Tuesday, 12 July 2011

BBQ - The food of summer

Let's face it, the first sign of sun, we get our flip flops out, millions of wax strips and bottles of fake tan being applied, skirts and trousers get shorter and finally its the season of BBQ! It is the season where you see dads, boyfriends, husbands and partners get possessive over a cooking instrument...the BBQ! I don't know about other people but my father in law has his own rules! He needs company when he is BBQing but gets very annoyed if anyone gets too close and god forbid anyone tries to take over! It is his time to shine. I find this scenario ever so intriguing.

In Malaysia, BBQ is done at night because it is cooler and out of the sun. No one in their right mind will BBQ in the sun. It is super hot and humid and eating bbq meat is deemed to be 'heaty'. Chinese believe that foods have heating or cooling properties. This is to balance out the yin and yang in the body; I will talk more about the yin and yang in future blogs but going back to why it is intriguing..... BBQ at home is a social affair, we each have a skewer and with marinated meat on it we will cook our meat together. If and when the girls decided it is too smelly for their hair, they will bat their eyelids for the boys to do it for them so I guess they got it right here by having the man doing it instead and even more so make it the norm.

I find it fascinating how different cultures cook and share their food even with something as simple as BBQ. I would like to share with you a couple of different ways of BBQing I came across in my last holiday

Korean BBQ

BBQ is built into the table. It has a huge ventilation tube ontop so there is no smoke throughout the restaurant. Underneath the BBQ grill, there is a steel container which contains charcoal. We are cooking beef which is marinated in Bulgogi Marinade, a traditional marinade for meat. The cooked meat is then wrapped in fresh lettuce with accompaniments. (See below for recipe)
Korean Accompaniments - Lots of mini dishes to accompany the meat 

Cambodian BBQ

Fascinating!  I love the practicality of it and it was fun! As you can see it is like an upturned wok on charcoal. Oh yes... no gas as cooking on charcoal tastes so much better. They start you off with a piece of pork fat to glaze the dome. They provide a selection of meats, in our case it was crocodile, frog legs, venison and snake, vegetables and clear broth ! Very exotic indeed. What is so clever about it was the dome bit of the BBQ is for grilling meat and then all the juices flow downwards to the stock. The stock gets richer at the end and the diners finish it off with noodles and vegetables! 

I am not possessive as such but I have one but a simple rule for BBQ, whatever the way they are cooked or shared, the meat has to be marinated to enhance and create another depth of flavour for the meat. Here are a couple of ideas and what we had for dinner tonight; Mustard Crust Lamb Chops and Bulgogi Pork Ribs. I live in England so am happy to abide by the rules of men cooking the BBQ ;-) but I still wear the trousers in making the marinade and if I can get my way... insist that my one and only rule is to be followed and enjoyed.

Recipes for the marinade are below

Mustard Crust Lamb Chops Marinade - enough for 4 chops
Mix together:
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon  & English mustard
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour

Bulgogi Marinade - enough for 500g of ribs
Bulgogi originated in Korea. The sauce can be used as a marinade or a dipping sauce for grilled meat.
Mix together:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon mein chiang (Chinese fermented soy beans) - optional
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon toasted ground sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, 3 teaspoons sugar and salt to taste - crush to a paste - I did mine in a pestle and mortar
1 teaspoon chilli sauce
2 teaspoons finely chopped spring onions

I hope you try these marinade as they are easy to make and they taste completely different from each other. Happy cooking!

No comments:

Post a Comment