Thug Kitchen

I’m sitting here with the Summer Cold From Hell.

Since I actually don’t remember the last time I had a cold – it’s been a few years, at least – I suppose I shouldn’t complain, too much.

On the other hand, it really sucks. We missed out on a Phillies/Giants game, today, but since the Phillies beat my Giants 10-2, I suppose that wasn’t such a bad thing…

Colds tend to dull the taste buds, so I was looking for something fairly bold and spicy – and I had two new sources – so I went with one from each.

The first was my Thug Kitchen Cookbook. It is a hoot – and it has some outstanding recipes! I started off with 5-Spice Fried Rice with Sweet Potatoes. I more or less followed the recipe, but they call for adding bitter greens in and I didn’t have any, so I just ignored that part. I used Carolina Gold Rice Grits from Anson Mills for the short-grain rice.

5-Spice Fried Rice with Sweet Potatoes

adapted from Thug Kitchen

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into small cubes
  • 2 tsp neutral oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili paste or sriracha
  • 4 cups cooked short grain rice
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed


Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the sweet potato and two tbsp of water and stir fry, stirring often, for about 5-8 minutes until the potato is tender and starting to brown. Add more water if the potato starts to stick.

Add the onion and carrot and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add the 5-spice powder and garlic and stir fry for 1-2 more minutes. Remove all vegetables from the pan, cover and set aside.

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar and Sriracha in a small bowl.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium heat. Add the cooked rice and stir fry until warm, approximately 5 minutes. Add the sauce mix and the vegetables, plus the peas to the rice and mix well.

Stir fry for another 1-3 minutes. Fold in green onions.

Next up was a Caribbean Chicken from Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food. It’s a show on Netflix where this guy travels around the world eating street food. A job I should have…

He used bone-in chicken breasts. I used a single boneless breast I cut into strips before marinating. I also adjusted the marinade ingredients – it’s simply equal parts lime, rum, and soy sauce – and used demerara sugar in place of palm.

Rum-Drunk Barbecued Chicken

adapted from Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food

  • 6 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) lime juice
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dark rum
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dark soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch thyme, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tsp grated palm sugar


To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a large airtight container and shake to combine well.

Using a sharp knife, make 2-3 deep incisions through the skin side of the chicken, to help the marinade permeate the flesh. Add the chicken to the marinade, stir to coat well, then cover and stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight if time permits.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook, basting with the marinade and turning regularly, for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Thug Kitchen

Surprisingly good! There was definitely that rum flavor, but not overpowering. It really was balanced with the lime and the soy sauce.

And both the rice and the chicken had some heat. They balanced one another, as well.

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more fun recipes from both as time goes on.