"I fell in love with spice salt while I was travelling through the Sichuan region in China," says Anchovy chef Thi Le. "It was snowing and there were barbecue vendors on almost every corner doing their thing on skewers and dusting a Sichuan-based salt on everything - the smoky-spicy smell was incredible. I find this salt goes with almost everything. If you can't find garlic shoots, try it with okra or thinly sliced potatoes and barbecue them over slow-burning coal. It's addictive especially with a beer."
- 1 bunch (250gm) garlic shoots (see note)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 star anise
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground chilli
- 1For spice salt, dry-roast whole spices over high heat until fragrant (40-50 seconds), set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then finely grind in a spice grinder. Add smoked paprika, chilli and 2 tsp sea salt flakes, and mix to combine.
- 2Clean and cut garlic shoots to 7cm batons, discard thick fibrous ends and set aside.
- 3Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Reduce heat to medium, then add oil and garlic shoots, and toss until charred (2-3 minutes). Serve sprinkled with spice salt to taste (remaining spice salt will keep in an airtight container for up to a month).
Garlic shoots are available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Cavalier “Courage” blonde ale, Melbourne – a crisp, refreshing ale with a soft fruity aroma and slight bitterness behind the complexity of malted hops. Drink suggestion by Andrew Barry
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