Southeast Asian feast

Sarah Gamboni
11 December, 2015

Shake things up this festive season with an Asian-inspired seafood banquet, matched to Australian wines.

East miang

Serves 4-6

60g small dried shrimp*, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained, finely chopped
2 small limes, peeled, very finely chopped
100g grated fresh coconut*, toasted
80g roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
4cm piece ginger, finely chopped
400g cooked small prawns, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
5 red bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 bunches betel leaves*, wiped clean

Sweet tamarind sauce
1 tbs tamarind pulp*
⅓ cup (80ml) water, boiling
1 tsp shrimp paste
4 red Asian eschalots, finely chopped
1 tbs finely chopped ginger
100g grated fresh coconut, toasted
135g chopped palm sugar*

For the tamarind sauce, combine tamarind with boiling water in a bowl and stand for 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

Place the shrimp paste, eschalot, ginger and coconut in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium–low heat with the tamarind liquid, palm sugar and ½ cup (125ml) water. Bring slowly to a simmer then cook for 25 minutes, stirring often, or until very reduced and jammy. Take care the mixture does not burn as it reduces. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Arrange the dried shrimp, lime, coconut, peanuts, ginger, prawns, chillies, onion and betel leaves in separate bowls or in piles on a platter. Serve with the tamarind sauce, allowing everyone to place a little sauce and the other chopped ingredients on a betel leaf, before folding it up and eating it.      

*From Asian grocers

Wine match 
2014 Audrey Wilkinson Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Audrey Wilkinson Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

The 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match for this dish, with an aromatic nose of fruits and spice along with a powerful palate of citrus and tropical fruit weight to complement the miang.

Jeff Byrne, chief winemaker

East curry leaf and pepper crab

Pepper & curry leaf crab
Serves 4-6

2½ tbs dried shrimp*
2 tbs fermented black beans*, rinsed well
2½ tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tbs caster sugar
4 raw blue swimmer crabs or other large crabs
½ cup (125ml) sunflower oil
6 red Asian eschalots*, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs black peppercorns, crushed
Large handful fresh curry leaves*, plus extra to garnish
30g butter

Finely grind the dried shrimp to a powder in an electric spice or coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

Combine the black beans, soy sauces, sugar and ¼ cup (60ml) water in a bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the crabs, working with one at a time, turn the crab over so the underside is facing you. Using your fingers, lift the tail flap and pull the outer shell away from the body from the point under the flap. Discard that shell.

Cut each crab into quarters using a large, heavy knife. Pull out and discard any feathery gills from the crab pieces, then rinse lightly under cold running water. Dry the crabs on paper towel. In a large wok over medium–high heat, stir-fry the crab quarters in the oil, in 2 batches, for 3–4 minutes or until half cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok. Add eschalots, garlic, peppercorns and curry leaves and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Add dried shrimp powder and return the crab to the wok with the butter and black bean mixture. Cover the wok with a lid and cook, turning the crab once, for 5 minutes or until the crab is cooked through.

Serve immediately with fresh curry leaves scattered over the top.

* From Asian grocers

Wine match 
2013 Audrey Wilkinson The Oakdale Chardonnay

The Oakdale Chardonnay

Powerful fresh fig, white peach and guava fruits provide layers of flavour on the palate, a perfect match with curry leaf crab.

Jeff Byrne, chief winemaker


EAST rice noodle salad

Rice noodle salad
Serves 4-6

80g dried shrimp*
1½ tbs very finely chopped fresh galangal
50g grated fresh coconut*
200g dried rice vermicelli
500g cooked medium king or tiger prawns, shelled, deveined, tails left intact
6 red Asian eschalots or ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
Large handful mint leaves, torn, to serve
Coriander leaves, to serve

1 tbs shrimp paste*
5 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
6 medium red chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100ml lime juice
1½ tbs caster sugar
2 tbs light soy sauce

For the dressing, wrap the shrimp paste in foil. Heat a small, heavy-based frypan over medium heat, add the wrapped shrimp paste then dry-fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until fragrant. Cool and unwrap.

Transfer to a food processor with the chillies and garlic and process until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle. Combine in a small bowl with the remaining dressing ingredients and 2 tablespoons water, stirring until well combined and the sugar has dissolved.

Finely grind dried shrimp in an electric spice grinder or mortar and pestle until a coarse powder forms – process in batches if necessary. Transfer to a frypan over medium–low heat, add the galangal and coconut and dry-fry for 5–6 minutes or until fragrant and coconut is light golden.

Put vermicelli in a bowl, cover with cold water, then stand for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain well. Cook noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes or until softened, or cook according to packet instructions.

In a large bowl combine the prawns, coconut mixture, noodles, eschalots and the dressing, tossing well. Scatter with the mint and coriander, then serve.            

* From Asian grocers 

Wine match 
2014 Audrey Wilkinson Verdelho

Audrey Wilkinson Verdelho

With the complex flavours and spices of this prawn salad, the verdelho is an ideal partner due to its powerful flavours of stone fruit and honeydew melon with a slight hint of spice.

Jeff Byrne, chief winemaker


Fish with lime and chillies

Fish with lime and chillies
Serves 4-6 

10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bunches coriander roots and stems, scrubbed and thinly sliced, leaves reserved
8 green chillies, thinly sliced
100ml lime juice
100ml fish sauce
1 tbs shaved palm sugar*
1 tsp ground white pepper
1kg whole snapper, coral trout or other firm white-fleshed fish
½ cup (125ml) chicken stock or water
Steamed jasmine rice and lime wedges, to serve

In a food processor or blender, process the garlic, coriander roots and stems, and chillies until a coarse paste forms. Add lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and white pepper and stir to combine. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.

Put the fish on a chopping board and score each side at 2cm intervals, making sure you cut through to the bone.

Evenly rub the paste over the fish, ensuring it goes into the cavity and scored sides. Put the fish on a large heatproof plate and pour over the chicken stock.

Put the plated fish in a large steamer basket, place in a deep wok half-filled with boiling water, then cover the wok and steam for 15–18 minutes. Alternatively, cook it in a fish kettle in a 180°C oven for 30 minutes. You can check if the fish is cooked by piercing the flesh behind its head – it should be opaque and just cooked through.

Carefully transfer fish to a serving platter. Spoon over the juices, garnish with the reserved coriander and serve with lime.          

* From Asian grocers 

Wine match 
2012 Audrey Wilkinson The Ridge Semillon

The Ridge Semillon

Our flagship semillon is what the Hunter does best. This fresh, citrus fruited wine, with complex toasted notes from cellaring acts as a palate cleanser.

Jeff Byrne, chief winemaker

Tropical fruit

Tropical fruit with star anise ice cream
Serves 6

½ rockmelon, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
3 sugar bananas, cut into 2 cm pieces
½ ripe, medium pineapple, peeled, eyes removed, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large, ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

180g light palm sugar, shaved
125ml  lime juice
2½ tbs clear rice wine
2 lemongrass stems, thinly sliced, white part only
4 kaffir lime leaves, central vein removed, thinly sliced

2 star anise
350ml milk
500ml pouring cream
6 egg yolks
230g dark brown sugar

For the star anise ice cream, dry-fry the star anise in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking the pan often, for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to an electric spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.

Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, bring almost to a simmer then remove from the heat. Stir in the ground star anise. Using hand-held electric beaters, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, pour the milk mixture over and stir to combine well.

Return the mixture to a clean pan and stir constantly over medium–low heat until the mixture thickens enough to just coat the back of a wooden spoon – do not let the mixture get too hot or it will curdle. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled. Transfer to an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (The ice cream will keep, covered in the freezer, for up to 5 days.)

For the lime and lemongrass syrup, combine all the ingredients with 125 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain, if desired, discarding the solids.

Divide the fruit among serving bowls, spoon the syrup over and serve with the ice cream.

Wine match
2014 Audrey Wilkinson Dessert Semillon


The lemon curd notes and crisp acidity of this late-harvest semillon work a treat with the tropical fruits and lemongrass syrup.

Wine matches provided by Audrey Wilkinson

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