We’re all aware of my eagerness to expand my cooking repertoire, so when I was offered a chance to try to replicate some of the creations from Birmingham’s favourite street food heroes, of course I said yes.
The offer was all part of Project It’s Your Town, the brainchild of New Amsterdam Vodka to mark its UK launch. The project follows ‘millennials’ from four of the UK’s ‘party cities’ – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow – as they showcase their town. For Birmingham, the brand teamed up with street food king Duncan Stanley, founder of Brum Yum Yum, which aims to provide restaurant quality dishes, at ‘on-street’ prices, in accessible urban locations.
For the It’s Your Town campaign, they’ve helped create the ‘Ultimate Munchies Menu’, inspired by Brum’s street food scene and easy to make yourself at home. I was sent three recipe cards – chicken tikka pizza by Zoe Aston from Pizza Traders; Bloody Mary kebabs by Gaz Oakes from White Heat street food; and spirited chicken noodles by Buddha Belly’s Sai Deethwa. I also got a box of goodies to help me on my cooking challenge.
The concept worked well for the occasion I chose to try it – a quiet Saturday night in with my mum. We picked the spirited chicken noodles, fancying a slightly healthier alternative to a takeaway, but something easy to do.
Plus, we were quite intrigued by the inclusion of the vodka in our dinner. Not just any vodka, but apparently an “expertly crafted” premium spirit imported from the US that’s triple filtered for “unparalleled smoothness and five times distilled for a clean, crisp taste”.
The ingredients were easy enough: chicken breast or thigh, garlic, chillies, spring onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, Thai basil leaves, sugar, oil, thick rice noodles and the vodka, of course. We made a few variations – shallot instead of spring onion, crushed chillies instead of fresh, and the addition of a red pepper to add a bit of extra veg.
It was a simple case of soaking the noodles in hot water, then stir frying the chicken until sealed and adding a glug of the vodka. And then adding garlic, chillies, the sauces and sugar, and the pepper too. The spring onion would usually come later, but we popped the shallot in now to make sure it was cooked properly.
Then it was just a case of stirring the noodles through and serving up. I added a bit of extra chilli sauce to add some spice, but I think if I’d used fresh chillies instead of dry it would probably have had plenty enough kick for us.
And there you have it. Our easy dinner, whipped up in 10 minutes, courtesy of Brum Yum Yum and New Amsterdam Vodka. They’re definitely easy recipes and it’s nice to try different stuff. Next on the list are the Bloody Mary kebabs. I’ll let you know how they go 🙂
New Amsterdam Vodka sent me a ‘takeaway box’ with some ingredients for the dishes, along with the recipe cards, and asked me to try to make a dish or two.