Chef Kam McManamey (Botherambo) - Hiramasa Kingfish

One of the great things about running this blog is the number of cool people I've met - including some of the best chefs in Australia and around the world. If you've followed the blog (or @gourmetmale on Twitter) for any amount of time you'll know that I ran into Chef Kam McManamey over at Bang Pop Thai on Melbourne's South Wharf a few years back. When I'd drop by he would always be a gracious host and would consistently prompt me to try some of his new creations. Lately, Kam is head chef over at Botherambo and is the talk of the town around Melbourne and the hip suburb of Richmond.

Recently, Kam and I were exchanging ideas about a cookbook and I asked him if he'd be up to doing another guest recipe for As always, he was right on board - but with the caveat that things were getting a bit more technically complex on the Botherambo menu and his latest creation involved water bath (sous vide) cooking. No problem! The Gourmet Male readers are always up for a challenge - and this is about as easy as sous vide cooking gets. You could even do this carefully manually in a pot of water if you watch the temperature very carefully.

So, I present to you his Hiramasa kingfish, soya bean, blood orange, chilli soy, rice paper, bean curd, thai basil dish in all its glory. Try it at home - or order it from next week on the Botherambo menu!


Serves 4

You'll need 80gm kingfish fillets, 4 portions


King fish

Preheat a waterbath to 43c. (what, you don't own a Sansaire circulator? Get your hands on one NOW!)

Clean and portion kingfish fillets, season with sea salt, place in a plastic vacuum bag and seal. Place in waterbath for 15 min.

Refresh in ice water. Reserve.


Blood orange

  • 100ml blood orange juice-fine passed, plus 20ml reserved
  • 20 ml fish sauce, Megachef preferably
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 gm lemongrass-whites only, fine chopped
  • 5gm palm sugar
  • 2 gm agar

Boil the fish sauce, palm sugar and agar together for 3 minutes. Mix with the first juice, pour into tray and set in the fridge.

When set, blend in food processor with the kaffir lime, lemongrass and second juice to gel consistency. Additional stock/water can be used if needed. Reserve in piping bag or squeeze bottle


Chilli soy

  • 80 ml light soy, Megachef preferably
  • 10 ml water
  • 1 scud (fresh Thai chillies)
  • 5 gm ginger
  • 2 gm palm sugar
  • 1 gm agar


Boil the soy, sugar, water and agar together for 3 minutes. Blend the ginger, scud, and soy mixture together, pour in to tray and set in the fridge.

When set, blend in food processor to gel consistency. Additional stock/water can be used if needed. Reserve in piping bag or squeeze bottle



Preheat 500 ml cottonseed oil in deep fryer, wok or heavy base pan and then heat to 180c. Place a piece of bread in the oil if not using a deep fryer, when golden brown your oil is ready.

  • rice paper x1 sheet -broken into shards
  • bean curd skin x1 sheet -broken into shards

Deep fry separately and allow to cool in hand towel lined bowls



  • 1 punnet thai basil cress-cut and reserved in ice water (minimum 15 min.)
  • 2-3 rainbow baby radish - sliced on a japanese mandolin and reserved in ice water (minimum 15 min.)
  • 24x soya beans - blanched, refreshed and reserved - available from Asian grocer

Take the kingfish out of the bag and pat dry with hand towel, slice in halves, quarters, then eighths. Place a small amount of soy on the plate and smear it across the plate with a spoon or knife. Place the kingfish randomly through the plate.

Place 6-7 random size drops of the blood orangethrough the plate. Place the soy beans randomly through the plate. Postion the paper and skin randomly through the plate.

Finsh with the micro cress.

Then say a little prayer, thanking Chef Kam for his AWESOME creation - and his keenness to share with all of us.

Pork and Sausage Ragu

It's still well and truly winter here in Sydney and I'm still cooking on the cheapo $30 K-mart induction unit in the rental. The irony is that once our actual house is rebuilt we're going to have one of the best kitchens in Sydney! But in any case, the weather is unpredictable this time of year and the other day my annual deep sea fishing trip was cancelled due to gale force winds outside the Heads. So I had a day working from home and I thought I'd make something nice for the Gourmet Female as she cooks most weeknights. I've never made a ragu before so I thought, why not?!

The recipe is very simple but you do need to allow for a couple hours to make the sauce. To make the ragu you'll need:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful fresh oregano leaves
  • handful fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 2 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 300g pork mince
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g semolina penne pasta
  • salt
  • pepper
  • handful grated Parmesan

Finely dice the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, add the oregano and parsley and set all the ingredients aside. Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil.

Once the pan is hot add the sausage meat and fry until browned. This takes about 3 minutes. Then add the pork mince, season with salt and pepper, and cook through, using a spoon to break up the mince. Once cooked remove the meat and set aside on a plate.

Add the vegetables to the hot skillet and cook until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, and one can of water. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir and then simmer for 8 minutes. Add the meat and another can of water and then simmer for an hour.

When the ragu is close to finishing, boil a pot of salted water and cook the penne for 9 minutes. Serve the penne with a large spoonful of the ragu and cover with grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

Buffalo Wings - So Easy, Why Do They Get It Wrong?!

It's been ages since I've talked about Buffalo Wings here at Gourmet Male because they're such a simple dish and everyone should be able to make them. But recently I've seen them show up on menus around Sydney at places like the Stoned Crow and The Oaks and everyone is screwing them up! At best we get spicy chilli wings, at worst just deep fried, breaded chicken wings. So now I'm on a mission to get people cooking proper Buffalo Wings and I'm starting with the Gourmet Male faithful!

So let's stick closely to the original (I use flour), which requires sourcing Frank's Red Hot Sauce here in Australia. Luckily, you can now pick up small bottles of Frank's at Woolies but if you want bigger amounts USA Foods carries a number of varieties and sizes, as well as heaps of other American foods.

I deep fry the wings but you can bake them, if you prefer. To make the wings you'll need:

  • 1 kg mini chicken drumettes (you can get these from chicken shops - ask for the unmarinated versions of whatever they have)
  • 175ml Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 100ml melted butter
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of dried cayenne pepper
  • ground pepper
  • wholemeal flour

Mix the hot sauce with the butter, paprika, and cayenne pepper and set aside. (Tip: if you want thicker sauce use a little bit of Xanthan gum) Toss the wings in the flour and pepper.

Deep fry the wings for 8 minutes at 180C and then dry over some paper towels. Once the grease is drained pour the sauce over the wings and mix.

Chop up some carrots and celery and add this bleu cheese sauce. You'll need:

  • 50g soft bleu cheese
  • 100g sour cream

Melt the bleu cheese in the microwave and then mix with the sour cream. Serve with the wings and veggies. Enjoy!

Coriander Duck Breast with Confit Winter Veg

As much as I am incredibly passionate about this blog and love talking about food, for the past couple months I've been a little preoccupied. We've been talking about it for almost six years but the demolition and reconstruction of our semi-detached house has kicked off in earnest. I mean, seriously... it has kicked off.

So now that we've settled into the rental I finally got time to fire up the K-mart induction cooktop (did I mention the kitchen in the rental SUCKS?!) and do some cooking. As we're in the first month of winter here in Sydney I thought I would do something with winter veg. The result? Coriander duck breast with confit winter veg. And it's freakin' tasty!

You'll need:

  • 2 duck breasts (Thomas Dux normally has these)
  • 8 baby carrots, tops on
  • 2 small squash
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 8 brussel sprouts
  • pink sea salt
  • ground coriander
  • smoked paprika
  • ground peppercorns
  • olive oil
  • duck fat (also at Thomas Dux)

Start off by heating a fan forced oven to 200C. At the same time, chop off most of the tops of the baby carrots, leaving a small bit of the green stalk in tact. Quarter the squash and halve the potatoes. Also cut the brussel sprouts in half. Add a good splash of olive oil into a roasting pan and add the veg. Add a generous amount of salt, ground pepper, paprika, and six teaspoons of duck fat. Put the pan into the oven once it's at temperature.

After 20 minutes, pull the pan out and toss the vegetables and then place back into the oven. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat on the stove. 

Score the duck breasts in a criss-cross fashion, cutting only through the fat and leaving the meat untouched. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and ground coriander onto each breast and then rub into the cuts. Add to the pan and cook, skin side down, for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute with the skin up.

Remove the veg from the oven and place a roasting rack on top of the pan. Place the breasts on top of the rack and pour the rendered fat over the breasts. Place the pan and rack back into the oven for 7 minutes. Remove and serve!

This is an easy but VERY tasty dish for those cold winter nights. Now excuse me, I'm off to pick out down lights and tiles. Gotta love a renovation!