Braised pigeon with artichokes and lotus seeds

Braised pigeon with artichokes and lotus seeds

Chim bo câu ham ac ti sô và hạt sen

Real Vietnamese Cooking
Michael Fountoulakis

Hailing from the Central Highlands, this dish is usually prepared for special occasions such as Tet, the Lunar New Year. It is one of the few local dishes that uses artichokes - the Vietnamese mainly use artichokes for making tea.


Quantity Ingredient
55g dried chestnuts
70g dried lotus seeds
3 red asian shallots, finely diced
vegetable oil, for pan-frying
3 globe artichokes, outer leaves and hairy choke remoyed, hearts quartered
2 teaspoons dried goji berries
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/3 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 spring onions, sliced
2 large squab pigeons, about 450 g each
1/2 teaspoon salt
80ml rice wine
750ml chicken stock or water
Sticky rice, to serve


  1. Soak the chestnuts and lotus seeds for 2 hours in separate bowls of water.
  2. Drain the chestnuts and lotus seeds and place in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to simmering point. Cook for 20 minutes, then drain well and set aside.
  3. Sauté the shallot in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the lotus seeds, chestnuts, artichokes and goji berries and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sichuan peppercorns, pepper and half the spring onion. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the pigeons inside and out and pat dry with paper towel. Rub the salt onto the outside of the birds. Loosely fill the cavity of each pigeon with the artichoke mixture, then close each cavity with a bamboo skewer.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. When hot, place the pigeons in the pan, breast side down. Cook until golden underneath, before turning them over and browning the other side. Remove the pigeons and put them in a large clay pot or casserole dish.
  6. Return the frying pan to the heat. Add the rice wine and cook until it has reduced by half, then pour in the stock or water and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid over the pigeons and sprinkle any leftover stuffing over the top.
  7. Cover the dish, then transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 5-8 minutes. To test if the pigeon is cooked, insert a bamboo skewer into the thigh - the juices should run clear.
  8. Sprinkle the pigeons with the remaining spring onion, if desired, and serve with sticky rice.
Real Vietnamese Cooking
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