If you have taken time to explore Melbourne’s lovely laneways you most likely would have stumbled upon the iconic Gingerboy sign nestled in Crossley Street. Behind the vibrant, fluoro sign is the renowned restaurant of the same name.
Food for Thought chef Leigh Power is Head Chef at Gingerboy. His professional experience is diverse and whilst he has a background in classic European cooking (he worked at The Treasury, Melbourne) he has always had a passion for Asian flavours. Fittingly Leigh worked for two years as Sous Chef at Gingerboy and in 2011 was promoted to Head Chef.
Leigh took a moment to chat with us about why he has chosen to support the Foundation and the foods that he loves. He has even shared a handy cooking tip and recipe. Thanks Leigh!
Is there a particular reason you are drawn to the National Stroke Foundation?
Yes, my Grandfather had a stroke a far while ago. Fortunately he is okay and still alive but I have certainly seen the negative effects of stroke. It has been very hard for my Grandfather. I hope that I never have to live through anything like that.
What inspires you when you are developing recipes?
Well the food here at Gingerboy is based on hawker markets and hawker stalls throughout Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. I have always had a passion for Asian flavours (even though my background is in European cooking). Most recently I spent time in Spain. The food there was amazing so I have tried to draw a lot from the Spanish food. It’s the freshness of their food that I love, especially the seaside restaurants in San Sebastian. I found the pinchos and tapas to be so colourful and I think that the Gingerboy food is certainly like that.
A food that inspires you is… soy.
What dishes get your top recommendation on the Gingerboy menu?
There are a few things on here that I really love. I love slow cooked food, so the duck leg is slow braised. The ox cheek that is on now is really beautiful too, it’s marinated for 24 hours.
Where do you source your products?
We try and source most of our produce locally as we want to promote the sustainability of Victorian farmers. We aim for mostly Australian produce and we are trying to implement that with our wine list. We even have a Gingerboy Pinot from a maker in Geelong.
Do you have a handy cooking tip for our readers?
Yes I have an easy one for avocados: If you want to cut your avocado before it is time to serve keep the stone and put it back in the avocado. This will stop the avocado from oxidising because the stone takes on the air in the actual avocado.
A song that you like to prepare food to is… Foo Fighters Generator
27/29 Crossley Street Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9662 4200
Soy cured ocean trout, tumeric, coconut caramel and pickled daikon
This dish has become a bit of a gingerboy signature, the soy cures the trout nicely over night. The trout melts in your mouth as the fat makes it nice and creamy to eat. The dressing uses fresh tumeric which adds a great colour and flavour to this dish.
Serves 4 as a banquet
600 g ocean trout filet, skin of and deboned
600 ml light soy sauce
4 star anise, lightly toasted
3 lemons, zested and juiced
4 spring onions, white end only washed and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
30 g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon castor sugar
Tumeric, coconut caramel
150 g palm sugar, grated
80 ml water
60 ml shiso vinegar
150 ml coconut cream
10 g tumeric, peeled and finely chopped
6 spring onions, white end only and finely sliced
3 large green chillis, finely sliced
80 ml lime juice
2 pinch’s sea salt
Pickled chinese radish
1 small white radish, peeled
1 cup coriander leaves, picked and washed
250 ml sichuan pepper pickle
Place the ocean trout into a small deep tray, then in a mixing bowl place the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for 10 minutes so the flavours can infuse.
The ocean trout will take 20 – 24 hours to cure, so pour the liquid over the top. It should be covered with the curing liquid if so cover with cling film and place in the fridge, if it is not covered completely with liquid you will need to pull it out after 10 hours and flip the trout over. Once cured take the trout out of the marinade and let it sit on a clean tray ready to be sliced. Set up a chopping board and place the trout down and using a very sharp knife, slice gently about 1 - 2mm in thickness then lay it down on the tray. Once sliced cover with glad wrap and reserve on the fridge until needed.
Tumeric coconut caramel
Place the palm sugar in a pot with the water and put it on to the stove on a medium heat. The sugar will turn to a nice golden caramel which takes about 6 – 8 minutes, then add the turmeric and chillis and wait for 30 seconds before adding the coconut cream and shiso vinegar. Bring back to a gentle simmer then turn it off as you need to melt the caramel back down, take of the heat and reserve on the side. Once cool add the lime juice, salt and spring onions.
Pickled chinese radish
Peel the outside skin of the radish and discard, then using the peeler peel the radish from top to bottom in to a bowl, you should end up with ribbon looking pieces of radish. Place them into a bowl and then pour the pickle liquid over the top, and let it sit on the side for about 20 minutes.
Place 8 -10 slices of ocean trout on the plate in a neat circle, then 2 tablespoons of tumeric, coconut caramel over the top and around the trout. Mix the coriander through the radish then place neatly in the middle of the trout.