour these in on top of the mushroom and broccoli mixture on the pan. Allow the liquids to warm through and then serve immediately.

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