Turn wild fruit into an amazing dish

Thứ tư, 25/06/2014 17:21

Many creative results come about by accident. Many surprises and interesting results have been created by enthusiastic and dedicated chefs in this intense competition. For example: The “transformation” of wild fruit

The judges were impressed with the party table that had many kinds of sauces made from wild fruit

At the same time, in these delicious dishes the “twin sisters” of aroma and taste” are responsible for diners’ enjoyment of the food. They evoke interesting anecdotes and deliver memories that make diners recall their own stories of old. It is like having a chance to return to their birthplace and is something they will remember forever.

Muntingia calabura tree make its story

Muntingia calabura tree presents good memories that are common with everyone. Everyone recalls standing under it, to shelter from the sun or the rain. It grows quickly and strong without the need for care and its branches cast a big shadow. There is a song that talks of this tree “Oh a branch of Muntingia calabura tree, our childhood passed by so quickly…” (“A branch of Muntingia calabura tree” song– Vinh Su composer)

But in terms of cooking, Chef Cuong Thinh Tran from the Thao Ngoai restaurant in Dong Nai Province was more concerned about fruit that it provides. The ripe fruit is very plump and has purple red color. They are hidden under the leaves and have a good aroma. One quick bite provides a taste of light sweetness mixed with a little bit of roughness on your tongue. Some people compare this to fish roe. Hence in Vietnamese it is called “Cây trứng cá” which means the Fish Roe Tree.

 Chef Thinh dreamed using fruits as a spice. He also asked other colleagues for their advice. They all told him that they thought it was very good idea. So he started to experiment with all kinds of desserts such as sweet soup and the use of sauces to be served with main dish.

It was even harder when used as a sauce to be served with a dish of eel and sugarcane. This thick, yellow sauce is made from so many natural substances. It has a little fatty taste of the fruit coupled with the sweetness and good aroma of sugarcane. The sauce also had a little bit of saltiness caused by the lemon, and a gentle sourness of kumquat, which has a very attractive smell.

To be able to match the sauce with the grilled eel and sugarcane the dish needs careful planning and good technique whilst cooking. The middle part of the eel provides the most meat and is tied to a piece of sugarcane, which has been skinned then grilled on a charcoal fire. The rest of the eel is chopped and mashed in a stone mortar, then mixed with a little Chitala ornatafish to increase stickiness and to create a different flavor than eel that has been grilled and steamed These two dishes mix their two unique aromas together. Dip the fish into this sauce which is partly new and partly traditional and your palate will enjoy the sensation.

 Modesty forbids self-praise, so Chef Thinh’s group registered to attend the The Golden Spoon Contest in 2014 to compete with all the other talented chefs coming from all over the country.

It was a surprise when Chef Thinh won the second prize in the round that took place on June 18th 2014 at Minh Sang Plaza, in Binh Duong province. It was certainly thanks to the Muntingia calabura fruit. “It is very interesting and innovative! The dish took us back to our childhood, creating many beautiful memories of nature” commented guest judge, Director Hanh Thuy.

Also in this round other wild fruit appeared.

Duck tasted better with Jamblon and Cibotium barometz. J. tree sauce.

Annona reticulata decorated for Arctogadus glacialis (also called snow fish)

It is similar for Chef Pham Van Loi’s team from Carmelina Beach Resort, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. They selected ingredients from both jungle and the sea to use at the contest. The way the team decorated their party table was also impressive. The highlight was the fresh Jamblon with purple/red fruit hanging. A closer look revealed a branch of Cibotium barometz and its fruit. Its color is similar to a longan but this is bigger by about half. The flower vase was created by carving a fresh pumpkin.

Professional judge Mrs Choi Thi Trieu commented on the sauces made by this team” They are very creative and left a good impression! I welcomed the opportunity of seeing wild fruit from childhood again, such as: Jamblon, Crescentia cujete Lin fruit and Cibotium barometz. J. These create a sour and acrid taste.”

Following this, the grilled duck breast came with two sauce options. An orange/yellow sweet and sour sauce with the aroma of durian or a red sauce with sour and acrid taste.

The first sauce was made from Annona reticulata mixed with durian. Annona reticulata is grown wildly over the alkaline salt lands in the South of the country. It is very strong and bears a lot of fruit, though the fruit still hasn’t got much economic value. Chef Loi used the fruit usually associated with poor families and by adding different fruit with richer aromas created a completely new combination of sauces.

Results of the preliminary round in Southest region:the organizers awarded two 1st prizes and four 2nd prizes to the best teams. The first prizes belong to Poshanu Resort (Binh Thuan) and the Grand Ho Tram Strip (Baria-Vung Tau).

Four 2nd prizes go to: the Golden Lotus Wedding party and conference center (Dong Nai province); Thao Ngoan restaurant (Dong Nai province); Bizen Company (Dong Nai province); Palm Song Be Golf (Binh Duong province), Tran Bien center (Dong Nai) and the Imperial (Vung Tau).

Other wild fruits such as Jamblon and Cibotium barometz J are also are the favorites for many species of birds and bats. More importantly, the forest provides shelter for ducks and other wildlife. In life they integrate, on the plate, also. Chef Loi matches them together expertly. This is evident in the dish: Arctogadus glacialis fish served with sauce made from Annona reticulata fruit. Arctogadus glacialis fish has fresh and sweet meat and is very rich in Omega 3, thought to be very good for your health. However, if this dish isn’t served with sweet and sour sauce, it is not regarded as an authentic dish is not attractive enough.

It is a pity that this team’s menu lacks starch which meant that they couldn’t win the prize

Earlier, in the seminar the Vietnam Culinary Essence workshop drew an audience of many leading food experts and representatives from the media, culinary expert Suong Thi Bui said, "Southeast Cuisine, excluding Saigon, still has many specialties, but unfortunately many of them have yet to be discovered. Now the Golden Spoon program is contributing towards drawing a Vietnamese cuisine map. However, this round has only just scraped the surface.

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