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.

Bang Pop Thai - Chef Kam

On a recent trip to Melbourne I decided to hit up the Twitter peeps to see what people were recommending for a great dinner. Time and again Bang Pop Thai, on the South Wharf Promenade, came back as the place of choice. Authentic Thai street food sounded awesome and it was just over the Yarra from our Docklands office. So the guys at Bang Pop kindly booked me a bar seat and I brought one of my new team.


As an Irish-decendent from Boston, where roasted meat and potatoes are the norm, authentic Thai food is as foreign as cheering for the Yankees.  But I've had the chance to try different tastes and flavours around the world over the last ten years and after our trip to Thailand for a wedding last year I've become a huge Thai food fan. I love the combinations of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour and the friendliness of the people only topped things off.

We started with a couple fantastic starting dishes but quickly set our sights on the jungle curry. Even though four different staff warned us (waiter, bartender, chef, host) we dove in. And we loved it! Just gorgeous.

jungle curry.jpg

In any way, I became a huge fan. And recently I connected with Chef Kam on Twitter and I went out on a limb to see if he'd do a guest blog for us. How lucky was I when he agreed straightaway! So, without further ado, here's his recipe for my fav, the jungle curry. If you're in Melbourne, you'd be foolish to not make it over their way asap.

Thanks, Chef Kam.

Gaeng bpaa kai - Chef Kam's Recipe

Jungle curry of chicken

4-5 portions

Bpaa Paste

  • 20 gm dried long red chilli
  • 150 gm dried scud chilli
  • 160gm galangal
  • 200 gm lemongrass
  • 20 kaffir lime leave
  • 300 gm garlic
  • 70gm shrimp paste
  • 100 ml veg oil
  • 200-250 gm sliced chicken breast per portion
  • 200-300gm shredded young bamboo
  • 50-100 gm dry weight wood ear fungus- rehydrated
  • 200-300 gm cleaned and batoned  snake beans
  • 2 cups thai basil-picked
  • 1 lt chicken stock
  • 50 ml water
  • 50gm palm sugar
  • 50-100 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml veg oil

Soak the chillis in boiling water until soft (30 min). In a food processor (we use a pacojet "lucky bastards - GM") break down the in ingredients hardest to softest. You should achieve a fine paste.

Dissolve the palm sugar in to the water

Slowly cook out the curry paste in the veg oil, it will become aromatic and darken slightly 10-12 mins.

Add your stock, chicken, bamboo and mushrooms, bring to the simmer and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Add your basil and snake beans and let sit for one minute.

Adjust the curry with the palm sugar and fish sauce until you get a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet.


Bang Pop Thai


Bangpop Melbourne
35 South Wharf Promenade
(off Dukes Walk),

South Wharf, VIC 3006