In so many ways, I thrive on the duality in everything. I think it comes from the fact that i myself am a product of duality — two cultures, two countries, two sides of life, from two opposite sides of the planet. There's a bit of Aussie in me, a bit of Egyptian, but essentially, a whole lot of fusion because I’m the bi-product of both. Throughout my life I’ve sought and explored the essence of that duality in everything around me - work, travel, art, but mostly in academics. A big chunk of my thesis was all about the duality of human character, particularly women (mostly because I’m one, lol) along the literary timeline. The duality of our feelings, our upbringing, and the contradictions within our existence… as with everything, there are two sides to every story, every person. With me, those two sides define who I am.
How does this relate to food, you’re probably asking - rightly so :). As a person of dual nature, that duality seeps into everything I do, and that includes the food I create. In this bog, you may have noted the Middle Eastern-Mediterranean medleys I’ve created, and the fusions between East and West. The kitchen is my science lab, and I thrive on making two completely different elements work together. Sometimes, those elements are ingredients — sometimes, those elements are entire dishes. And sometimes those entire dishes are definitive of entire cultures.
In this rather strange recipe, there was a fusion of simple authentic dishes happening — Basic Asian Teriyaki married traditional Middle Eastern Kofta and had this love-child called (not unusually) Teriyaki Kofta.
I know what you’re thinking — some of you are rejoicing, while others are internally screaming that this is an abomination (totally thinking of Victor and a pregnant Sonya from the Underworld movie here). But no — these aren’t vampires and lycans; these are plump, juice, oven-baked Koftas that have been rolled around in thick, deliciously flavorful teriyaki sauce; served on a bed of rice and sprinkled with chives. A fusion girl every step of the way, I believe this recipe has created an entire third culture all on its own; a new generation of food that defines what it means to live in a global village. Enjoy :)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon minced ginger
½ cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
⅔ cup water
2 tablespoons cornflour
½-1 tablespoon chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the Kofta:
Preheat oven to 200.C, and line a sheet pan with wax or parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix together all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until fully combined. With an ice-cream scoop, shape each scoop into a ball and drop it onto your prepared sheet pan. Continue with the rest of the meat until it’s finished and your sheet pan is full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the Kofta is browned and cooked through.
To prepare the sauce:
Hint: It’s best to make this while the Kofta is in the oven!
In a non-stick saucepan or skillet, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients together except for the water and cornflour over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
Whisk together water and cornstarch in a glass, and pour into the sauce.
Continue cooking for a few minutes until sauce thickens, while stirring regularly to prevent sauce from sticking or clumping
Once the Kofta has finished cooking, pop into a large bowl and pour the teriyaki glaze over them. With a slotted spoon, gently roll the Kofta around the plate, making sure to coat each ball evenly in the sauce. (Hint: You can do this in 2 batches to prevent breakage and to ensure all the balls are generously coated with the sauce).
Transfer the glazed Kofta into a serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives, and serve warm alongside white rice or noodles. Enjoy!