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Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Roast spatchcock with choganjang and sesame cucumbers


Spatchcocks are the perfect size to serve one per person. We've served these with choganjang, an essential dipping sauce in Korean cuisine. Start this recipe up to a day ahead to marinate the spatchcocks. 

You'll need

4 spatchcocks (500gm each), butterflied, at room temperature 2 tbsp ssämjang (see note) 1 garlic clove, crushed, plus 1 extra, thinly sliced 2 tbsp dark soy sauce Fresh steamed rice noodles, to serve 1 tbsp grapeseed oil mixed with 2 tsp sesame oil   Sesame cucumbers 2 tbsp white vinegar 2 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds, plus extra to serve Sesame oil, to taste 400 gm baby cucumbers, thickly sliced ½ white onion, very thinly sliced Torn coriander, to serve   Choganjang 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp Chinese brown vinegar 1 tsp finely grated ginger 1 spring onion, sliced

Method

  • 01
  • Rub spatchcocks with ssämjang and crushed garlic, place in a snap-lock bag with half the soy sauce and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight to marinate.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Place spatchcock in a roasting pan skin-side up, drizzle with remaining soy sauce and roast, basting occasionally, until golden brown and juices run clear when the thickest part of the thighs is pierced with a skewer (35-40 minutes).
  • 03
  • For sesame cucumbers, combine vinegar, sugar and soy sauce with 50ml water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool, then place in a blender with sesame seeds, process until smooth, add sesame oil and season to taste. Place cucumbers and onion in a bowl, add dressing and extra sesame seeds, toss to coat and season to taste.
  • 04
  • For choganjang, combine ingredients in a bowl, adjust to taste with soy and vinegar, add spring onion and set aside.
  • 05
  • Divide noodles and spatchcock among serving plates. Heat oils in a small saucepan over medium heat, add sliced garlic and heat until garlic just starts to change colour (about 1 minute), stir in spring onion, then pour mixture over spatchcock and serve with choganjang and the sesame cucumbers.

Note Ssämjang is a Korean chilli condiment. If it's unavailable, use another chilli sauce of your choice. Chinese brown vinegar is available from Asian grocers.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Toasty bottle-aged riesling

Featured in

May 2016

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