What to do with leftover chicken and turkey: hoisin chicken buns

This recipe is an adaptation of the hoisin chicken buns recipe from Cooking Light, by way of Cooking Cute.

Week One : Leftovers - Hoisin buns

To make this recipe, you first need a batch of white bread dough (for rolls) – you can either find fresh dough in the chiller cabinet of larger supermarkets (make sure it’s just plain old white bread dough, not focaccia or anything fancy like that!), or you can make a batch in your bread maker. This part is a faff, but the finished product is such an interesting and unusual way of using up leftover chicken, that I think it’s worth going to a little bit of extra effort – plus, these are portable, and perfect for lunches on the go!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 batch fresh bread dough (see above)
  • 400g (approx) dark turkey / chicken meat
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 bunch spring onions, shredded finely
Hoisin buns on tray

METHOD

  • Shred the chicken, and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Once you’ve made your dough, turn it out and cut it into eight pieces, and roll each piece into a size slightly bigger than your palm.
  • Place a spoonful of the chicken mix into the middle of the bun.
  • Pull four corners into the middle and pinch, then do the same again with the leftover tabs, which should fall in between the compass points of the tabs you just sorted out. (It’s helpful to rock the bun back and forth at this point to shape the top nicely.)
  • Set it on an oiled tray and put the rest together.
Hoisin buns on cooling rack
  • Cover and allow to prove for 20 mins in a warm place.
  • Preheat your oven to 190C and then brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 15 mins, or until golden. You can also bake them for a shorter amount of time (12 mins or so) and then freeze them to bake again another day. (There are great instructions here for freezing and then reheating the buns at Cooking Cute.)
Hoisin bun halved
  • Allow to cool slighty, then eat!

 

Bukkake udon

If you’re sniggering right now – shame on you! ‘Bukkake’ means splash in Japanese, and this is a chilled noodle dish that you ‘splash’ cold stock over to flavour it. The first time I made this I got the recipe from oyamake.com, but the site is down now. I didn’t have the right toppings so I improvised! It was delicious, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually like udon noodles…

This is a really great summer dish for when it’s incredibly hot and steamy… It actually cools you down and refreshes you! Hopefully, we’ll have plenty of reason to make this dish this year…

Bukkake udon toppings

Recipe for Bukakke Udon

INGREDIENTS

  • Around 100g dry udon noodles per person
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Instant dashi powder
  • Your choice of topping (see below)

RECIPE

  • Mix 1 cup water, 1/3 cup mirin and 1/3 cup soy sauce in a pan, heat and add some dashi stock sprinkles. Remove from heat and sit until cold. You won’t need all of this but it’ll keep for another day if you put it in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • Cook the udon noodles according to the recipe on the packet, remove from heat, strain and wash until cold.
  • Place the noodles in a bowl and add your toppings – mine are spring onions (scallions), toasted teriyaki nori sheets and some bonito flakes. You can also add boiled egg (according to about.com), grated daikon radish or tenkasu (dry tempura drippings). If you want some, add a smear of wasabi paste on top.
  • Splash your sauce over the top, but be careful not to drown the noodles as the sauce is very strong!

Second attempt at bukkake udon - the finale

This is the kind of thing you can knock up from storecupboard ingredients if you’re a Japanese food fanatic like I am – so I consider it to be quite a cheap dish, although if you had to buy everything in especially it’d probably cost a fair bit.

Incredible salt-baked chicken

I’ve always wanted to try this dish, and it was absolutely amazing. I bought a corn-fed chicken and it made a huge difference. The chicken was fantastic – so tender and moist. Honestly, I never thought it would come out that well, but I was wrong! The only downside is that it was really hard to get a hold of the right amount of sea salt at a reasonable price.

Salt-baked chicken
Also, try the dipping sauce, it is amazing. There’s really no other word for it.

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken, weighing approximately 1.6kg
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 3kg coarse salt, or more, depending on your pan
  • Bunch spring onions
  • Large piece fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • Steamed pak choi and ooked rice, to serve

METHOD

  • Wash the chicken thoroughly inside and out. Sprinkle 1 tsp of fine salt in the cavity of the chicken and rub in. Add an inch of smashed ginger and one spring onion to the cavity. You can also add dried tangerine peel.
  • Select a heavy bottomed saucepan with a lid which is slightly larger than your chicken. Ensure that there is not an excess of space around the chicken, as you will need to use extra salt to cover the space.
  • Place the salt in the saucepan and allow to heat for five minutes, until slightly browned and smoking. Remove half of the salt and nestle the chicken on the top layer of the salt, then pour the rest over to cover. Cover the chicken and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. Then, remove the pan and place it in a pre-heated oven at 200c or gas mark 6. Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
  • Remove the chicken from the salt, and brush off the excess, and rinse before allowing to cool for 20 minutes. Then, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. The traditional Chinese method is to cut straight through the bone of the chicken, but you may wish to remove the bones to serve.
  • To make the dipping sauce, peel and grate the remaining ginger, and finely chop the spring onions. Heat the oil in a pan until smoking, then pour the oil onto the ginger and spring onions โ€“ make sure you use a heat proof bowl for this! Mix in the sugar and salt to taste.
  • To serve, plate the chicken and allow diners to help themselves, dipping the chicken into the sauce and alternating between the accompaniments of steamed pak choi and rice.

Salt baked chicken - the result!
I’m not going to lie, it was scary. It was fiddly. It was pretty expensive. It involved a lot of trial and error, and also I’m still not totally sure about the best way to cover the chicken economically, but I would so do it again. It was that delicious.