Gary Mehigan

Gary Mehigan

Hi my Fellow Food Obsessed,
I have finally done it! A website which brings all my projects together in one neat little package. My website will hopefully be a place you will visit regularly for ideas, advise, recipes, tips and information about what I am doing throughout the year. From Masterchef to my books, my restaurants and the wonderful brands I represent including Ariston, Citibank, Masterfoods & Brita Water Filters, and my favourite recipes to cook, places to eat, and anything else I think you might like to hear about.  So sign up to my newsletter, and we will send you updates when there are new things/stuff/food to share. So tell your family & friends, and join my food obsession. Happy Eating. Gary.

Serves 4
PREP 1hr 
COOK 15mins


16 medium green prawns
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
1/2 bunch coriander, roots washed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 carrot
1/2 green mango or papaya
1/4 small wombok (chinese cabbage)
1/2 bunch vietnamese mint, leaves only
1 cup (80g) beansprouts, trimmed
4 pane di casa rolls
1/4 cup fried eschalots, to serve lime dressing
3 tsp lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp finely grated palm sugar
1 tbsp peanut oil
2cm piece ginger, finely grated
1/2 long red chilli, sliced

lime mayonnaise
1 egg
1 tbsp dijon mustard
grated rind and juice of 1 lime
300ml olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves


  To make mayonnaise, place egg, mustard, juice and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine. Add half of oil and blend until creamy. Add lime rind, remaining oil (A) and vinegar. Blend until thick. Stir in coriander.

Devein prawns (see my secrets, below).

Fill a large pan with water. Add lemongrass, coriander roots and garlic and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 mins, to allow flavours to infuse. Add prawns, increase heat to high and return to boil. Simmer for 2-3 mins, until prawns are just cooked. Transfer prawns to a tray. Season with salt and cool. Shell prawns and set aside.

 To make lime dressing, stir lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar until sugar dissolves. Whisk in oil, ginger and chilli. Drizzle 2 tbsp of dressing over prawns and set aside.

Using a mandoline fitted with a matchstick blade attachment, slice carrot and mango. Shred wombok and add to carrot mixture with coriander sprigs, mint and beansprouts. Toss with remaining lime dressing. Set aside.

6 Split bread rolls and spread with 1 tbsp of lime mayonnaise. Fill with coleslaw and prawns, and scatter over fried eschalots. Serve with mayonnaise and hot chips, if you like.


 Gary's secrets

• Deveining means removing the intestinal tract that runs along the back of the prawn. To do so before shelling, insert the tip of a skewer into the gap between the first and second sections of shell, close to the prawn’s head. Use the skewer to pull out the long vein. This saves time and a lot of mess later.

•  Fried eschalots are available in jars from Asian food shops and the Asian food section of large supermarkets.

•   Store leftover lime mayonnaise in the fridge for up to three days. Serve it with grilled fish or chicken.


Makes 12
PREP 1hr 15mins
COOK 1hr 5mins


12 chicken wings
1 cup (200g) long grain ric
e 2 cups (160g) wood chip
s 150g rock salt
1/3 cup (15g) loose leaf oolong tea
1 lime, sliced
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
2 onions, halved, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1/3 cup (40g) dried sour cherries
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 fennel bulb
1 tsp lemon juice
1 pickled walnut, roughly chopped
baby herbs, to serve


  Cut each chicken wing into three pieces by cutting through both joints. Keep centre sections and freeze remaining pieces for making stock. Place one centre section on a chopping board. Cut in between two bones at each end to separate. Using a knife, scrape meat back from smaller bone. Remove smaller bone. Cut around larger bone at thinner end to release tendons, then pull back meat from thinner end towards larger end to make a small drumstick. Repeat with remaining centre sections.

2 Line a wok with two sheets of foil. Fill with rice, wood chips, rock salt, tea leaves and lime slices. Heat wok on high until beginning to smoke. Cover with a lid and heat for 2-3 mins, until smoking well. Turn extractor fan on high.

Place prepared chicken wings on a wire rack and place rack in wok. Cover, reduce heat to low and smoke for 15 mins, until cooked through. Remove chicken wings from wok and set aside. Cool wood chip mix and discard.

 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins, until onion is very soft and caramelised.

Meanwhile, place dried cherries in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 mins, until softened. Drain. Add cherries and vinegar to caramelised onion. Cook for 2 mins, until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

6 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan on high. Cook chicken wings, turning occasionally, for 5 mins, until golden brown.

7 Place caramelised onion mixture in a medium casserole pan and top with chicken wings. Bake for 8 mins, until chicken is cooked.

8  Meanwhile, use a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice fennel. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice and extra oil. Toss to combine.

9 Top chicken wings with fennel, pickled walnut and baby herbs. Serve.


TIP- Preparing the chicken wings this way takes a little time. If you’re not up to the task, feel free to leave the wings whole and cook them the same way. Alternatively, you could use 20 drumettes.


Gary's secrets

• You can make a main meal of this canapé simply by smoking larger chicken pieces, and increasing the amount of caramelised onion and fennel in the recipe.

•  In Britain, pickled walnuts are a traditional accompaniment to beef and cheese. They’re made by pickling green walnuts before the shells harden. Pickled walnuts are available in jars at certain delis. They add depth to the flavour of the chicken wings – what we call at the restaurant “added interest”.

•  A wok is perfect for smoking, but you do need a tight-fitting lid and a wire rack that will sit three-quarters of the way up the side of the wok. You could also use an Weber-style barbecue for this recipe – which will keep all of those smoky smells out of the kitchen!


Makes 20
PREP 45mins
COOK 45mins


700g kumara, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1/4 cup extra to brush
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground white pepper
1/2 cup (75g) pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), toasted
1/2 cup (60g) pitted black olives, roughly chopped
1/4 bunch coriander, finely chopped, plus sprigs to serve
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon
100g firm goat’s cheese, crumbled
20 sheets filo pastry
sumac, to dust

tahini yoghurt
3/4 cup (200g) natural yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2 Place kumara on one prepared tray. Scatter over garlic and thyme, drizzle over olive oil and season with sea salt, cumin and white pepper. Bake for 35 mins, until tender. Roughly mash kumara mixture. Stir in pepitas, olive, coriander, chilli, lemon rind and goat’s cheese.

Brush 4 filo sheets with extra oil and layer to form a stack. Cut filo stack in half lengthways, then in half crossways to make four rectangles. Place a heaped tablespoon of kumara mixture in centre of each filo rectangle and fold long sides over filling to enclose (A). Fold one short end under parcel and fold other short end over parcel (B). Flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining filo sheets, extra oil and kumara mixture. Place filo parcels on remaining prepared tray. Brush with oil and bake, turning once, for 10 mins, until crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, to make tahini yoghurt, mix together yoghurt, tahini, rind and juice, and salt. Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.

Arrange bastilla and tahini yoghurt on a serving platter. Top with coriander sprigs, dust with sumac and serve.


Gary's secrets

• Traditional bastilla is a large flat Moroccan pie. I love these little filo parcels because it’s so easy to vary the filling. Try spicy mince; fetta, onion and spinach; or even crushed potato with a pinch of ground cumin and salt, and a little fresh coriander. • Instead of baking the bastilla, you can fry them gently in olive oil until golden on all sides, then pop them into the oven for 3-4 minutes.

•  To make perfect little pies, line small ramekins with filo stacks and fill with kumara mixture. Enclose and bake until golden.

•  You can make the bastilla in advance and freeze them for up to two months..

•  Filo pastry dries out easily, so protect the sheets you’re not working with by covering with a clean tea towel, then a damp tea towel. Brushing the sheets with oil ensures a flaky result.

How to stay connected with Gary Mehigan


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