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Fusion Revolution! Chinese marinated roast beef and garlic pak choi


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Create a cocktail of international flavours with The National Studentʼs introduction to fusion cooking, complete with a recipe for Chinese marinated roast beef and garlic pak choi....

Chinese New Year is tomorrow, and I for one will be celebrating a few hours later, in distinctly more drizzly Britain. Chinese cuisine is one of the worldʼs most popular and widely spread, meaning that itʼs often the most tampered with. In recent years, fusion food has become something of a phenomenon as our kitchens, like our society, becoming a melting pot of influences from all over the world. Having grown up in a mixed-culture household, I regularly (and shamelessly!) eat my roast dinners with a serving of rice, also drenched in gravy.

Food fusions exist many different forms – take, for example, currywurst, coronation chicken and Ê»Australianʼ mess, a twist on the traditional Etonian dessert which replaces British strawberries with more exotic mango and passion fruit. Celebrity chefs like Israeli Yotam Ottolenghi and Taiwanese-born Ching-He Huan are spreading the word, matching Middle and Far Eastern flavours respectively with those from other cuisines. As youʼd expect, the Internet and cheaper travel mean that more of us are welcoming tastes of, well, where ever we fancy, into our own diets.

In many respects, fusion cooking makes perfect sense. In both student and family households we try to satisfy the range of tastes and cultural backgrounds of those sat round our dinner table. Weʼre often encouraged to support our local economies and help the environment by buying fresh British produce, thus often inadvertently putting our own homely spin on foreign cuisines. Many exotic ingredients can be hard to source – youʼd be lucky to find the ghee or galangal displays in your local supermarket – and of course, this task is low on any studentʼs list of priorities when dissertation deadlines loom large. It would seem that the secret to varied, flavourful cooking involves mixing a little of what we do know with a little of what we donʼt, which is, in a nutshell, fusion food.

Useful advice for those new to this cooking style is to not mix too many flavours. As a rough guide, itʼs best to combine only two contrasting cuisines if you want those at your dinner table to enjoy the rest of their evening. Consider the basic components of a particular dish and then look for exotic equivalents, such as replacing the crunchy croutons topping a salad with Japanese-style fried onions and crispy seaweed.

In the recipe below it is the cooking technique itself, roasting a joint of beef, which is quintessentially English. Instead of a traditional horseradish dressing, garlic, ginger and soy sauce are used to contrast with the meatʼs naturally earthy flavour. Feel free to vary the ingredient quantities according to your taste. For example, the chilli element in the marinade can be scaled up, down or removed completely depending on your sensitivity to spiciness.

Chinese marinated roast beef and garlic pak choi (serves 4)


800-900g beef top rump joint (or any other cut you prefer)
Salt and ground black pepper
400ml red wine
6 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
3cm ginger, roughly chopped
2 red chillis, deseeded and roughly chopped
Soy sauce
500g pak choi
A little oil
300g rice


1. Rub the salt and pepper into the beef, roughly coating the outside. Pour over the red wine and turn the joint to cover in the marinade. Leave for 3-4 hours, turning every so often.

2. For the final hour, add to the marinade by covering the beef in chopped garlic (setting two cloves aside for the pak choi) and ginger, and pour over a generous amount of soy sauce.

3. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified on the beef packaging (this will be roughly 200°c but may vary depending on the weight and thickness of the meat).

4. Place the marinated joint onto a roasting tray and cover with foil. To prevent the beef from toughening up, roast at full temperature for 3/4 of the specified time (which will depend on how rare you like your meat).

5. For the final quarter, turn off the heat and leave the beef to rest in the cooling oven, still covered in foil.

6. Meanwhile, stir fry the pak choi on a medium heat with oil, chopped garlic and a splash of soy sauce until lightly cooked through.

7. At this point, itʼs also sensible to start boiling the rice. (A general water to rice ratio for this process is 2:1.)

8. Thinly slice the beef and plate up, serving the pak choi and rice on the side.

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