Roast Chook ‘Bo Ssam’: The Natural Cook – Matt Stone

The Natural Cook

 Images and recipes from the Natural Cook by Matt Stone (Murdoch Books) photography by Matt Roper available from 1st August $39.99

Roast Chook Bo Ssam

Roast Chook ‘Bo SSam’

“This is the ultimate ‘got no time to cook’ dinner. This recipe is inspired
by the bo ssam, an Asian shared meal. You can use up any pickles or vegetables that are in your fridge. It’s basically whatever you like wrapped in a lettuce leaf with sauce and pickles.

It’s a great dish to use up leftover roast meats and other bits lying around. The notion behind this chicken version is to grab a whole roast chook on your way home and have a fresh, healthy meal ready in 10 minutes.” ( p.159)




1 roast chicken

2 small lettuces (I like to use baby cos/romaine but any lettuce will do)

1 avocado, sliced

300 g (10½ oz) Kimchi (see page 63)

200 g (7 oz) pickles

2 handfuls bean sprouts, trimmed

150 g (5½ oz) mixed fresh herbs

Hot Sauce (see page 221) and Mayonnaise (see page 216), to serve


Pick and shred the flesh from the chook (keep the frame for broth-making purposes). Place the flesh in a serving bowl. Pick
and wash the lettuce leaves. Place the lettuce on a platter and top with the chicken, avocado, a pile of kimchi, pickles, bean sprouts, herbs and sauces on the side.


This dish looks great as it’s full of vibrant colours and the part that took the most effort was probably swinging past the shops to pick up a roast chook.



Hot Sauce

My version of Sriracha sauce only has a few ingredients, but the depth of flavour comes from the fermenting of the chilli. Use it as you would Sriracha – that is on a lot of things and particularly leftover pork-belly sandwiches.


Makes about 350 ml (12 fl oz)



1 cup Fermented Chilli Paste

1 large garlic clove

2 tablespoons honey

125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) vegetable oil



Place the chilli paste, garlic and honey in a jug-style blender. Start the blender and gradually increase the speed. Slowly pour in
the oil, season to taste with salt and you’re good.


This sauce will keep for weeks in the fridge. If it sits dormant for a while, the ingredients might start to separate a bit – just give it a good shake and it will come back to life.




The only thing that beats a good homemade mayo is a sandwich made with homemade mayo. I encourage you to double this recipe – it will easily last in the fridge for a week and it’s great to use not only on sandwiches, but in salads and on the side of meat and veg dishes. It can quickly be flavoured with spices or you can add capers, chopped cornichons, herbs and lemon to make a simple tartare sauce.


4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable oil


Note: Turning your homemade mayo into homemade aioli is a cinch. Finely dice the rind from 1 preserved lemon and finely chop 2 garlic cloves, then add to the mayo at the same time as the mustard and vinegar.



Twist up a tea towel (dish towel) and place in a circle on the bench. Place a mixing bowl in the middle of the towel. (The tea towel should help keep the bowl from moving around too much while
you whisk away with one hand.)


Put the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar into the bowl and whisk together. Slowly pour the oil into the mixture while whisking as fast as possible (use a jug if you have one – it needs to be a slow stream of oil flowing in, and pouring from a jug is an easy way to control it). If the oil is added too quickly, it won’t be incorporated and will split from the eggs. It sounds a bit tricky, but just take your time and everything will be fine.


Once all the oil is whisked in, add some salt to taste. Store in a jar in the fridge. It will last up to 2 weeks.


Spread. Enjoy. Be merry.

Post Script: ChinaTown Kitchen From Noodles to Nuoc Cham – Delicious Dishes from Southeast Asian Ingredients – Lizzie Mabbott

ChinaTown Kitchen

Chinatown Kitchen:

From Noodles to Nuoc Cham – Delicious Dishes from Southeast Asian Ingredients

Lizzie Mabbott

Hachette Australia

Mitchell Beazley: Octopus Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781845339616



Southeast Asian food is more popular than ever before, but what ARE all those mysterious ingredients in the southeastern section of the supermarket – or, even more so, in your nearest Southeast Asian market? Lizzie Mabbott identifies key ingredients, explains the differences between the 77 types of noodles (not counting “Pot”) and tells you how to use them. AND she provides all the recipes you’ll need to cook your own delicious meals at home using the tastiest ingredients from China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan and all across the region. So tuck in to the authentic (from Grilled Aubergines with Nuoc Cham to Chinese Chive Breads and Korean Summertime Noodles) or the inventive and absolutely delicious (Kimchi Toasted Cheese Sandwich, Tempura Soft-Shell Crab Burgers and Chinese Spag Bol), and cook your way around the Asian supermarket.



My View:

This is a fantastic book suitable for all to use, with some beautiful photos that will have your mouth watering in anticipation of the delights you will  be able to create. You do not need to be a kitchen guru or master chef – this book is about fresh ingredients, fragrant sauces and spices. Lizzie Mabbott devotes sections of the book to introducing the key ingredients, sauces and condiments, noodles, rices, spices, pickles and preserves, fruits and vegetables; the basic ingredients that will bring your South East Asian cooking alive. Read through, pick out of a few recipes you might like to try and then start with a shopping list. Most of the sauces and species are available in your local supermarket, some may need to be purchased from speciality Asian cooking stores.


I think we will try the Udon Cabonarara or Salt and Pepper Tofu, the Xinjian Lamb Skewers look perfect for the BBQ and the Chinese Pork Belly Roast looks divine. And then there are old favourites like Chicken Katsu Curry or Rice Paper Rolls (with a step by step pictorial guide on how to roll these family favourites) or how about making your own Kimchi? A toasted cheese and kimchi sandwich sounds perfect! I am sure you will find many recipes here to enjoy.