The Dish: Louis Tikaram

The Dish: Chef Louis Tikaram 04:56

Chef Louis Tikaram was raised on a farm in Southeastern Australia. His family came from Fiji and he spent time in the kitchen with his grandmother, later living in Fiji itself.

After culinary school in Sydney, he worked in some of the city's top-rated European and Asian restaurants. Now, he's executive chef of one of the hottest destinations in Hollywood, "E.P. & L.P.," combining fresh California ingredients with an eclectic Pacific-Asian cooking style. Conde Naste Traveler named him one of this year's "10 Young Chefs to Watch."

Here are some of Tikaram's signature dishes:

Sticky spare ribs


1 rack of ribs, cut into single pieces
1 cup picked cilantro leaves
1/2 cup toasted white sesame seeds

Ingredients for aromatic stock to cook the ribs

1 large knob ginger
6 green onion
1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine
2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper corns
5 star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
2 tablespoon white sugar
1 gallon chicken stock

Ingredients for sticky sauce

1 cup Hoisin sauce
1 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup honey


1. Combine all stock ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil.

2. Add spare ribs and reduce heat to a medium simmer for one hour and 30 minutes.

3. When the ribs are almost ready, start making the sticky sauce. Combine all ingredients in a mixing boil and whisk together to make a thick sauce.

4. Take ribs from the stock and allow to cool slightly on racks. To serve, grill on a medium hot grill or on a stove top grill plate continuously, brushing the sticky sauce. The ribs will char nicely and begin to get a shiny glaze.

5. When you are happy with the consistency and color, serve immediately and garnish with picked cialntro and sesame seeds.

JT's stir fried cucumbers


5 Persian cucumbers
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Ingredients for yellow bean stir-fry paste

1 cup garlic
1 cup Fresno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup yellow bean paste
1 cup canola oil


1. First make the stir-fry paste. This can be made in advance and be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It goes great as a condiment or in other stir-fries.

2. Blend the garlic and chopped Fresno peppers in a food processor to a chunky consistency. Add the garlic pepper chunky paste to a wok or sauce pan along with the other ingredients and cook for 20-30 minutes over a low heat, stirring every couple of minutes to ensure it cooks evenly and does not stick to the pan. Once the sauce is cooked, set aside ready for the stir-fry.

3. Slice the cucumbers into spoon and fork size diamond chunks. Heat the oil on high heat in the wok or large frying pan and add two large tablespoons of the stir-fry paste and mix to dissolve into the oil.

4. Add the cucumbers and toss quickly to slightly caramelize the cucumbers. Cook for two minutes to warm through, but still maintain a crunch.

5. Add fish sauce and oyster sauce and continue to stir and toss. Serve immediately.

Steamed Rice

Serving size of 6 as part of a shared meal

Note: Steamed rice is an essential part of every meal in Asia. This method of cooking rice is perfect every time.


4 cups rice


1. Rinse the rice twice with cold water in a medium heavy-based pot. Then fill with fresh water until it just covers the rice around 1 cm or up to the first knuckle of your index finger.

2. Cook on high heat until the rice begins to boil. Cover with a lid and simmer on the lowest heat possible for 20 minutes or until the water has completely evaporated. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wings and peppers

Serves 4 as a snack or starter


1 lb Shishito peppers
1 lb chicken wings (mid cut)
1 bottle of red Sriracha
1 gallon Canola oil

Ingredients to braise the chicken wings

1 gallon of chicken stock
1 handful rough chopped ginger
1 bunch of green onions, rough chopped
1 cup light soy sauce
1 tab rough crushed white pepper


1. To braise the chicken, bring the stock to boil in a tall sauce pot with the ginger, shallot, light soy sauce and white pepper. Once it has reached the boil, gently place the chicken wings into the seasoned stock and allow to return to the boil.

2. Once the stock has returned to the boil, turn the heat to a low simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the chicken wings with a pair of long tongs and allow to cool.

3. Reboil and strain the stock. This can now be reused as a stock or made into a delicious soup.

3. You are now ready to complete the dish so remember all the previous steps can be done in advance and putting the dish together will only take a short period of time! You can braise the chicken a couple of hours or even a day in advance if need be. But for the juiciest chicken, complete both cooking processes on the same day.

4. Fry the chicken wings for five minutes. Once the skin has turned golden brown, remove the oil and season with sea salt.

5. Heat the wok. Add two tablespoons of Canola, then add the Shishito peppers and stir fry on a high heat for about two minutes until they are blistered. Add the wings and stir fry for another minute.

6. When you are ready to serve, squeeze a good amount of Sriracha onto your serving plate or bowl and arrange the wings and peppers on top. If you like it spicy, add some more Sriracha over the top.

Steamed Chinese broccoli


Broccoli, cut into finger lengths
3 or 4 tablespoons of oyster sauce


1. Steamed Chinese broccoli is Chef Tikaram's go-to side dish for home meals. Simply wash the Chinese broccoli and cut into finger lengths using the stem and leaf. Place in your steamer for about two to three minutes.

2. Drizzle with about three to four tablespoons of oyster sauce for seasoning and serve immediately.

Mango pudding

Makes 2 liters of pudding mixture


120 ml cream
8 each gold gelatin sheets (gold)
3g salt
825 ml mango puree
250g palm sugar
6 each Kaffir lime leaves
2 ripe mangos (diced)
2 limes (zest)


1. In a medium-sized heavy based pot, warm the cream, mango pure, salt, palm sugar and Kaffir lime leaves. Heat until just before the boil (scald), then turn off to let steep for 10 minutes

2. Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain and add to the cream mixture and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.

3. Strain and set in individual bowls for serving, depending on your preference and size of the serving bowls. 100ml to 200ml per serving is recommended.

4. Cool the mango pudding until set around three to four hours or overnight for best result.

5. Serve with vanilla ice cream on top and garnished with diced fresh mango and zest of life.

Spicy cold medina


Fresh cold-pressed watermelon juice in 2 oz portions in a Silicon tray
1.5 oz Partida Blanco
1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Agave syrup
2 dashes house Thai chili tincture


1. Freeze cold-pressed watermelon juice in 2oz portions in a silicon tray to make watermelon ice cubes.

2. Muddle one or two oz cube in a mixing glass.

3. Add all other ingredients. Shake (without ice) until the frozen watermelon juice is integrated.

4. Serve in an old-fashioned glass over watermelon juice ice cubes

5. Garnish with cucumber peels and Thai basil seeds.

Ingredients to make the House Thai chili tincture

1 peeled and diced ripe mango
3 pods Star Anise
1 tablespoon Coriander
1 teaspoon cloves
2 cups dried Thai chili peppers
J Wray and Netphew Overproof Rum.


1. In a resealable non-reactive contained add the mango, Star Anise, Coriander, cloves and dried Thai chili peppers. Fill until covered with J Wray and Netphew Overproof Rum.4. Add the chopped dill and mix well.

2. Strain and pour into a bottle with a dasher top.