I am a HUGE fan of the Canadian famed Caesar drink; a drink I order on the regular…double shot extra spicy please…and I love putting my own twist at home. I was at a special cooking workshop with celebrity Chef Susur Lee last week called #Veggielicious101 at Bent where bartender Manuel made us a wicked caesar with an Asian twist. I loved it and want to share the recipe with you!
Chef Lee’s recipe incorporated condiments typically seen in Chinese households including the popular sriracha hot sauce and hoisin sauce. What made the caesar stand out was the in depth flavours from the cilantro seeped into the juice.
Here is Chef Susur Lee’s “Asian caesar” recipe, courtesy of Chef Lee and Bent Restaurant.
My attempt at Bent’s Asian Caesar:
I am an eager learner and had to make this. Please note that I have made some variations to Chef Lee’s recipe based on what I had at home. Here are my steps:
1. I washed and dried a handful of coriander including the stems and added it the bottle.
2. In a small bowl, I mixed all the ingredients minus the ginger. As I had a small clamato juice bottle (945 ml), I cut the recipe by more than a half. I tasted the mixture and adjusted to my taste. For the chili/sesame seed oil mix, I used chili oil and about 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
3. In a separate bowl, I extracted the ginger juice, which was the toughest part of the preparation work. To get about 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of ginger juice, I peeled and grated almost half a ginger and then squeezed the grated ginger through a fine mesh sieve.
4. I poured the ginger juice into the main mixture, mixed well and then added it to the bottle. I poured access juice out of the bottle to ensure all the ingredients fit in the bottle with the cap on. I shook the bottle a few times and left the ingredients to seep overnight in the fridge.
5. On the day of serving, I prepared the rim which is my own spin to the recipe. Using a mortar and pestle, I mixed together various peppercorns including black, red and green peppercorns and tongue numbing Szechuan peppercorns. Make sure to take out the outer shells of the Szechuan peppercorns. Once grounded, I added Cyprus sea salt. Feel free to add regular sea salt or kosher salt. I tasted the mixture to make sure it had the right balance. The rim was really good, I should have made more!
6. I did not have pickled radish as per Chef Lee’s recipe. Instead, I added a skewer of an Extreme bean B’nolive, housemade pickled plums and a slice of lime. The pickling liquid for the plums was made of equal parts of red wine vinegar, sugar, and water, with a teaspoon of black mustard seeds. The mixture was boiled, cooled and poured over the plum pieces and left to pickle for 2 hours.
7. Right before serving, I added a tablespoon of extra spicy horseradish, a squeeze of lime juice and an extra squirt of sriracha. I added 1.5 oz of vodka…or more…and mixed the drink with a chopstick. I forgot to add ice.
The Asian Caesar turned out amazing and I am happy to say I have learned a new recipe that I will make over and over again. The key is to make the mixture in advanced for the flavours to come through. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Thank you Chef Lee!