Terry Durack’s Prawn and Lup Cheong Omelet

Serves: 1

Sunday is a long-lunch day and often, we do them at home.

Or more correctly this time, Nat did it at home. An utterly excellent, four course, lux-Chinese banquet.

This recipe by Terry Durack kicked the afternoon off and wow, it was a doozy of a dish. A dish that said things are going to be good.

The flavours are so mature and sophisticated; and it absolutely looks the part.

With Champagne… things were definitely good.

Ingredients

1/2 lup cheong sausage
1 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 tsp for frying
5 medium prawns, peeled and cleaned
1 mild red chilli, finely sliced
50gm bean sprouts
3 eggs
The green tops of 2 green spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp coriander leaves

Method

  1. Place the lup cheong in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes yo soften, then finely slice. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and stir-fry the prawns, lup cheong and half the chilli for 1-2 minutes over a high heat. Add the bean sprouts and toss for 30 seconds, and remove from the heat.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs, half the onion tops, fish sauce, sugar, sea salt and pepper together with a fork. Heat 1 tsp oil in wok over a medium-high heat and swirl to coat the surface. Pour in the egg mixture and cook, using a fork to draw the mixture back into the centre, allowing the egg to cook.
  3. When lightly set on top, lower the heat, scatter with the stir fry mixture and most of the remaining onion tops and cook for another 30 seconds or until the egg is cooked through. Slide the omelet from the wok onto a warmed plate; optionally fold the it over on itself. Drizzle oyster sauce on top, and scatter with the coriander and remaining onions and chilli. Serve immediately.

Terry Durack’s Thai Chicken and Basil

Serves 4

This is a Terry Durack recipe from his book Yum, a $1 purchase from St Vincent de Paul. (Seriously, St Vincent de Paul has to be one of the best cook book chains in Sydney!)

Up until I tried this recipe, I had admired Terry Durack as a food critic though had been less impressed by his recipes. Though I am sure that this was about me and not you Terry!

He opens his book with this dish and describes it as one that changed his cooking life just because it is so unbelievably simple; I have to agree that cooking this and tasting it, it really did open my eyes too. Genuinely, like tasting the snow-egg at Quay or eating at Per Se in New York, cooking this recipe really is one of the seminal moments in my cooking life.

It is hard to believe that this recipe could taste combined, complex or even good. Instead, it really is an amazing dish that demonstrates that with only a few of the right flavours, you can produce a wonderful dish without any complaints.

To put it as Terry Durack does, ‘this dish taught me that you could toss things in the wok while half-drunk and without a care in the world, and still be able to feed people without killing them…’

I have always been lazy with this dish and substituted 3 chicken breasts for the a whole chicken (and I’ll keep doing it) and I have altered (as I usually do) the recipe to be slightly easier to follow.

Ingredients

1 small chicken, meat from the breast, thighs and legs removed, sliced into strips
3 or 4 green (or red) chillies, deseeded and sliced into thin slivers
2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
Bunch of basil leaves, removed from stem
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a wok and cook the chicken over a moderate heat for a few minutes, then add the chillis, most of the basil and the parsley.
  2. Cook, stirring as you go for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Splash in the fish sauce and stir through.
  4. Add remaining basil and serve with jasmine rice.