Gastronomixs

Quail egg croquette puffs

This month's guest chef is Andrew Wong. He is the chef and owner of the Michelin starred A Wong restaurant in London. As a child, Andrew spent most of his time in the Chinese restaurant owned by his parents. But growing up in the restaurant business didn't inspire a passion for cooking in the young boy, and he went to study at Oxford and London School of Economics instead. When his father passed away several years later, Andrew returned home to help his mother run the restaurant. Here he started to notice the similarities between Chinese cuisine and culture which motivated him to learn more about cooking. That's when he decided to follow a chef's training programme. Andrew wanted to do something different than the other Chinese restaurants in London and believed that Chinese food did not have to be synonymous with quick and cheap. He decided to travel and found his inspiration in the various regions of China. He returned to London having gained new knowledge, cooking techniques, and experience. In 2012, he opened A Wong, named after his parents. Here he created unique dishes inspired by Chinese cuisine and was awarded a Michelin star for his efforts in 2017. Andrew opened a second restaurant, Kym's, at the end of 2018. In this Modern Chinese restaurant the focus is on the art of Chinese roasted meats and how to prepare it perfectly. Andrew shares two dishes with us from his book The Cookbook - Extraordinary dim sum, exceptional street food & unexpected Chinese dishes from Sichuan to Yunnan and one new recipe!

Andrew about this dish: "This recipe involves some intricate work and the pastry is pretty temperamental, being humidity dependent, so for the most part, I delegate the making of these puffs in the restaurant to my sous chef May May, as she is a million times more patient than I am. While I have given specific quantities for the ingredients, the exact requirements are dependent on how much boiling water is added to the wheat starch in the first step, which is why we use proportions at each stage, as I have highlighted in the method."

Creation by Andrew Wong, A Wong*, London, United Kingdom.
Photography by Yuki Sugiura for A. Wong - The Cookbook.

Quail egg croquette puffs

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Ingredients

200

g

wheat starch

100

ml

boiling water

5

 

eggs, boiled for 9 minutes, yolks extracted

65

g

butter, at room temperature, diced

65

g

white vegetable fat, at room temperature, diced

3

g

baking powder

12

 

quail eggs

1

litre

cold water mixed

2

tbsp

rice vinegar

As needed:

 

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

As needed:

 

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1

 

large-leaved cabbage (avoid other types, as they burn)

2

tbsp

salt

3

tsp

sugar

1

tbsp

fresh root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped

225

ml

vegetable oil

1

tbsp

sesame oil

2

tsp

salt

1

tsp

sugar

3

tbsp

finely chopped spring onion greens

As needed:

 

dried fish floss, for sprinkling

Preparation method: crispy seaweed
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer to 180°C.
  • Cut out the stem heart from the cabbage leaves, then roll up into a cigar shape and shred as finely as possible.
  • Deep-fry the cabbage, in small batches, until crispy, then remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Season with the salt and sugar.
  • Leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
 Preparation method: quail egg croquette puffs
  • Place the wheat starch in a bowl and, stirring constantly, slowly add enough of the boiling water in a thin stream until the mixture is just about to come together into a dough. Take great care here, as adding the water too quickly will result in an overly firm dough, but add it too slowly and it will be undercooked and powdery.
  • Check the weight of the dough and add one-third of that weight of cooked egg yolks, kneading in until you have a smooth dough.
  • Check the weight of the dough again and add one-sixth of that weight of butter and the same quantity of white fat, kneading in until well combined.
  • Lastly, knead the baking powder in until evenly incorporated.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for an hour to firm up before using.
  • Carefully place the quail eggs in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 1 minute 45 seconds, then immediately drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water.
  • Once cool, transfer the eggs to a separate bowl containing the cold water and vinegar and leave them to soak for an hour. This will soften the shells and make the eggs easier to peel.
  • Drain the eggs, peel carefully and refrigerate until needed.
  • Divide the dough into 12 portions. Use 1 portion to wrap each egg, being careful not to break the yolks. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour until firm.
 Preparation method: Ginger & spring onion sesame oil
  • Mix all the ingredients except the spring onion greens together in a bowl until well combined.
  • Store in a sterilized airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to a month, adding the spring onion greens to the oil just before serving.
Finishing and presentation:
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer to 180°C.
  • Deep-fry the eggs, in small batches, holding them just below the surface of the oil with a spoon, until just golden.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Serve on a bed of crispy seaweed sprinkled with fish floss and with the ginger and spring onion sesame oil alongside.

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