What’s important is not only tasting the flavours on your palate but savouring the emotions in your heart. If you’ve been following our blog, you’d be familiar with the launch of our first global digital cookbook, Culinary Perspectives that comprises eight delectable dishes curated by an award-winning food writer and director, Joshua David Stein.
We’re taking you through one recipe each week so you can master the craft. On the menu today is our third dish: tom yum chicken consommé, a recipe by Charles Tan.
When serving this classic consommé at the Lexus LS 30th Anniversary event, Tan relied on a robotic arm to perform the precision cuts necessary for the tofu blossom. But the ability of tofu to open in broth is well-known in the Sichuan canon and has long been done by hand.
Here, he’s taken a page from the likes of Careme and Escoffier with a crystalline consommé while weaving in nods to nearby Thailand with a strong hint of lemongrass to infuse the tom yum consommé.
INGREDIENTS FOR TOM YUM CHICKEN CONSOMMÉ
Here are all the ingredients you will need to create tom yum chicken consommé.
|1 whole chicken|
|2 whole onions|
|2 whole carrots|
|6 sprigs thyme|
|8 black peppercorns|
|2 stalks celery|
|8 stalks lemongrass|
|10 cherry tomatoes|
|2 chicken breasts|
|3 whole egg whites|
|2 packets Silken tofu|
|6 kaffir leaves|
|1 stalk lemongrass|
|1 baby shallot|
|4 slices blue ginger|
- Devein and clean the chicken thoroughly. Remove as much fat as possible. Separate the two chicken breasts (for Step 2).
- Add the chicken (except for breast meat) into a pot.
- Peel and roughly cut the onion, carrots and celery stalks into similar sizes. Add into the pot.
- Roast the cherry tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. Add into the pot.
- Cut the onion into halves. Sear the halves on a pan without oil, until charred. Add into the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (thyme, black peppercorn and lemongrass) into the pot.
- Add enough water just to cover the chicken.
- Bring pot to boil and simmer for three hours, occasionally skimming the fat and impurities off the surface.
- Cool the chicken stock over an ice bath and chill. Skim off additional fat that floats to the surface.
- Skin and dice the two chicken breast roughly.
- Put into a blender with the chicken stock and three egg whites. Blend thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into a big pot and bring it to a boil while whisking it constantly (15 minutes).
- Once it boils, reduce to simmer. Do not stir or whisk. Let it simmer until a raft of egg white forms on the surface (either 15 minutes or until the raft forms).
- Break a hole in the center of the surface and gently scoop the semi-clear consommé with a ladle into a container.
- Filter through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter to obtain a crystal clear liquid, the consommé.
- Halve the tofu horizontally. Cut with a 5-6cm diameter round cookie cutter. Do not remove the tofu surrounding the circles. Place two blocks (these can be small metal containers or carrot sticks) on the breadth of the tofu and two rulers on the length of the tofu to stabilise. Line two layers of satay stickers between the rulers and the tofu and cut tofu thinly and evenly length- wise. Rotate blocks and rulers to cut tofu breadth-wise.
- Transfer the tofu into a bowl of water before tearing away the unwanted sides. Then, place the tofu blossom into the desired bowl for plating, retaining a small amount of water.
- Place all of the spices into a French press. Heat up the consommé and pour over the spice mixture and let flavors develop for about three minutes. Pour slowly into the bowl with the tofu blossom and serve.
Click here to download the recipe card.
ABOUT CHARLES TAN
At only 28 years old, Charles Tan is the gelato genius of Singapore. After honing his technique at Singapore’s Restaurant Andre, one of the world’s top fine dining restaurants, he and his sister decided to open a produce-driven gelateria in Bedok, just outside the city’s centre in 2015. Though casual, Tan’s technique is strictly haute cuisine and the menu includes an ever-changing rotation of seasonal ice cream including butter beer, watermelon soju and more.
Tan brings both a fine dining rigour and devotion to seasonality that is rare in the world of ice cream. This he marries with the natural nostalgia peering at a case full of brightly coloured tubs brings. Whether it is attending to the seasonality of passionfruit, developing new flavours daily like white chrysanthemum or soursop calamansi or experimenting to improve the already iconic charcoal waffle, Tan is careful never to let technical virtuosity outstrip immediate joy. “What’s important,” he says, “is not only tasting the flavours on your palate but savouring the emotions in your heart.”