By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
wagamama have announced the launch of a new dish in collaboration with an exciting new cook celebrating the authentic flavours of home cooked Asian food.
Innovative restaurant wagamama is known for its collaborations after launching critically acclaimed vegan dishes with vegan chef and YouTube star Gaz Oakley and King Cook.
And now wagamama is proud to launch their new dish named Shu’s Shiok Chicken and Rice, made in collaboration with Shu Han Lee, a young food writer and cook.
Originally from Asia’s food hub, Singapore, Shu began cooking when she moved to the UK as a student and realised what she missed most were the flavours of home.
Drawing on generations of experience and a love of bringing the fresh flavours of South East Asia to London, Shu is one of the city’s hottest up and coming cooks – author of the South East Asian cookbook Chicken & Rice and founder of Rempapa Spice Company.
Shu’s blog, Mummy I can Cook, was started as a way for Shu to document evidence that she was surviving in London for the benefit of her mum, but has since been named as one of Britain’s best food blogs by the Sunday Times.
The dish is made with a special edition spice paste from Shu to infuse the chicken overnight with Peranakan flavours – a blend of Chinese and Malay influences unique to Singaporean and Malaysian kitchens. This ginger, garlic and herb marinated chicken is then roasted and served on a bed of Wagamama coconut and lemongrass dressed rice with lightly pickled slaw, coriander, chilli and finished with a caramelised lime.
The dish will be exclusively available for a limited time at wagamama’s test kitchen – Noodle Lab – in Dean Street, Soho, London.
Shu’s story – and cooking – is all about home. Leaving home and not being able to cook. Learning to cook to alleviate the homesickness. Taking inspiration in her cooking from generations of family experience.
Shu Han said: “I was really excited to create this simple, yet utterly comforting chicken & rice dish that brings together all the exciting flavours I grew up with and love. ‘Shiok’ is an expression we use in Singapore to describe the feeling you get when something just hits the right spot – and I hope this dish does exactly that for other people.”
Brand Manager, Andrew Dengate, said: “The dish is an homage to Shu’s home. It’s understated and delicious. It’s comforting and moreish. Homestyle authentic cooking. Our collaborations are a chance for us to work with the rising stars in food and Shu brings a wealth of knowledge to our table as we continue to bring the authentic flavours of our home region to life.”
Head of Food Innovation, Jas Ayling, said: “I’m so excited about this dish. It’s all about authenticity and this collaboration recipe epitomises south east asian food. Whilst it looks like a humble bowl, it packs layer upon layer of flavour and is a perfect balance of salt, sweet, sour and heat. It’s the ultimate comfort food.“
Earlier this year wagamama launch their second collaboration with vegan chef Gaz Oakley with the creation of the world’s first vegan egg.
Oakley collaborated with wagamama executive chef Steve Mangleshot to create the fresh, Japanese inspired bowl aptly named “the avant-gard’n” with the aim of continuing to make vegan food more interesting. The chefs at wagamama, pioneers of plant based food, believe that meat free should not mean taste free.
wagamama: our story and our food ‘kaizen’, meaning ‘good change’ is the philosophy that sits right at our heart. It shapes every dish we create, and pushes us to find better ways in all that we do. We’re restless spirits, forever creating and making things better.
We’ve been practising kaizen since 1992, when we opened our first doors in London’s Bloomsbury. Inspired by fast-paced, Japanese ramen bars and a celebration of Asian food, wagamama burst into life. We set out to create a unique way of eating; bringing the fresh, nourishing, flavours of Asia to all.