Although our recipe was not featured in Felicity Cloake's 9th March 2013 Readers' Recipe Swap: STUFFED column, our Vietnamese Inspired Chicken Wings were, at least, mentioned! Anyways - instead of making the chicken wings, I have filled bright red bell peppers with my chestnut and mushroom stuffing and this is equally, if not more tempting! Great served as main course with side dishes such as couscous / rice / leafy green salad or a combination of those!
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
90 g chestnuts, cooked and peeled, roughly chopped (such as this)
250g mushroom, chopped
2 stalks of lemongrass, finely sliced (see note on preparing the lemongrass)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cm knob of ginger, grated
4 lime leaves, finely chopped (if you can’t find lime leaves, use zest of 2 lime)
2 spring onions or salad onions, chopped (the white part only – discard the green part)
1 bird’s eye chillies, seeds discarded and finely chopped (optional)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 big Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
A handful of coriander, chopped
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. To make the stuffing, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When it’s hot, add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, chilli into the pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the mushroom into the pan and cook until the moist from the mushroom has evaporate, this takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes. Then add the chestnut, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and salt and ground white pepper (to taste) into the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and mostly absorbed by the stuffing.
3. Remove the pan from the stove. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and allow the mixture to cool.
4. For the peppers, cut across the top of the peppers and keep the tops as covers. Remove the membranes of the peppers. Wash the peppers and dry them with a kitchen towel.5. When the stuffing is cooled, add the breadcrumbs and chopped coriander and mix well.
6. Now stuff the peppers and cover with the tops.
7. Bake the peppers in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the peppers are soft and slightly charred on the outside.
8. Serve with salad / rice / couscous.
NOTE ON LEMONGRASS: To prepare the lemongrass, cut and remove the base of the lemongrass. Remove one to two outer layers of the plant. Thinly slice the lemongrass.