Thursday 28 June 2012


Food connoisseurs are predicting that fusion food will soon bow out like nouvelle cuisine did a few decades back. People will apparently get tired of this food trend and new ones will emerge in place of it.

Do you think so? I think not. For a lot of people, me included, cooking fusion food comes naturally as a result of all the influences absorbed via restaurants, cooking shows, etc. I inevitably cook fusion when I cook as I feel, gathering ingredients from my kitchen and cooking them the way my mood takes me. Although I learn a lot of foreign recipes, I still tune them to my own taste, adding ingredients (a touch of soy sauce perhaps) that I can't do without. Through learning foreign cuisine, I come to discover new cooking methods that can be applied to my own cooking. It is also interesting that a lot of ingredients that is used in my native cuisine is used in a very different way in other cuisines. These things open my mind and gives me ideas on how to re-interpret classic dishes. Isn't that fusion? How can I stop doing that.

Trend or not, I'm sorry but I will continue to cook fusion food. So here I go again. 

Quesadillas as we all know is Mexican and is made with tortillas. Rice paper, on the other hand, is Vietnamese and is used mainly for spring rolls. But why stop there when it can be used flat, with a smear of filling sandwiched in between two sheets. Cut in wedges and fried, it gives the quesadillas a totally different interpretation. The wrapper frills and blister into crisp wedges with a bit of chew on the filled parts. The flavour is all Asian yet goes so well with the zesty spicy salsa and cool cucumber and mint yoghurt. The best of both worlds.

This recipe will serve 8-10 people as an appetizer.

Ingredients for the quesadillas:

500 gms. uncooked chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. corn flour
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsps. Greek style yoghurt
2 tsps. ground coriander
2 tbsps. chopped spring onions (green parts only)
1 1/2 tsps. chopped red chillies
a handful of whole coriander leaves
16-18 pcs. of 22 cm. diameter rice paper
Cooking oil for shallow frying


Mince the cubed chicken breast in  food processor. Add the garlic, corn flour, brown sugar, yoghurt and ground coriander. Pulse to mix. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in the spring onions and chillies. 

Spread 1/4 cup of this mixture on one sheet of dry rice paper. Lay a few coriander leaves on top and lay another sheet of rice paper on top. Flatten gently with a rolling pin to make an even sandwich, leaving a bit of margin around the edges so that the wrapper frills when fried. Cut into 6 wedges with a pair of scissors. 

Heat up the cooking oil. When hot add 2 or 3 pieces of the quesadillas, making sure that they don't touch each other. Fry on medium hot oil for 1-2 minutes until crisp, puffed and beginning to colour. These quesadillas cooks almost instantly. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper, standing the pieces on its side to drain the oil.

Serve with the tomato salsa and cucumber and mint yoghurt.

For the tomato salsa:

2 tomatoes, finely diced
1 red onion, chopped
2 tbsps. chopped coriander
1 1/2 tsps. red chillies
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. sugar
2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients together and serve with the quesadillas.

For the cucumber and mint yoghurt:

3/4 c. Greek style yoghurt (I used fat free Total)
1/2 c. coarsely grated cucumber
1/4 c. skimmed milk powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together and serve with the quesadillas.

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  1. thank you for sharing a lovely way to use rice paper this looks wonderful

  2. The quesadillas look great. I would never think of using rice paper.

  3. This looks so delicious and crunchy!

  4. What a great idea, never thought about using rice paper. Can't wait to try these, they look incredible!!!

  5. Thank you very much Miss Messy!

  6. Fusion or not just do what your imagination, your creativity, and of course what you feel like eating at that moment. I've used wonton wrappers before but never rice paper which I think a great idea. That is something I will try. Have a good weekend, Adora!

  7. I agree with you, I don't really consider fusion as a fad but it's more of a method/lifestyle that people choose to do when they need to adapt. It's an outlet for your creativity to boot! :D This is a really great recipe Adora, thanks for sharing! :D

  8. What a cool twist on quesadillas! I agree, fusion food is just too much fun to fade away.


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